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

FPA rolls out education and professional standards framework to PJC

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) today rolled out its proposed Education and Professional Standards Framework to the Parliamentary Joint Committee (PJC) Inquiry, as it continues to champion the need to change current education requirements within the financial planning profession.

According to Mark Rantall, CEO of the FPA, the new framework would see the Financial Planning Education Council (FPEC) be gifted to the industry as an independent body that would become the gatekeeper of minimum education standards and requirements for those providing personal financial advice to consumers.

“Now is not the time to reinvent the wheel – we already have a reputable body in FPEC that can uphold the standards set by the profession. Our proposed framework would allow FPEC to do just that for the industry, without being tied to any one association or group,” Mr Rantall said.

The FPA’s proposal would specifically improve financial planner education through a national financial planning curriculum and University audits. This model would then allow professional bodies and the regulators to work together in setting continued professional development, standards and ethics.

Specifically, the FPA proposes:

  • A minimum degree qualification plus one year’s relevant experience for new financial planners from 1 January 2018;
  • Minimum 90 hours CPD per triennium for all financial planners; and
  • A co-regulatory model that recognises professional bodies to maintain and enforce Codes of conduct

“We welcome the opportunity to put our views forward on what the advancement of our profession should look like in terms of minimum degree qualifications to be a financial planner/adviser. We know however that when implementing new standards, it’s important we lead for the future yet respect the past. That is why we have advised introducing an appropriate transition and pathway options for existing advisers, to be competed by 1 January 2019.

“We are committed to working with government, industry bodies, financial planners and consumers to ensure we live up to the expectations of our profession. We want consumers to feel empowered and to realise the benefits of trusted financial advice. This is why it is important for them to know that their financial planner is a member of a professional association; is listed on a public register; is qualified and carries the world class CFP® designation,” Mr Rantall said.

In conclusion, Mr Rantall pointed to recent ASIC enforcement actions to highlight the clear distinction between financial planners who are members of a professional association and those who are not.

The FPA’s full opening statement to the PJC Inquiry is available here.

The FPA’s proposed Education and Professional Standards Framework is available here.