The upcoming International Standards Organization's 22222 standard is now in a final ballot, with the objective of achieving and promoting a globally accepted benchmark for individuals who provide the professional service of personal financial planning.

This would be the first truly non-technical service standard for financial services.

According to Stuart Kessler, managing director of RSM McGladrey Inc. and the chairman of ISO's blue-ribbon committee on personal financing planning, "ISO 2222 will specify the ethical behaviors, competences, and experience required of a professional personal financial planner. It describes and addresses the various method of conformity assessment and specifies requirements applying to each of them."

Kessler's committee is made up of representatives of financial planners, banks, consumer protection bodies and research organizations, joined by financial planners who hold other designations such as Personal Financial Specialist and Certified Financial Planner. The experts come from 18 participating countries and 19 observer countries.

Kessler points out that to remain compliant with ISO standards, personal financial planners will be required to demonstrate continuing competence. "Records of their learning or relevant activities will have to be maintained," he said.The actual guidelines will be released as soon as the final ballot has been tabulated.

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