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How to Become a Registered Paraplanner

By: Rebecca Lee

 

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If moving into the field of financial services is something you’re interested in kicking off this year, then you’re likely looking at the field of paraplanning to get your start. 

As you might already know, the field or role of a paraplanner is to essentially assist with more senior staff workflows and take some of the things off their plate when it comes to documentation preparation, research for clients and other rather time-consuming duties such as Statement of Advice documents. 

That in mind, you’ll want to begin your journey to becoming a paraplanner with a recognised education facility, where you’ll be able to step into the field well-prepared and ready to climb the financial services ladder. 

All that said, let’s take a look at what you’ll need to become a registered paraplanner.

Paraplanner Qualifications and Requirements

To start, it’s important to understand that in many countries, the financial services field is tightly regulated, which means there are a few certifications and licenses you’ll be required to hold in order to become a registered paraplanner. 

A few of these include registrations with financial institutions and certain educational requirements as well as certifications. 

That out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the qualifications of a paraplanner and what you’ll need to do in order to get them. Below we look at the necessary steps needed in Australia, similar to many countries. 

The Australian Corporations Act

To start, Australia’s Corporations Act requires any individual who plans to or is interested in offering financial service support to hold a specific education level in line with the ASIC Regulatory Guideline 146 (RG146). 

What this means is that you will need to have some sort of formal or certified workplace training when it comes to financial services. 

On top of this, you’ll also be assessed by employers regarding these educational requirements, which means you’ll need to be able to show that you have these relevant certifications under your belt before you can begin to offer support services to financial planners and advisors. 

With that requirement met, you will also need to prove or at least show that you have an adept knowledge in the field of financial planning — as will have been taught in the formal education you’ve undertaken. 

This is a requirement given that you’ll need to be able to draw on this knowledge when it comes time to work independently in the workplace.

To help you better understand the requirements of a registered paraplanner, you’ll need to boast a degree or an Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning or an Advanced Diploma of Paraplanning as your first step to becoming a registered paraplanner. 

With those educational requirements met, you’re well on your way to holding the knowledge and theoretical experience in financial planning to gain your paraplanning registration. 

A Breakdown of Formal Education

As we mentioned above, there are some formal education requirements along with licensing and other recommendations. A few of these including gaining a license, depending on where in the country you live. 

Step One

It’s suggested and strongly recommended you kick start your career as a paraplanner with a Certificate IV or equivalent from a formal educator. 

You’ll be far more adept in your craft when you have a Cert IV in Financial Services under your belt and this will help to fast track your way towards becoming a financial planner. 

Step Two 

From your Certificate Degree, it would be worth your while to move on to a Diploma or an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning like the one outlined above from the Monarch Institute Australia. 

These are the more in-depth degrees which will allow you to better perform and accelerate your career growth in your role. You’ll also find that employers better respond to those holding a formal education. 

Step Three 

Step into the field of paraplanning and work to either learn on the job or continue your education while working under a financial planner and you’ll be on the way to succeeding in your field and moving on to become a financial advisor or a practice owner. 

With those educational requirements noted, it isn’t too hard to see that paraplanning only requires one to two formal education steps, which allows you to step into the field and begin to work right away. 

Licensing and Summary 

To end, it’s good to keep in mind that all workplaces will essentially need a paraplanner to hold the most basic Diploma of Financial Planning degree under their belt, and things simply move on from there. 

There aren’t any required licensing procedures unless these are specifically required by your workplace, and with the diplomas and certifications under your belt, you’ll be able to rest assured you have all of the basic training to undertake your day’s workflows without too much stress or any complications. 

Published: January 14, 2021
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rebecca lee

Rebecca Lee

Rebecca Lee is the content manager at Extras.com.au. She's responsible for creating content centered around saving money and managing finances. In her spare time, Rebecca enjoys the occasional glass of red wine while reading a book.

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