Martin’s Blog

by Martin Vaughan on 25 January 2009

This week I had the pleasure of attending the Nottingham Insurance Institute’s Annual Dinner and I would like to thank all those involved for such a well organised and well run evening.

I must admit I was surprised when I received an invitation to attend having never had one before but not being one to miss out on a free dinner, I accepted gleefully. I had been invited because a short time ago I had achieved the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning and the Institute wanted to present me with my certificate at their annual dinner. It wasn’t just me though; there were other award winners there. I was able to sit next to a very nice gentlemen called Mark Loydall who is a Director of Cambourne Financial Planning and we had a very pleasant chat about many things during the course of the evening.

I met many nice people and had the opportunity of speaking to many people in Financial services (a vast number worked in General Insurance) rather than Personal Financial planning but throughout the evening people asked what I did and I said I was a Paraplanner and they had no idea of what this was. Sometimes not even any conception of what this was. So it just goes to show how much work is involved in making everyone within the industry aware of what a paraplanner is first if all before going on to explaining what a paraplanner does and the benefits of having a paraplanner in your business.

Which brings me onto the role of the Paraplanner. As many of you will know who have followed the site since last April, I have been involved with the Financial Services Skills Council in writing the National Occupation Standards for the role of paraplanner. These are extremely important as they will allow people within the industry to see ‘officially’ what a paraplanner is and what a paraplanner does. We have now reached a critical point in the process where the Working Group has thrashed out the basis of what it thinks a paraplanner is and does but we now need EVERYONE ELSE to be involved.

And the best people to do this are those who are paraplanners and those who employ paraplanners.

Many businesses will have received a letter a couple of weeks ago from the FSSC explaining the above but if you have not received one or are not at an employers where they have received one you can still be involved.

The paragraph from the letter which you need to be aware of is as follows.

‘We have recently prepared a suite of draft NOS for Paraplanning, with one of the main aims being a desire to raise the profile of Paraplanning within the industry, and these may be found on our website at http://www.fssc.org.uk/ – please go to the Paraplanning page via the National Occupational Standards dropdown menu under Education.’

There you will find a questionnaire which I would ask you to complete once you have read the NOS and made comments.

The closing date is 9th February so you need to get on with it.

This is massively important as these NOS will be used for explaining and setting standards for the role of the Paraplanner for years to come so I would ask you to get involved, use your experience and make your voice heard.

Whether you are a new starter or have been a paraplanner for many years – your opinion counts and it is important that you say what you think.

Hopefully then we will have  a set of standards and a description for our role which will raise the profile of Paraplanners so that I don’t have to explain what I do every time I meet someone.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Karen Malin 21 February 2009 at 14:27

On Insurance Institute Dinners! Yes, these are where the great and good in the general insurance world tend to gather – the first one I went to, I was the only woman – great fun!!!
More PFS needed at CII finctions I’d say, keep flying the flag Martin!
Warm regards
Karen

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