December 2017


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Michelle Hoskin answers questions about the Paraplanning Standard

13 December 2017

The Paraplanning Standard being launched by Standards International has polarised opinion in the paraplanning community, from enthusiastic support to severe skepticism.

Professional Paraplanner editor Rob Kingsbury spoke with Michelle Hoskin, asking questions derived from conversations with paraplanners and online forums, to give readers greater insight into Hoskin’s vision for the Standard, what it offers, what benefit it might bring to the paraplanning profession and how it will work in practice.

Further information on the Paraplanning Standard is now available on the Standards International website here


Key points timeline

If you are interested in a particular question you can use the timeline to find it in the video stream (minutes/seconds).

00.43: What will the Paraplanning Standard offer paraplanners and the paraplanning profession that they don’t have already?

6.15: How do you define what a paraplanner does? What is a ‘proper’ paraplanner?

10.50: What qualifies Standards International to create and deliver a paraplanning standard?

16.38: How will the Standard be measured? What are the criteria someone will be assessed against?

24.17: Who is going to assess paraplanners? When does the assessment begin? What is going to be included in the assessment?

27.18: Setting up a global paraplanning standard. Membership and fees for the UK standard.

(Note: The interview was conducted and recorded during a video call, so the quality isn’t what we’d have liked but hopefully it does not detract from the content. RK)


  • Secretbanker

    Is this not yet another exam selling opportunity ? We already have the CII and IFS pressurising advisers/paraplanners to become ‘more qualified’ by spending money on exams that very few people actually use the full content of and companies use as ‘proxy’ training and a substitute for providing training and development themselves.

  • Properparaplanner

    Clever business model though. Find an occupation that is on an upward curve. Talk really passionately about how there should be a Standard (while claiming expenses for your time). Make employers believe that if they don’t offer it then their staff will go somewhere else that does. Make employees believe that they should just leave a (potentially excellent) employer on the strength that maybe, just maybe, another employer will snap them up that does subscribe to the new gimmick, errr, I mean scheme. Then once you have a large number of paying individuals/companies start paying yourself a decent directors salary. Clever, if you have no scruples.

  • Secretbanker

    Yet more titles. We already pay almost £200 pa to put letters after our names we have already paid similar amounts to actually earn the ‘right to use’ for nothing substantial. Someone is making a lot of money somewhere, yet the selling scandals continue and smaller customers have effectively be banished to ‘on line’ offerings whilst charges have gone up for those that remain with face to face advice.. This is not what RDR was meant to achieve, but it has been the result.

  • Michelle Hoskin

    Morning… thanks for your comments which I await eagerly to see on this thread.

    This is totally not about qualifications – it’s way more than that.
    Neither is it another tick box exercise which focuses only on knowledge and designations!

    I work in real firms, with real planners, business owners , paraplanners and administrators and this standard has been led and requested by the profession, for the profession as a whole not just in the UK but overseas too.

    It’s taken hundreds of hours to pull this standard together. It has been supported by an outstanding group of people (all of whom have given their time and support for free!) who also know that Paraplaning and Paraplanners are the future key to turning our industry into a profession globally.

    There will always be doubters and naysayers and for them I encourage them to sit back and see how this plays out. For those that also see what we see and experience the same challenges that are attacking firms everyday then I would welcome the opportunity (with pleasure) to answer any questions that you have.


  • Redwards91

    I think that the people on this thread claiming this is another money making scheme is completely missing the point.

    The point of the standard, as far as I am concerned, is to standardise the term Paraplanner and give more respect to the occupation.

    I’m sure we have all met the post-RDR Paraplanner who is, effectively, an adviser that just didn’t want to complete the exams in order to continue practicing and so took the Paraplanning title for an easy life.

    If you think that the way Paraplanners are treated and the vagueness (if that is a word) within the role at the moment is ok then that is fine but, personally, I think it’s fantastic that Standards International have decided to solve these issues and give Paraplanners something to work towards and have enough respect for themselves so that, if an employer won’t give them the support they need, they feel comfortable enough to go an find alternative work. If someone is not willing to give you that support, they can in no way shape or form be called an “excellent employer”.

    I find the comments regarding being pressured to become more qualified confusing, the rules are not set by Standards International or the CII or IFS. How qualified you need to be comes directly from the regulator. I think that the regulator should bring in compulsory levels of qualification for paraplanners and that these should be the same as advisers. This means that a standard would fit nicely into the workplace.

    The fact is that some people will always see this as a money making opportunity for a company and that is sad. If money is the only thing you think about then this really waters down any exams or standards you wish to meet anyway and therefore this standard is likely not for you. I see this as an opportunity to improve my working practices as a paraplanner but the moaners will always be there.