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Sue Whitbread: Don’t forget the paraplanners

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Advisers and planners do not need to be reminded to fulfil CPD requirements if they wish to retain their Statement of Professional Standing. Making sure an effective training and competence plan is in place is a key part of successful business practice. But what about paraplanners? How many firms include paraplanners and support staff in their training and competence scheme?

In our experience, more and more firms are recognising paraplanners have specific development needs of their own. While these are often closely aligned with those of the advisers, this is not exclusively the case. Paraplanners have a different skill set; they fulfil a different role. It makes sense, therefore, that they need different learning and development opportunities.

Back in 2011, we ran our first ever conference exclusively for paraplanners. It was held in Hinckley in Leicestershire and surprised us by quickly becoming a sell out. The buzz was amazing and since then the paraplanner conference has established itself as one of the highlights of the IFP year.

Paraplanners are an inspirational bunch and when they get together the camaraderie and sharing of ideas is evident. On 20 and 21 May, paraplanners will gather in Warwickshire. All paraplanners (not just IFP members) are welcome. This is the event’s fifth year and each has been a sell out. For anyone wanting to come along to find out for themselves, you can find details on our website.

Sue Whitbread is communications director at the Institute of Financial Planning

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