Certificate in Paraplanning vs Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning

Hi everyone,
New member here 👋🏾 just wanted to say hello and ask for some advice regarding exams. I’m currently looking for junior paraplanner roles, having been in admin for nearly 2 years now. I have passed R01, R02 and R03. I’m contemplating sitting J09 so I can get my certificate in Paraplanning or just continuing with the R0s to get the full Diploma in regulated Financial Planning with the CII.

A lot of junior paraplanner roles are asking for level 4 qualification so was thinking to studying for the J09 to aid with my job search, but would getting the full diploma be better in the long run?

Any advice would be appreciated!


  • I personally would go for Diploma first. That is the exams the advisers need and it's helpful to be able to have conversations with people that have the same qualifications. J09 can be taken later on if you feel the need.

    Or, you can continue on with level 6 qualifications (and perhaps use J09 for the extra credits, should you need them)

  • Same view point as Andy. I would concentrate on getting the diploma first and pick up J09 later if you want to tick that box.

    I see lots of jobs for paraplanners wanting people either with the diploma or working towards it. I've never seen a paraplanner advert say working towards Certificate in Paraplanning.

  • Agree with the above comments, only use it as a filler for going to chartered, by which point your career might have taken a new angle
  • Thank you for your comments everyone! I didn’t realise I could use J09 to pick up extra credits down the line. I’ll continue with the R0s in the meantime 😊
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