Government reveals new standards for paraplanner apprenticeships

The government has released a new assessment plan to support paraplanner apprenticeships, developed in conjunction with the likes of Simply BIZ, Openwork Ltd and Pearson Jones. The new standards will help employers develop apprentices into fully trained paraplanners.


What is a paraplanner?

The government describes the position as a ”professionally qualified technical support role in Financial Adviser businesses”. A paraplanner assists financial adviser’s in researching, analysing and preparing compliant financial reports for clients that verify the recommendations made in accordance with the company’s investment philosophy. However, they are not allowed to give investment advice.

The government’s apprenticeship scheme is designed to act as an entry role for businesses that want to develop a professional planner with no experience. However, the role can also be used to act as a springboard for someone who wants to become a financial adviser.


What are the standards?

Throughout the apprenticeship, the selected candiates will learn about the role of the paraplanner and ultimately be able to demonstrate  good understanding of the structure of the Financial Services market, as well as comprehension of the Financial Services regulatory framework, the ethics and key principles of the advice process.

The apprentices will have an end point examination that forms 100 per cent of the apprenticeship assessment.

The focus of the end point assessment is on the apprentice being able to prove their competence in the role of paraplanner, through work completed in this end point assessment stage. This entails demonstrating competence in the 45 defined learning outcomes derived from the skills and behaviour competencies set out in the standard.



At the end of the apprenticeship, graduates will come out with qualifications provided by two of the professional bodies working on the scheme: The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) and The Institute of Financial Planning (FPSB UK).


‘Supporting Financial Services’

“We believe that, by establishing the new apprenticeship for a paraplanner, we are further supporting the financial services sector by encouraging those already in the profession or individuals looking for a change, as well as those who may not have chosen a university path, to establish a fulfilling career that is wholly recognised by professional bodies like the CII, the PFS and the IFP,” said Marcus Bowsher, an independent consultant and project leader for the new paraplanner apprenticeship.