Competency Framework: the boundaries of the service and of your role

Foundations – Knowledge and compliance

D. The boundaries of the service and of your role

Every practitioner must be aware of what they can and cannot say to customers, depending on the organisation he or she works for, and depending on the type of advice and guidance being given.

Regulated financial products and activities


  • Understanding of the scope of information and guidance which can be provided, and that ‘advice’ and recommendations are regulated activities (refer to definitions).
  • A broad understanding of the types of activities that are beyond the remit of the practitioner (e.g. debt advice, consumer credit, investment businesses, funeral plan contracts, electronic money, insurance business and distribution, operating a dormant account, home finance).
  • Understanding of the difference between providing information and guidance, and advice, particularly with relevance to regulated financial products and activities.

Introduce the service to others


Provide information to customers about the service you are providing, including:

  • Explaining what information you can and cannot provide. 
  • Explaining any costs and fees associated with using the service, if applicable.

Providing support within the limits of your role


  • Provide information and guidance within the limits of relevant financial regulations and in line with organisational policies and procedures, and check customers’ understanding.
  • Where appropriate, agree with customers any further activities that are necessary to meet their needs.
  • Identify any needs that cannot be met and refer customers to alternative sources in line with organisational policies and procedures.
  • Knowledge of local and/or national organisations to which customers can be signposted or referred.
  • Knowledge of any relationships between the practitioner organisation and other external organisations and agencies to which customers can be signposted or referred.

Next step: check my confidence now


When you're clear on the boundaries in giving money guidance, and its breadth and depth, you’re ready to move on. See how confident you are in giving money guidance and get pointers.