{"code":"PAGE_NOT_FOUND","message":"Page not found"}1 Certificate in Paraplanning – Setting the Standard for Paraplanners in the UK

Certificate in Paraplanning – Setting the Standard for Paraplanners in the UK

by Richard Allum on 17 June 2011

This is a post by Lucy Courtenay, Qualifications Director at Institute of Financial Planning.

The professional qualifications which Paraplanners have historically obtained have been the same as those of Financial Planners. Amongst level 6 qualifications, the Chartered Financial Planner qualification provided by the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and the much more challenging and more appropriate Certified Financial PlannerCM certification provided by the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP) have both proved popular with Paraplanners.  Any individual who has achieved these qualifications (and in some cases even higher level qualifications too) will have demonstrated a commitment to many years of study and development as well as the ability to retain and apply highly technical knowledge to complex Financial Planning issues.

The role of the Paraplanner however, though in many ways similar to that of a Financial Planner, has notable differences. In recognition of these differences, the IFP has developed a qualification specifically to test the skills and competence of Paraplanners – the Certificate in Paraplanning. This is a qualification which focuses on the specific skills of a Paraplanner rather than those of a Financial Planner.  It requires any individual who successfully attempts it to demonstrate that they are able to perform the specific Financial Planning skills tested to the required standard.

The qualification is new and has already received an excellent welcome from the profession. It recognises the very real skills and attributes of those individuals who  play a vital role within the Financial Planning practice, yet have not undertaken a role which was previously very easily defined or recognised.

This new qualification provides the benchmark for all Paraplanners. It will also help Financial Planning firms to identify those Paraplanners who can perform the necessary skills to this standard. Once Paraplanners have attained the necessary standard to pass the assessment,  they will be awarded  by IFP the title of “Accredited Paraplanner”, a title which IFP expects will set the standard for the growing numbers of Paraplanners in the UK

The Certificate in Paraplanning is set at QCF level 4 and to gain eligibility, candidates need to have passed an appropriate exam as well as a personal taxation paper.  The examination itself is two hours long and comprises 30 multiple choice questions plus a case study which carries 70% of the marks.  Typically candidates will need to tackle some tax calculations and areas of advice, and tax tables and other useful information are provided. The exam is delivered online, making it a convenient and flexible way for candidates to attempt it. The pass mark is in the region of 65%.

Success in the Certificate of Paraplanning also covers a number of gaps for those Paraplanners needing to meet the FSA Qualification gap-fill requirements. For those wishing to progress to higher qualifications, the Certificate provides the perfect route to then progress to gaining CFPCM Certification in future.  Paraplanners who are working towards CII qualifications will be pleased to hear that the Certificate in Paraplanning attracts 20 non-unit specific credits at Diploma level.

To help Paraplanners prepare for the examination, IFP offers a useful e-learning course as well as a two day workshop.  You can find further information about the exam and training options here.

We have set up a Q&A area on the forum if you have any questions here.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Neil Hume 20 July 2011 at 9:52

Hi There , I’m a self employed mortgage broker working within the financial service industry since 1989 . I attained FPC 1,2,3 in 1996 and Cemap in 2000 however when I joined GA as a mortgage broker I was restricted to mortgage and protection only .

During these very challenging times I’ve come to that crossroad in my life where I need to take a new direction. I had not heard of a Paraplanner before and must admit it’s caught my attention . What advice / direction can you give me with regards to obtaining qualification.

Many Thanks


Richard Allum 21 July 2011 at 14:25

Hi Neil,

The best place to post this is on the forum.



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