This apprenticeship standard is in the process of being revised. In the meantime, the version below remains approved for delivery. Further details of this and other occupational standards in revision are available in the revisions status report.

Overview of the role

Assisting financial advisers with researching, analysing and preparing financial reports for clients.


Reference Number: ST0183

Details of standard



The Financial Advice Market:

The Financial Advice market consists of c19000 SME businesses split approximately 75% financial advice, 25% mortgage advice. These SME businesses are supported by umbrella organisations known as networks who provide a range of support services to the individual businesses including technology, compliance, technical & consultancy support.

The Paraplanner Role:

Due to recent regulatory changes, there is an increasing demand for professionally qualified technical support in Financial Adviser businesses. The role of the Paraplanner is to assist the Financial Adviser in researching analysing & preparing compliant financial reports for clients that verify the recommendations made in accordance with the company investment philosophy. It should also be noted that the Paraplanner role is distinctly different from the role of a Financial Adviser *.

There are 2 distinct Paraplanner roles recognised by the sector and this standard is for the first of these two roles. Successful completion of this standard will result in a demonstration of full competence as a fully qualified Paraplanner. Upon completion, there is the potential to develop further into the role of ‘Senior Paraplanner’ which requires a broader level of industry experience & further qualifications (the Senior Paraplanner role delivers a higher level of technical & specialist support to the Financial Adviser whilst also contributing more strategically to the business’s investment philosophy & processes) or other technical, compliance or managerial roles within the sector.



What is required

Financial Services Market

Demonstrates a deep understanding of the structure of the Financial Services market, including the role of the financial adviser, the paraplanner, product providers, support services & platforms

Regulatory & Compliance

Full understanding of the Financial Services regulatory framework, and the ethics and key principles of the advice process.  Comprehensive knowledge of the systems and controls that are in place to protect the client and the company. Demonstrates full adherence to these systems and controls.


Demonstrates an in-depth understanding of both financial products & financial planning tools. Can analyse which type and features of the financial products are appropriate to the client’s needs.

Systems and Processes

Understands and utilises all systems and processes required to deliver the role objectives. Has sophisticated awareness of how these fit within the wider company and the financial advice profession.



Quality service delivery

Consistently develops and delivers excellent service to customers, colleagues & advisers, supporting the products & services provided and adhering to TCF principles at all times. Has excellent attention to detail & provides a quality assurance check for the adviser firm.

Customer communication & relationships

Develops effective and enduring relationships with customers & key contacts through effective verbal/written/IT skills. Can handle & resolve issues. Can write reports that includes the necessary technical language but articulates in a way that client’s understand.

Team working & collaboration

Understands role within team & impact on others. Consistently endeavours to support colleagues & collaborate to achieve results.

Planning & prioritising

Demonstrates relevant level of skills to be able to provide thorough research & analysis. Can plan & prioritise work effectively in order to deliver good outcomes for both the customer & the business.

 Using systems & processes  

Consistently adheres to systems & processes using proficient IT skills, including risk, regulatory and governance requirements.


What is required

Honesty and Integrity

Truthful, sincere in their actions and doing the right thing (even when not the easiest)


Willingness to accept changing priorities and work patterns when new jobs need to be done, or requirements change


Shows drive and energy in their work, when things are going well and when challenges arise


Meets personal commitments and expectations; eg completing work, timekeeping

Personal commitment

Proactive in their own development; commitment to the job and the profession


The apprenticeship will typically take 24-36 months to complete


The apprentice will be required to complete the Certificate in Paraplanning from Professional Bodies: Chartered Insurance Institute or FPSB UK/The Institute of Financial Planning:

The CII Certificate includes the following 4 examinations:

  • Financial Service Regulation & Ethics (R01)
  • Investment Principles & Risk (R02)
  • Personal Taxation (R03)
  • Paraplanning (J09)

FPSB UK’s Certificate includes the following


  • Principles of Financial Planning
  • Personal taxation paper

English & Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the End-Point Assessment. For those with an education, health and care plan or a legacy statement, the apprenticeship’s English and maths minimum requirement is Entry Level 3. A British Sign Language (BSL) qualification is an alternative to the English qualification for those whose primary language is BSL

Link to professional registration

By passing the apprenticeship, professional registration can be achieved by application to the relevant Professional

Body, with recognised status as follows:

‘Cert PFS (Paraplanning)’ with the Chartered Insurance Institute or

‘Accredited Paraplanner (APP)’ with the Institute of Financial Planning


The apprenticeship should be reviewed after a maximum of 3 years.


i) The Financial Adviser (ie not the Paraplanner) is regulated by the FCA and is ultimately responsible for the advice given to the client, &

ii) The Financial Adviser role is client facing, whereas the Paraplanner is predominantly a back office, technical support role.

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Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 4
Reference: ST0183
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 10/09/2015
Approved for delivery: 10 September 2015
Route: Legal, finance and accounting
Typical duration to gateway : 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £9000
LARS Code: 48
EQA Provider: Ofqual

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Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Simply BIZ (New Model Business Academy), Openwork Ltd, Jelf Group, Perspective Financial Group Limited, Sesame Bankhall Group, Succession Group, The Beaufort Group, Pearson Jones, Sense Network, Elite Paraplanning

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 10/09/2015 Not set Not set

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