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

National financial planning curriculum launched

The Financial Planning Education Council (FPEC) today launched its approved national Accreditation and Curriculum Framework for financial planning degrees, establishing an agreed foundation for qualifications that encompasses and exceeds the regulatory requirement for financial planning education courses in Australia.

The launch was at the biannual meeting of the Financial Planning Academics Forum (FPAF), and on the same day as an occasion marking 20 years of the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA).

While National Guidelines have existed for some years for vocational qualifications in financial planning, university courses have varied immensely with little consistency in the content and shape of qualifications.

The FPEC has brought together academics and practitioners to define a financial planning curriculum for degree qualifications. The accreditation guidelines have been developed by academics and practitioners and the launch follows extensive consultation with universities and other providers of degree-level education. The FPEC will specifically have the power to approve individual programs that satisfy requirements for admittance to the CFP® certification program.

Launching the Accreditation Framework, Mark Rantall CFP®, CEO of the Financial Planning Association said:

“Establishing a uniform curriculum not only provides the Universities with a clear view about the high standard of learning and graduate outcomes expected of financial planners, it also ensures a clear and dedicated relationship between academia and the profession.

“The newly approved National Curriculum marks another important milestone for the FPA as we progress towards the professionalisation of financial planning in Australia. The FPA first announced its degree requirement for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® practitioners in 2003 and implemented this requirement from 2007. From July 2013, all new practitioner members of the FPA will need an approved degree.

“It is important that all Australians are assured of the educational qualifications and competence of those people who hold themselves out as financial planners.”

Professor David Lamond, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Offshore Branch Campus Development) Victoria University, and Chair of the FPEC, said:

“Following broad consultation, the FPEC has endorsed the curriculum standards and produced separate guidelines to assist organisations seeking recognition of their courses. On behalf of my fellow Academic and Professional colleagues on the FPEC, I commend these standards to you and encourage you to join with us as we progress this community to a strong professional future.”

Dr Mark Brimble, Co-Chair of the FPAF, Deputy Chair FPEC: Research and Academic, said:

“In 2003 there were few degrees in financial planning. Today there is a vibrant community of academics who specialise in financial planning education. The FPEC Framework will provide a sound basis for all stakeholders in terms of the expected knowledge and skills outcomes for students of higher education programs in financial planning in Australia. We welcome the new standards and look forward to an increase in the number of universities and other approved higher education providers who participate in the accreditation process.”

The national financial planning curriculum launches today and the first accreditations will be completed by the end of 2012.