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Options in Financial Services – I want to be a… Paraplanner!

During my time as a Paraplanner, I lost count of how many times I was questioned about my job role, only to find out that most people had never even heard of a Paraplanner!

But… that is changing. The role of a paraplanner has undergone a rapid transformation and continues to do so, evolving into a highly technical and increasingly vital component of the financial services industry.

In this article, we are going to delve into the role of a Paraplanner, and provide valuable insight on how to embark on a successful career in Paraplanning.

What is a paraplanner?

Once considered a steppingstone towards becoming a financial adviser, Paraplanning has now blossomed into a full career of its own. Today, Paraplanning stands tall as a profession that demands respect and admiration. Paraplanners are the unsung heroes, the silent architects behind successful financial plans.

Paraplanners are responsible for conducting extensive research and providing clients with comprehensive recommendations regarding their financial situation. This position requires strong analytical skills and a valuable skillset that is highly sought after in the financial services industry.

Options in Financial Services – I want to be a… Paraplanner!
Options in Financial Services – I want to be a… Paraplanner!

In addition to preparing reports for new clients, paraplanners also play a crucial role in reviewing the financial circumstances of existing clients. This involves assessing various factors such as the client’s exposure to financial risk, asset allocation, tax status, potential changes in circumstances, and investment performance.

On a day-to-day basis, you could be involved in some of the following:

  • Creating cashflow models
  • Calculating tax liabilities
  • Assessing performance
  • Preparing and writing financial reports
  • Researching products and funds

The importance of a Paraplanner

Financial advisers would face a major hurdle in providing the best possible service to their clients without Paraplanners.

The tasks of financial advisers are becoming more complex, making it difficult to find time for client recommendations. The research, analysis, and report writing involved in their work cannot be managed alongside attending to customers on a daily basis.

As a result, this would negatively impact the success of financial advice firms and, most importantly, undermine the quality of advice given to clients. Hence, paraplanners play a crucial role in any financial planning organisation.

What qualifications are required to become a paraplanner?

Currently, the regulator does not specify minimum entry qualifications for paraplanners. This means requirements can differ from one firm to another.

Some firms will value experience in the industry over professional qualifications, whereas other firms require Paraplanners to be at least Level 4 Qualified.

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) is one of the main examining bodies offering several different qualifications that can be considered by Paraplanners:

  • Certificate in Financial Services (Level 3)
Options in Financial Services – I want to be a… Paraplanner!

How to get into Paraplanning?

There are various paths to enter Paraplanning. You can either pursue an apprenticeship or begin as an administrator in the industry while working towards your qualifications. The great thing about Paraplanning is that you do not need a degree!

Many of our candidates choose to start as administrators and then advance into Paraplanning after becoming qualified.

What skillset do you need to be a Paraplanner?

  • As a Paraplanner, it is essential to possess analytical skills and problem-solving abilities. The role of a Paraplanner often involves conducting thorough research and paying meticulous attention to detail.


  • In addition, a basic understanding of mathematics is required, but there is no need to be overly concerned about it. Being an exceptional mathematician is not a prerequisite.


  • Furthermore, it is important to possess effective communication skills as you will be responsible for producing recommendation reports. This task may require you to simplify technical concepts and express them in a manner that your clients can comprehend.


  • Most importantly, Persistence and determination are essential qualities to have when working as a Paraplanner.

Why become a Paraplanner?

As a Paraplanner, you have the opportunity to make a significant difference to people’s lives. When working as a Paraplanner, I was able to put together a cashflow model, which showed one of our clients that they could retire now, rather than in 5 years’ time.

I was also able to identify that one of our clients hadn’t claimed on their critical illness policy, despite being eligible and this resulted in a big pay out at a time they really needed it!

Not only is Paraplanning a hugely fulfilling role, it also offers quite a lot of flexibility, and opportunities for growth.

You could perhaps go on to become a Senior Paraplanner, or Head of Paraplanning, or you can go into advice using the technical knowledge and skillset that you have built.

The opportunities are endless!

Options in Financial Services – I want to be a… Paraplanner!


For more information on the different paths to becoming a Paraplanner, including qualifications, exams and salary information, check out the Paraplanner Role Profile.

Read our Certificate in Paraplanning FAQ’s to find out information such as;

  • How do I enrol for the Certificate in Paraplanning

  • How long does it take to complete the CII Certificate in Paraplanning

  • What is the CII Certificate in Paraplanning

  • What is the difference between CF1 and R01

         and more!

Read another insightful article on ‘A Day in the Life of a Paraplanner’ to find out more information about the Paraplanner role.  

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