Paraplanner – define!

by Richard Allum on 7 August 2008

We have often written on here about the different levels and types of paraplanners.  I have recruited a few paraplanners in my time and also met many, some of whom fit my definition and some of whom most certainly do not!  Robert Reid of Syndaxi Financial Planning (possibly not the biggest fan of websites) has written an article in Money Management Marketing this week (click here) in which he describes his recent experience of interviewing for a vacancy.

His experience shows that the title ‘paraplanner’ is bestowed on a whole range of people and tasks, quite wrongly in many cases.  I tend to agree with Robert in that a paraplanner can do everything the adviser does without the sales target, and sometimes more.  There is clearly a need for a stricter definition and regulation of the term paraplanner as there is in the legal and medical professions.  We have been working with some of the professional trade bodies in the UK in respect of a specific paraplanner qualification or core competencies although this may take some time to come to fruition.  I welcome the day when the title paraplanner can only be used when a recognised level of knowledge and experience has been proven.  Until then, we’ll just have to prove our worth with our work!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

James Rooney 7 August 2008 at 12:43

Couldn’t agree with this article more! I remember a conversation I had with a friends of mine who has interviewed for many paraplanner positions in the past, and he never fails to be shocked by how many administrators he gets in through the door claiming to be paraplanners – many of whom have not sat a single exam!
Now I am not criticising administrators, nor am I attacking peoples premature aspirations to become paraplanners, but I think this gives weight to the argument that the role of a paraplanner remains clearly undefined in some peoples eyes, and more needs to be done not only to raise the profile, but to embed professionalism into the role.

Richard Allum 7 August 2008 at 12:46

Well said James. Administrators have a vital role to play in any business – we have tow here; one is very technical but still does not feel she should be called a paraplanner and the other is not at all technical but good at administration.

One of the many aims of this site is to do what you say – define the role, gain recognition and increase professionalism. Martin is very focussed on this and we will have more on it later in the year.

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