Trainee Paraplanner to Paraplanner

Asking on behalf of a colleague -
How do your firms decide when you are no longer a trainee?
Do you have a development programme, is it based on experience, on exams or a combination?
I personally feel you do not need dipolma to move on from trainee but our company includes this to move on.
I would love to hear from as many of you as possible.


  • Hi Roxy,

    We develop our administrators, so they can write the less technical letters such as portfolio rebalances or ISA top up recommendations. The advantages of this are that it allows the Paraplanners to concentrate on the more technical work and also gives those administrators who have ambitions to be a Paraplanner a flavour of the role. Those who want to pursue a career in Paraplanning are then mentored with more technical reports for a period of say 6 months. If they reach the required standard, they are then made a permanent member of the Paraplanning team. We do set Diploma as a minimum standard for someone to start that 6-month mentoring period.. I know exams don't always tell the whole story about someone's technical ability, but it is an important part of what is after all, a technical role and helps to set a target for Paraplanner wannabes

  • I agree with Gustavo above. I would definitely expect any of our Paraplanners to have Diploma as a minimum, especially given the jump up in salary from Admin to Paraplanners. As Gustavo said though it doesn't guarantee a good Paraplanner and there are other things just as important, however, it does show a level of commitment and technical ability and certainly wouldn't want to pay a Paraplanner salary without this minimum.

  • Thank you both for your input. My colleague is a trainee paraplanner and has been in the paraplanning department for 2 years and is working through the diploma exams at her own pace to fit in with being a single parent ect... Before joinging the team she worked in our admin department.

    I feel her experience gained over the last two years should promote her to a paraplanner level rather than trainee and would like to help her evidence this to the management team that she should no longer be a trainee. Plus the salaray increase here from trainee paraplanner to paraplanner isn't a great jump (i know i've been there).

  • I think you have to take each case on its merits. If she can demonstrate that she has sufficient experience of writing a range of technical reports and the quality of her work has been comparable to diploma qualified person, then your management might take a view on it.

    It should work in her favour that she is already working there, as she will be known to management.
  • I would go through the criteria detailed on the apprenticeship. When I looked at this a few years ago there was a matrix of skills and descriptions of each competency level. I'd link it for you but I had it saved at my old firm and I can't currently see it from a quick Google. Hopefully you can find something similar. Funnily enough, I had looked it up intending to prove I wasn't a trainee anymore but it turned out I did have some gaps to fill and I ended up not showing it to management!

  • richallumrichallum Administrator

    Apprenticeship details here

    Paraplanner. F1, Apple, Nutella, ice cream. No trite motivational quotes. Turning a bit northern. Republican.

  • Interesting to see that an apprentice would be required to complete the Certificate in Paraplanning. I assume that the Diploma would be an acceptable equivalent? If I were to take on people in the future that wanted to study I'd be more likely to encourage them down the Diploma route, especially as the pensions module is absent from the certificate qualification

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