I’ve woken up this morning in a rather wet and windy South Wales, in a hotel room at the Celtic Manor Resort overlooking the Severn Bridge.
Arriving yesterday evening, I’m here for a couple of days attending the Institute of Financial Planning (IFP) Annual Conference.
Our regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), requires each Financial Planner to complete a minimum of 35 hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year, of which at least 21 hours must be ‘structured’; to satisfy a particular learning outcome.
As a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) professional, my own annual CPD requirement is a slightly tougher 50 hours each year.
We know that many of our clients have a similar CPD requirement and attend conferences or workshops during the year to keep their knowledge up to date.
Even without these CPD requirements in place from our regulator and professional body, we would undoubtedly undertake a similar amount of professional development each year.
We work in a technically complex and constantly changing business environment, where our knowledge and skills needs to be regularly updated so we can deliver the best advice to our clients.
Over the next two days I will be attending sessions covering the changing landscape for Financial Planning, how to deliver a better client experience, protecting assets from being wrongly taken to pay for care, joined-up retirement planning, a behavioural framework for philanthropy, and much more.
Of course attending conferences like this isn’t all about the official sessions and presentations.
Yesterday evening in the bar was a great opportunity to catch up with my fellow professionals, exchange tips for books to read and podcasts to download, and generally share best practice.
If I have time between sessions, I’ll post some more blogs here to share what I learn from the speakers.
In the meantime, I’m heading off in search of a hotel breakfast!