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

FPA congratulates Government on passing of Professional Standards and Education legislation

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) welcomes the clarity provided through the passing of the Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Bill 2016 by Parliament on Tuesday.

Commenting on the passing of the legislation, Dante De Gori CFP®, CEO of the FPA, said the legislation will provide assurance to consumers that their financial planner will be highly trained, experienced and subject to an enforceable code of ethics.

“The FPA has not only led the way in raising education standards for members, but also in advocating for raising education standards and ethics for all financial planners. The passing of the Bill is welcomed as it provides financial planners with more clarity and certainty about the future, and what may be expected of them.

“In May 2014, the FPA released a landmark White Paper that put forward a 10 Point Plan to prepare our profession for the necessary steps towards higher education and professional standards. This resulted in recommendations from the Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) Inquiry and the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) that have now been legislated. We congratulate the Government for getting the Professional Standards and Education framework passed through Parliament.

“FPA members already subscribe to a rigorous FPA Code of Professional Practice and Code of Ethics, and meet higher education standards. The new legislation means that all financial planners will now be required to have a higher minimum level of education, training and ethical standards. This will create a more level playing field and will help build trust and confidence with consumers.”

The legislation will be effective from 1 July 2017 and involve the establishment of an independent standards setting body to ensure clear education standards for any practising or aspiring financial planner. It will also set the professional year framework and continuing professional development requirements, setting a registration exam as well as developing a code of ethics for financial planners.

“We look forward to working with the new independent standards setting body once it is appointed, to develop the next phase of the framework. The FPA is committed to supporting members through the transitional period,” said Mr De Gori.

“Those that do not have a degree or equivalent qualification will be required to complete further studies such as a bridging course that will be determined by the new independent body by 1 January 2024. The FPA will be advocating that those who have obtained the CFP® designation and/or will obtain the designation after 1 July 2019, be recognised as an equivalent qualification.”