As the PFS graduation ceremony returned at the end of last year, Luke Holloway met a pair of professionals recognised for their achievements
In late 2022, the PFS was delighted to once again welcome graduates to a ceremony for those qualifying as Chartered financial planners, Associates or Fellows of the PFS between July 2019 and June 2022.
Having been put on hold due to the pandemic, the graduation was the first since 2019 and was held across two ceremonies in Westminster’s Central Hall.
More than half of those in attendance graduated as Chartered financial planners, with just less than half being honoured as Fellows of the PFS.
Two graduates who collected both Chartered and Fellowship awards on the day were Matt Begley and Alan Hoskings, both of Harris Begley Financial Planners in Cornwall, England.
“It has taken years of hard work, studying and exams, but I am really proud of what we have achieved,” Hoskings tells us. “As a financial planning professional, clients expect you to be qualified but we have shown the willingness to go above and beyond, and be the best of the best.
“I absolutely love what I do and I want to do it to the best of my ability” he says. “I want people to know that they are dealing with somebody who is at the top of their game.”
This is far and away the best qualification across the profession – I think it puts you head and shoulders above the rest
“Becoming a Fellow really sets you apart,” adds Begley. “It is respected among your peer group, demonstrates your dedication, shows your value and really boosts your self-esteem. People see you in a different light.
“Everything we have studied is relevant, even if, when you are studying it, you think it might not be. As I’ve become more qualified, I’ve moved into new areas and can deal with more complex cases,” says Begley.
The pair have both worked in various areas of the financial services sector for more than 20 years and were each already on their journey through professional qualifications when their paths crossed in 2017 and Hoskings began working at the firm Begley had founded.
Having completed their Diploma and Advanced Diploma, they were both awarded their PFS Fellowship in 2019.
“This is far and away the best qualification across the profession – I think it puts you head and shoulders above the rest,” says Hoskings. “If you are serious about having a career, not a job, this is the route to take.”
Begley agrees: “Other qualifications have their place but throughout the profession, the level of the PFS qualification is deemed to be superior as well as more difficult to achieve.
“From a business point of view, I will not recruit someone who has not got a PFS qualification. The difference in knowledge and technical capability is clearly visible.”
In March, the pair plan to visit a local school in Truro during a careers event to tell students about a potential career in financial services. Their achievements have even encouraged other team members to begin further qualifications with the PFS.
“By the two of us leading by example, we have now seen others across the business push on and want to become Chartered,” says Begley. “Some are quite new to the profession and are already focused on achieving Chartered status, while others want to expand their knowledge into new areas – it is great for our firm and ultimately for our clients.”
To find out more about PFS qualifications, visit: www.thepfs.org/qualifications
Luke Holloway is editor of PFP