The role of Continual Professional Development (CPD)

The week has seen more exam success at Henwood Court, with Le, Declan, Lynette and Helen all learning that they had passed exams, some with distinctions!  Neither Le, Declan, Lynette nor Helen was required to take the exams from a regulatory perspective but instead chose to take these exams as part of their own personal development.

From a regulatory perspective the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requires all Advisers, Senior Managers, and all other relevant employees to undertake appropriate CPD.  The objective of CPD should be on allowing an individual to maintain their existing standards and to develop them to a higher level.

The logic is that the higher the standards of performance of individuals the better the level of service provided to clients, thereby improving the client experience, and enhancing the relationship.

All Advisers are required to complete a minimum of 35 hours CPD a year with the Compliance Office and Pension Transfer Specialists each expected to undertake a further 15 hours in addition to the basic 35 hours.

So that is the minimum regulatory requirement so why do we believe we should commit to doing more than the minimum?

I am aware that for some CPD is simply an exercise in ticking the required minimum 35 hours as quickly as possible, but for us CPD is a genuine tool to be used to measure an individual’s development and similar to clients where we ask them to describe a vision of their future for us so that we can help them plan for this future, CPD is a way of planning an employee’s development.

A commitment to CPD is simply an extension of our commitment to be the best we possibly can at what we do, and in so doing we demonstrate our commitment to our profession – remember financial planning is a profession which should be clear distinguished from working in the financial services ‘industry’.

CPD isn’t something that should simply apply to relevant employees.  To build a great team all employees have to be challenged to strive to be the best they possibly can.  This is why every employee at Henwood Court has a personalised development plan which will have as part of it not only internal and external training but also CPD in the form of professional exams.

Unlike a number of firms within financial services we still meet all of an employee’s study costs, not only the exam itself but also the cost of study material.  This type of financial commitment is becoming rarer today, but for us the benefits associated with seeing individuals fulfil their potential and the delivery of an enhanced client experience makes the financial commitment not a commitment but an investment in the future of Henwood Court.

Again, well done to Le, Declan and Helen brilliant achievements by all of you – I’ll have to see what exams I can do now!

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