I took the decision to pursue the Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provision (ADRP) quite quickly after joining the department, and I’m very glad I did. My route into pensions administration was not a traditional one – I started as a secretary in LCP’s actuarial practice and spent some time in marketing before joining the pensions administration department six years ago. So, while I had some pensions knowledge before starting it, the ADRP really helped to formalise that basic knowledge and put it into context. The course is structured so that knowledge of various areas is built over time, which mirrored how I was gaining experience at work, enhanced my understanding, and – dare I say it – increased my enjoyment of pensions!
Having biannual sittings was useful and allowed me to study flexibly. When I started studying I had enough free time to take two exams each sitting - that changed once I had my son, at which point taking one exam every six months was plenty.
I felt like I could study at my own pace, and the study package at LCP really helped support my progress.
And, of course, there was plenty of encouragement from others who had previously studied for the qualification. My weekly mentoring sessions were invaluable – my colleagues very generously helped prepare me for each sitting by explaining how they had approached the study material, kept my study on track and tested me rigorously as exam day got closer.
The syllabus is sufficiently broad to touch on all the main areas of pensions and benefit provision, and after completion of the core units there is the option to take those modules that most relate to your work or interests. It is, therefore, very much up to you how you want to shape your qualification in order to get the most out of it.
Now that I have completed the course I feel much more confident in terms of my technical knowledge, and proud to be an Associate member of the PMI. I believe it will help with my career progression, as it’s given me a good grounding in a broad area of pensions topics and a level of understanding that has already been useful in my role. It has allowed me to view industry developments ‘in the round’ and assess their impact on our work more thoroughly and strategically than before. It’s a meaty qualification that involves a substantial time commitment, but the structure of the course makes it a manageable challenge. So, if you are looking for a way to really engage with your work in pensions and progress your career, then I would recommend considering the ADRP.
It’s a meaty qualification that involves a substantial time commitment, but the structure of the course makes it a manageable challenge. So, if you are looking for a way to really engage with your work in pensions and progress your career, then I would recommend considering the ADRP.
This article was featured in Pensions Aspects magazine July/Aug edition.
Last update: 19 July 2021