Continuous Professional Education

Fulfilling the requirement of Continuous Professional Education (CPE) is one of the most important criteria in renewing a professional’s license with relevant Regulators.

Being a Licensed Independent Financial Planner, it is compulsory for me to clock in a certain number of hours before I can have my license renewed for the next couple of years. In my opinion, CPE is good that it provides relevant courses for practitioners to sharpen their knowledge and skills. In this world of ever-changing and rapid development, consultants must ensure that they stay current and relevant. By doing so, it enables them to provide accurate information and exercise current practice methodology when advising their clients.

As would other professionals, like medical specialists, solicitors, accountants, engineers, etc, they have to return to “classrooms” to learn the latest techniques, receive updates of information, changes in standard practice, amendments on any codes, and the like.

I have friends and clients wondering why I keep attending seminars and seeking further education. It’s like no end to it. It’s true that there is no end to learning process. I was once told by someone wise that, we are always on learning mode; The only time we stop learning is when we are dead. I do agree with that statement. When one refuses to learn anymore, the brain blocks off new information and everything else remains status quo. No further development of any kind…..what a pity.

In my course of work, providing strategies to client’s wealth protection and preservation takes a lot of brain exercise, not from me alone, but together with my regular team members too. There is no fixed templates for any one case. Each case is unique and demands customised treatment and application. Consultants are entrusted with the client’s most private information and expected to act in their best interest, in providing solutions to their concerns.

The continuous professional education program also provides a platform for industry practitioners to meet and exchange knowledge. Of course, we do not share information which are private and confidential. In such environment, there are no competitors but fellow colleagues. Financial Planning is a broad subject. It comprises of Risk Management, Tax Planning, Investment Planning, Retirement and Estate Planning. It can be done on modular, by section as mentioned before, or it can be comprehensive, all in one. It is further divided to Personal Wealth Planning and Corporate Wealth Strategies.

Being a professional is not an easy task. Besides meeting clients, attending to piles of analysis and reporting, one has to go back to “studying”, either for a day or two workshops (CPE) or pursuing further formal education, e.g. Degree, Masters or PhD. The additional knowledge will not be a waste, but would in fact, enhance the capability and competency of the person. I am a firm believer of continuous life long learning. Applied knowledge is always an invaluable asset to any individual. It lets us see things in different perspective, which others might not have thought of. It is certainly challenging to learn and master new skills. This is what make our lives interesting, isn’t it? Imagine life without sparks and issues to solve….boring, right?

For those of you who are employed, be a willing learner when employers send you for training or seminars. I know it is difficult but try to be grateful. I met many employees during seminars whereby majority of them complained about being sent there by their employers. They would always be surprised to know that I actually paid for the seminars, from my own pocket, which they get for free!

If you have just stopped learning, it is time for you to pick yourself up to start learning something new, and apply it to your old practice. You have to keep up or you’ll end being part of history, before the “expiry date”. Remember, the only thing which stays CONSTANT is CHANGE.

~ Alice N.

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