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

Planners to discuss continual world’s best professional standards in era of structural reform

The Masterclass aims to be a forum for professional discourse and a visible public commitment by the FPA and its members to continually raise the benchmark for best practice in financial planning advice and how to apply it correctly in practice.

The FPA developed a new edition of the Code of Professional Practice, which was launched in June 2011. The Code outlines the professional obligations for all members of the FPA in order to provide best practice financial planning advice for clients.

Members wishing to differentiate their professionalism in the marketplace for financial advice in Australia make three important commitments, highlighted in the Code:

Join a professional body and maintain their professional membership,

Commit to the highest standards of professional conduct; and

Be prepared to be held professionally and publicly accountable to those standards.

“The FPA has forged the pathway for professionalism in financial planning and this Masterclass will help ensure all members continue their individual journey towards the highest standards of ethics and professional conduct. The FPA Code of Professional Conduct distinguishes our members as holding highest standards globally and ensures that they are prepared to place the interest and welfare of Australians first.” said Mark Rantall, CEO of the FPA.

The Masterclass, led by Dr June Smith, CEO of the Code Compliance Monitoring Committee, will offer members the opportunity to ask questions, discuss scenarios and seek clarification of pertinent issues.
Dr June Smith said “It is incumbent upon any professional service provider to continually observe issues of ethics and professional behavior. Given the current reform environment, this is particularly timely for all engaged in the provision of financial advice in Australia.”

Dr June Smith produced a study Ethics and financial advice: the final frontier earlier this year, one of the first of its kind in the world. The study revealed real reputation risk for financial advisory firms
that cannot ensure their planners can meet ever increasing ethical and conduct standards. The study also found that Certified Financial Planner professionals have the highest level of ethical reasoning and as a result are best prepared to face complex ethical dilemmas in daily practice. The Code of Professional Practice puts this reasoning into effect.

“The FPA, through previous work and addressing the topic of professionalism at the National Conference, shows its continued commitment to all Australians and ensuring the advice they receive is to the highest standard. I fully support the movement of the FPA towards professionalism in the industry,” Dr Smith said.