Standards International said it would be a ‘shame’ if professionals bodies got involved in creating a rival Paraplanning standard.
The business has set up a Standards Committee, which is meeting this month.
Moves to create a new Paraplanning standard have emerged from the Paraplanner Powwows. The subject has been widely debated at Powwow events over the last two years.
Standards International revealed its own moves to set up a new standard towards the end of 2016. These are completely separate to the Powwow and have no links to Powwow founder Richard Allum or the organisers.
The CISI said last year it would hold talks with the PFS about the creation of a new standard. But Mr Allum recently told FP Today he doesn’t believe the professional bodies are interested in creating a new standard.
Michelle Hoskin, founder and director of Standards International, decided to pick up on the idea of the Paraplanning standard and develop it within her organisation.
Asked if there were there any concerns that the professional bodies could step in or competing standards are created, Ms Hoskin, said: “Professional bodies are the experts in examination of technical knowledge. They have way more expertise than us in that field so it would be a shame, I think, if the other bodies got involved in creating a rival Paraplanning standard.”
She said: “If we each stay true to our own expertise then the market benefits massively. Individuals within the marketplace benefit hugely from us, as bodies, sticking to our knitting. Standards International has always been very keen to work with the bodies that exist in that examination space and we continue to do so where possible.
“We would be looking forward to collaborating with them. It would be a missed opportunity for us all not to work together on this as, I think, the more we raise the bar with standards on the Paraplanning and Financial Planning side, to sit alongside and complimentary to examinations, the more we will see an increased demand in the need for technical knowledge overall. I think it’s a collaborative effort rather than a competition.”
A reader’s poll on FP Today found 47% of the 133 who voted were against a Paraplanning standard, with 43% in favour and 9% undecided.
Ms Hoskin explained why she believes it is important to create a new standard, saying: “I think having a standard will also attract new entrants into the market, it will help make Paraplanning a profession of choice in its own right, and no longer something seen as a “passing through” role. We’re very confident that there is a massive need for a standard in Paraplanning, which is why we are leading this project forward.”
Ms Hoskin said there is such variety in how the role is viewed and performed across the sector.
She said: “We have seen first-hand through our recruitment projects and from working with firms for over 10 years that the role of a Paraplanner, and the quality of what they add to a firm, can differ greatly.
“It’s causing issues where firms are looking to grow, because the best firms desperately need quality people in that role, with a standard set of skills, abilities and attributes, which will enable them to provide a high-level service to their clients.
“So it’s about progression, both for the role itself and for the wider profession of Financial Planning, not necessarily just to address where we are today.”