I recently posted my thoughts around continuous professional development (or CPD for short) for financial planners and financial advisers on Linkedin but I wanted to elaborate more on my views by writing this article. It will be great to hear your perspective and experience with CPD offered in the market since it became a Fit and Proper requirement in 2018.

You can watch the video if you prefer

My thoughts

Offering quality CPD solutions and content since 2017, I observed that there are 2 main issues when it comes to CPD for financial planners and advisers…

1. Time

2. Quality of the content

The time required to earn CPD

The time issue is multi-fold.

You often have the opportunity to earn CPD without paying for it, but you have to travel to the event, spend the time required and then travel back. This could easily cost you between 4 and 5 hours to earn 2 CPD points.

And as you know, time is money. So how much is your time worth?

When you determine what your time is worth, the average financial planner or adviser’s time will be worth around R 850 per hour. That translates into a cost of around R 3 400 to earn the 2 CPD points that you got for “free” from a product provider. You can break that down further and say that for every CPD point, it costs you R 1 700.

The quality of CPD

The quality of the content (and the delivery thereof) is sometimes not of a standard that would be expected when it comes to CPD.

Content may be out of date, over most people’s heads, not applicable to the audience or simply just based on theory with no or very little practical application. Or, in my opinion, even worse when CPD Providers repurpose content that was designed and created for Class of Business purposes. How can we use content for continuous professional development that is meant for new advisers just starting out?

An important consideration for me is that when you leave a CPD event, that you are able to apply and use what you learned to better and grow your business. What does it help listening to things that you will never deal with or come across in your practice?

A third issue… attitude

So many planners and advisers who have been in the business for a long time, who have a process and a team feel that there is not much (if anything) to learn anymore.

When I talk about “attitude” I do not talk about it in a negative way such as “this is just a money-making scheme”. It is more from the point that many planners and advisers feel that they have learned everything they need to serve their clients and now that they’ve learned it, they do not need to keep learning or studying.

This is a major reason why people are looking for shortcuts and easy ways to earn their CPD.

We’ve seen in all our face-to-face courses where people that have completed their Post Graduate in Financial Planning qualification several years ago, realise how much things have changed since they completed their qualification.

Back to costs of CPD

Going back to my statement about the cost of earning your CPD for “free”, the total cost to earn 18 verifiable CPD points through attending “free” CPD events, based on my assumptions above, adds up to R 30 600. Enough to make any person think or even cry (except procrastinators of course 🙂 just a little light humor).

And granted that the total cost can be a little cheaper when you attend full-day events as you will cut down on travel time… but the cost is still very high in relation.

Are free CPD events bad then?

Not at all.

I am saying choose wisely the events you attend, why you are attending them and if it will be of the required standard and relevance to you and your business.

The right learning is never a waste of time or money. The right learning will always save and make you money. It will always be worth much more than what it cost you. It changes from a cost to an investment.

What are your thoughts?

I am keen to hear how you feel about:

  • CPD?
  • The time you spend on it?
  • How do you experience the content?
  • Are the CPD activities you undertake adding value to your business?
  • If not, what would add value?

We are here to serve you and, not only do we ensure you get the best content, but that you also have an enjoyable experience, save loads of money and grow your business.

Looking for a CPD solution?

We specialise in CPD for financial planners, financial advisers and other financial professionals.

  • Ignite – our flagship CPD solution providing you access to all our online CPD accredited content, preferential pricing for courses and other exclusive offers
  • Face-to-face CPD accredited courses – for deep learning and mastering of various financial planning disciplines
  • Quality online CPD content – earn CPD any time, anywhere on any device as and when it suits you – purchase single programs or purchase a bundle that suits your needs and save in the process

Francois du Toit, CFP®

Francois du Toit, CFP® holds a B. Com degree in Risk Management as well as the Post-Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning. He is an avid miniature figure painter with a passion for helping others succeed and for professionalising the Financial Services Industry. He holds the certification of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® or CFP® in good standing with the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa as well as being a registered Tax Practitioner with them and SARS. Francois offers a unique and powerful proposition to businesses employing Financial Advisers and Broker Consultants that leads to significant improvement in production and reduced advice risk. His practical experience, success, technical knowledge and understanding the challenges and opportunities in this field, ensure immediate practical application in the target market. Francois has designed and created very successful online courses for the Financial Planning Institute and has trained hundreds of financial planners, advisers and other trainers for among others Old Mutual, PPS, Liberty, Iress and atWork. His ability to answer questions that relate to practical on-the-ground issues is what sets him apart from traditional trainers who may not have been in practice.

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