View more on these topics

How to build a training plan for advisers

CISI deputy head of financial planning Jacqueline Lockie

A lot of financial planning firms are relatively small by way of number of employees. One of the challenges faced by a business owner is to ensure staff are supported to develop and improve. Having an individual training plan for each employee can be helpful in focusing on agreed technical learning, as well as skills development.

There are lots of ways for staff to stay up to date and gain new knowledge through conferences, exams and associated training courses.

Seeking credible, online learning is also important. Bear in mind what Tim Berners-Lee recently wrote about the 25th anniversary of his invention of the worldwide web: that one of the biggest threats to this global, ever expanding platform is the large amount of misinformation included on sites.

It is worth thinking of your business structure when planning for future staff development. For example, some firms set up their team of paraplanners linked to work with specific clients; others link them to work alongside specific advisers. If an adviser streamlines their client bank, clients can find themselves being looked after by another.

There are pros and cons of both set ups. From a client point of view, they like the idea of one person to contact. In some cases it may be the planner that has the long-term relationship but in others the paraplanner will be the best contact.

Meanwhile, workflow issues can sometimes arise where paraplanners specialise in different technical areas. This then means them helping other paraplanners build plans for other clients and can cause time management issues.

What is important is that there is some continuity of client relationship and overall monitoring of workflows to ensure all paraplanners feel well supported and able to use their skills to the best of their abilities.

When developing staff training plans it is also worth considering the apprenticeship schemes. Remember that these schemes, and the all-important Government funding for them, can be used to help up-skill existing members of staff as long as they are learning a new skill.

The advice firm will need to register for apprenticeship funding via If you have fewer than 50 employees, you can apply for the Government to pay 90 per cent of the cost of the training . It can be a great way to help existing staff learn new skills, increase knowledge and build their confidence.

There are both paraplanner and financial advice apprenticeships. In order to make use of the funding you need to link up with an authorised training provider via . Training providers now offer a range of products and tools to help you run a successful apprenticeship programme, so if you decide to go down this route, meet with a couple to see what they have to offer.

Jacqueline Lockie is deputy head of financial planning at the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment



FCA review finds nearly half of advisers fail on disclosure

45 per cent either fail or unclear on FCA disclosure rules The FCA has released the results of its long-awaited review of advice suitability, with the vast majority of advisers coming out with a clean bill of health on suitability but failing to disclose charges in line with the regulator’s rules. The regulator first launched […]


Steve Webb clashes with Govt on long-term care plans

Former pensions minister Sir Steve Webb has warned the Conservatives’ plans to reform long-term care funding risk being held back by failures in the existing system. The BBC reports the Conservatives want to extend deferred payment schemes to those receiving care in their own home until they are down to their last £100,000. Deferred payment […]

Competition regulator to investigate Standard Life Aberdeen deal

CMA to investigate competition fallout from mega-merger The Competition and Markets Authority is investigating Standard Life’s proposed takeover of Aberdeen Asset Management. The pair released their full merger prospectus earlier this month after agreeing an £11bn mega-merger in March. Plans include reducing headcount by 800, “combining” their platforms and premises, and a new board to […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment