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How to keep on top of CPD

Advisers from across the UK talk about what they do to meet the regulator’s CPD requirements.

Mark Reeve

Chartered financial planner, Reeve-Sims


‘Finding continuing professional development (CPD) that is relevant to you, so you’re not just doing it for the sake of it, can be a challenge. However, you can find excellent CPD seminars. For instance, I’m currently writing my dissertation for my master’s degree and I recently attended a great two-day conference with the University of Bath.

CPD should be about a process of self-development, discovering what you, your business and your clients need to develop rather than a box-ticking exercise. It should stimulate your brain and help you build and improve your client proposition.’

Joss Harwood

Director, Eldon Financial Planning,

Bishop Auckland

‘At Eldon it is ingrained: we do CPD and enjoy doing it. Our favourite method of gaining CPD is a financial services and advice newsletter we receive: it’s short but topical and in-depth. It keeps us up to date with the issues in the industry. It goes around the entire office: even the paraplanners and administrative staff read it.

I also enjoy gaining CPD through co-hosting a local radio show. It’s a great way to get information across to the public. Having to think through how to explain financial news clearly is useful when it comes to talking with clients.’

Ian Roberts

Director, ARW Wealth Managers


‘I haven’t found CPD to be a burden, provided I structure it so it is relevant. I tend to pick and choose the seminars and structured learning for general fund manager presentations rather than the more specific product-based ones. You can then top up on the more technical areas if they are relevant to you.

Recording CPD can be a bigger problem. If the regulator was to do away with the reflective statement, I’d be a much happier man, but I have an accountancy background, so CPD is nothing new.’

Paul Richardson

Managing director, Concept Financial Planning


‘CDP is something we’ve always been doing. There are so many different ways of fulfilling the [regulator’s] requirements. Some of the exams can offer real fulfilment and, as you can do them online, they are not that intrusive. It can be time-consuming, but there is so much technology that makes gaining CPD easy.

It’s important the CPD is actually relevant: it needs to be more than just reading the paper because you won’t actually gain any advantage from that.’

Richard Williams

Owner, Copperstone Financial Services


‘I don’t see the point of CPD, particularly after completing four years of study for level four. What we need is a period of stabilisation to get used to the retail distribution review, to allow it to bed in.

I was all for level four and happy to go through the process, although only 10% to 15% of the material has been useful.

A higher-level qualification is not a guarantee that an adviser is not greedy or dodgy: some of the worst cases of advice I’ve seen have come from planners who were chartered. A higher level of qualification can mean you just have higher-level cockups.’