Citywire reports that the ICAEW plans to "break ranks" with fellow accredited bodies and offer statements of professional standing (SPS) to advisers who make a one-off payment rather than requiring them to join as members.
The ICAEW has applied to be an accredited body, and expects to be approved by the Financial Services Authority in December 2011.
Other accredited bodies, such as the Institute of Financial Planning and Chartered Insurance Institute, want advisers to be members in order to be issued with a SPS.
Vernon Soare, ICAEW executive director of professional standards, said:
"They won't have to be a member.
They just need to register with an accredited body, they pay a registration fee and we do a review of continual professional development."
The proposal has generated a fair amount of heated "debate".
However, so long as the ICAEW's "certification process" does not get dragged through the mud by a conman (a certificate does not make a man/woman a "professional"), it does not seem to be an unreasonable proposal.