Move hailed as a 'clear indicator' of a firm's professional status

The CII will grant broker firms charter status in a move to raise professional standards in the industry.

Three brokers – Smart & Cook, Stuart Alexander and Layton Blackham, all owned by insurer AXA – have submitted applications. Their approval is expected over the coming weeks.

In order to become a chartered broker firm, 90% of a firm's customer-facing staff must be members of the CII, and 50% of executive directors must hold either CII or third-party chartered status.

At present, 2,000 individual brokers already hold chartered status.

CII president Ian Templeton said: "At long last chartered firms of insurance brokers will find themselves on an equal footing with other professions.

"Chartered status is well established as a trusted symbol of professionalism and this is sure to have resonance with the regulator."

"This is a major step forward," added David Slade, chairman of the Faculty of Insurance Brokers. "It will help firms attract and retain the best talent, being a clear indicator of their professional standing as an employer."

“This is a major step forward

David Slade, chairman of the Faculty of Insurance Brokers

This is the latest in a series of attempts by the CII to increase the profile of the insurance sector.

In February the CII launched the Broker Academy, and last month it said it was seeking greater funding for its talent quest initiative, on which over £250,000 has been spent.

Chartered members will have access to a variety of training materials, while a registry for will be added to the CII website for consumers.

The CII said that chartered brokers would be subject to conditions, including annual returns that confirm that their code of ethics and conduct is being followed. In the event of a breach of regulations, the CII retains the right to remove chartered status.

The CII said it was responding to demand in the market, but had no targets for the number of brokers it expected to apply.

Membership will start at £500 for smaller companies, rising to £2,000 per annum for companies with over 250 staff.