The Financial Planning Association of Australia The Financial Planning Association of Australia

Technical education and personal development top of list at Professionals Congress

Technical education and self-development emerged as core professional development principles for financial planners at the FPA Inaugural Professionals Congress.

The event, which took place in Sydney on 17 and 18 October, welcomed over 1,000 financial planning professionals from around Australia.

The program was designed to develop planners from an educational and professional development perspective, based specifically on needs identified by FPA members. The Congress included sessions on the technical aspects of advice as well as on Leadership, Best Practice and Personal Development.

CEO of the FPA, Mark Rantall said, “Financial planning has undergone significant changes, in both a regulatory and cultural sense with the implementation of FoFA and a continuing emphasis on professionalism being a focus in recent times. Congress was an opportunity for the professional planning community to come together and celebrate our successes and the success of our peers as individual practitioners.

“Our goal was to provide delegates with a program that was, above all, practically beneficial to both their professional practices and their own personal development. We are engaging with delegates to receive structured feedback to ensure we continue to provide our community with the development it needs and the feedback we have received so far confirms that the Congress program met the needs of our community.”

Among the most popular and highly rated sessions were personal and professional development topics, such as personal time management and consumer targeted sales and marketing.

These evaluative conversations revealed that members benefited hugely from the event, with one delegate testifying that, “The Congress was a great way to connect with like-minded professionals and to really learn how to engage with clients and build a growing, sustainable business in this ever-changing industry.”

Social networking was also a focus at the Congress, with delegates encouraged to interact on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The event hashtag, #FPACongress, achieved the number one trend in Australia on Twitter with over 2,100 tweets posted before, during and after the event. The FPA Australia Facebook page had an audience increase of over 350%.

Mr Rantall said that the growing importance of social media as a professional communication tool was a key factor in providing delegates with social media support and expanding the online element of the Congress.

“Interaction between planners and clients is vital and with an increasing number of conversations happening online it is important that we are encouraging our members to use social media and ensuring they are equipped to do so.

“As a professional organization, we also understand that social media is an effective way for us to communicate with our communities and the wider financial services industry on an ongoing basis. We hope that the valuable conversations from Congress continue in the social sphere and we look forward to being a part of that.”

The 2014 Professionals Congress is scheduled to take place in Adelaide on the 20th and 21st of November next year.