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

FPA welcomes clarification of education and professional standards reforms

Balancing experience and education key to safeguarding high standards in financial advice

The Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) today welcomed the Government’s proposed changes to education and professional standards reform in financial advice, in particular the transitional arrangements for existing financial planners.

Commenting on the announcement by the The Honourable Kelly O’Dwyer MP, FPA CEO Dante De Gori CFP® said that he was pleased that the Government is vigorously progressing the reforms, and thanked the Minister for acknowledging and accepting many of the concerns put forward by the FPA and other industry bodies during the consultation period.

“The reforms, which were released for consultation late last year, are designed to raise the education, training and ethical standards of the financial advice industry.

“The Minister today proposed the establishment of a standard setting body to administer the professional standards regime, as well as to develop the industry exam and code of ethics and determine the education requirements for new and existing financial planners.

“We welcome the proposal to establish a standard setting body, and in particular the assurance that it will have appropriate input and representation from industry, education professionals and consumers,” said Mr De Gori.

Mr De Gori went on to say that he was particularly pleased that the reforms have proposed a number of flexible pathways for existing financial planners to achieve degree-equivalent status, and that they will be given sufficient time to achieve this, as they balance the competing demands of work and further education.

“The new reforms will require existing financial planners to meet stringent education and exam requirements, but do not go so far as to require all existing planners to complete a bachelor’s degree.

“The FPA has long been an advocate for raising the professional and educational standards of financial planners, but it is important to recognise that many existing financial planners have training and qualifications of a very high level, as well as years of experience.

“In some cases, these very experienced planners may be exempt from the new exam if their skills, expertise and experience are judged to be of an exceptionally high standard, which we see as a great outcome,” he said.

In conclusion, Mr De Gori said that the FPA would continue to work closely with the government to ensure that the education and professional standards reforms meet the needs of industry and consumers.

“We look forward to reviewing the legislation in more detail and providing feedback. The most important thing is that we are all on the same page when it comes to our ultimate goal – to raise the standard of financial advice so that more Australians’ lives will be improved by access to professional financial advice,” he said.