First-of-its-kind certification introduced for SRI investing

The certification is for advisers who want added expertise in sustainable, responsible and impact investing

Oct 10, 2018 @ 2:16 pm

By Sarah Min

The College for Financial Planning has partnered with US SIF: The Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment to introduce the first certification for sustainable, responsible and impact investing.

The "Chartered SRI Counselor" designation, or CSRIC, requires 45 hours of coursework across seven modules for advisers and corporate partners who want added expertise in the SRI space.

"The new course will help meet the increasing demand for expertise in sustainable, responsible and impact investing, coming from both institutional and retail investors," said Lisa Woll, CEO of US SIF, in a statement.

More than $8.7 trillion is involved in SRI strategies, according to the US SIF.

The program, which is open for enrollment, will cover SRI subjects that include history, trends, portfolio construction principles, ESG performance and risk, fiduciary standards and best practices. The program starts at $1,300 and is a combination of in-person and online classes, with video on demand, online material and testing.

The course purposely covers a broad range of topics to give advisers a foundation to comprehend and critically analyze the SRI space, which historically has been criticized for subjective standards.

"The coursework covers a broad range, and how advisers apply it to their practice, to their clients, could be different," said Michael Young, manager of education programs at US SIF.

"I hope that we're going to see more investment professionals gain more expertise in this space because there are going to be more products coming, and there will be some expertise needed to vet good from bad," he said.

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