CPD in the paraplanner world

17 June 2024

Richard Cooper, business development manager at The London Institute of Banking & Finance, considers the why of CPD and what it gives the professional paraplanner.

There is no formal requirement for paraplanners to undertake CPD, but many employers will expect such development nonetheless and paraplanners looking to attain chartered status will also be need to commit to ongoing learning.

Often this will mirror the FCA’s CPD requirements for financial planners – to include structured and unstructured learning, relevant to the experience and specialisms that the paraplanner may practice.

Albert Einstein said, “education is not the learning of facts, but the training of the mind to think” – and this is certainly true when it comes to one of the objectives of CPD. Continually building your skills and abilities, beyond just theoretical knowledge, will ensure that you become a more accomplished and efficient paraplanner.

Not only does CPD help to enhance your skill set, but it also enables you to adapt to changes in the role of paraplanning. In an ever-changing world, engaging in CPD can help you prepare for the jobs of the future, while also demonstrating your commitment to self-development and professionalism.

There have been many articles about building effective CPD plans and how to make them relevant, but I wanted to look at the why rather than the how, reflecting on the benefits of CPD and why it is so important.

The benefits of professional development
While you may think that your education, and the skills you develop whilst carrying out your role, will give you all the expertise you require, CPD will really help you to keep you at the top of your game.

So, what are the main benefits of CPD?

1. Maintaining and enhancing knowledge and skills
Investing in CPD means ensuring your skills and knowledge are regularly being updated and enhanced – putting you in the best position to deliver a professional service. This, in turn, has obvious benefits for your customers, clients, and the rest of the paraplanner community.

2. To keep pace with the standards of others in the same field
Self-improvement of individual paraplanners will improve due to a wide range of factors, but not everyone within the profession will improve at the same rate. By investing in CPD, paraplanners can ensure they keep pace with others who also doing so.

3. You stay up to date with changes
The paraplanning world is constantly changing – especially in the last 18 months, with the introduction of the consumer duty and the recent thematic review of retirement planning. Continuous CPD will help you keep up with ever-changing software and technology. Keeping up to date with such changes has never been more important, and in failing to do so, your skills could quickly become outdated.

4. You can become more effective in the workplace
Through the increased knowledge gained through CPD, you will become more effective in the workplace. This helps increase the chance of career progression, where you can lead, manage, and mentor others and/or develop your areas of expertise.

5. You stay interested
Everyone can end up jaded in their professions – but by engaging in CPD, you will open yourself up to new skill areas and fresh knowledge, encouraging you to stay engaged and interested in your role. The more interested you are, the more effective you become, leading to higher rates of productivity and efficiency.

6. CPD gives you access to experts
Through investing in CPD, you will find opportunities to learn from and engage with experts in the profession.

7. Potential to increase confidence in paraplanning
Finally, one of the benefits of CPD is that by increasing your ability, skills capability, and knowledge it helps to improve confidence. This can be both internally within your organisation as well as to the advisers you support.

CPD has never been more important
Learning is a process that continues throughout your life, and by engaging in continuing professional development, you can leverage such learning to ensure continued success in your career.

Often it is the people who engage in CPD who become integral members of a company, as they continuously strive for innovative ideas and new developments.

They are also more likely to demonstrate that they have taken the initiative and are looking to develop and progress – these are important and the kind of things that employers will notice.

As businesses and paraplanning become more specialised, being up to speed with the latest developments in your field has never been more important. CPD is a great way of staying competitive in the continually changing world of paraplanning.

Now is the time to own and develop a personal CPD plan and boost your skill set going forward.


Professional Paraplanner