The professional provision of financial planning or related services is a role imbued with trust and confidence in the Australian community. Financial planners are entrusted with their clients’ financial security and have the capacity, through their professional engagements to profoundly influence their clients’ financial future.
How an FPA member manages his or her relationship with the client and conducts him or herself professionally during the course of a client engagement is of critical importance professionally.
All FPA members must:
- Identify and act in accordance with their duties both to the profession and to the public interest the profession serves.
- Avoid situations and conduct which reflects adversely on their integrity or fitness as a financial planner, membership of the financial planning profession and the FPA, or upon the FPA.
The FPA Code of Professional Practice
The Code of Professional Practice is the key document detailing the obligations of FPA members in the financial planning profession.
The Code has three enforceable components:
- Code of Ethics
- Practice Standards
- Rules of Professional Conduct.
From time to time, the FPA issues guidance in relation to the whole of any part of the Code of Professional Practice and may elaborate on the application of the Code of Ethics. surrounding the Code and how it is to be interpreted. The Guidance is an enforceable component of the Code.
Professional Ongoing Fees Code
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has granted relief (ASIC ‘opt in’ relief) to participating FPA members who comply with this limited code from the requirement in section 962K of the Corporations Act 2001 to provide ‘an opt in renewal notice’ every two years to clients who are subject to an ongoing fee arrangement. The FPA Professional Ongoing Fees Code is designed to protect disengaged clients from paying ongoing financial advice fees where they are receiving little or no service.
Conduct Review Commission (CRC)
The CRC is an independent body put in place to ensure members are held accountable to the FPA Code of Professional Practice and Code of Ethics. The CRC plays a vital role in regulating the conduct of FPA members and upholding the highest ethical standards within the financial profession.
The key functions of the CRC are the following:
- Determining whether disciplinary proceedings should commence against members
- Hearing and determining complaints against members in respect of breaches
- Hearing and determining appeals.
CRC Guidance Notes
CRC Panel Members
Our disciplinary process was put in place as a formal mechanism to investigate complaints against FPA members. Members who are found to have breached the Code may be sanctioned under the FPA Disciplinary Regulations. Decisions about whether an FPA member has breached the Code and whether they should be sanctioned under the Disciplinary Regulations are made by the Conduct Review Commission.
To maintain our ongoing commitment to the highest professional accountability standards, the FPA has recently undertaken a proactive review of the FPA Disciplinary Regulations. The revised Regulations came into effect on 1 January 2019.
Disciplinary Regulations - how it works
Disciplinary Regulations - Member Reference Guide
The FPA Constitution outlines how the FPA, in conjunction with an elected Board and Executive team, should conduct its operations. The Constitution also imposes certain requirements on the FPA in terms of the publication of reports and regulations.
The FPA Membership Regulation, in conjunctions with the FPA Constitution, sets out the obligations and rights and privileges of each sub-category of membership, identifies eligibility criteria and elaborates on membership requirements.
FINANCIAL PLANNER REMUNERATION
It is important that remuneration in the financial planning profession is clear, concise, comparable and, most importantly, aligned to a service that delivers value. The FPA Remuneration Policy 2009 sets out the principles, definitions and guidelines upon which FPA members will rely. This policy sets out a high level framework for remuneration.
Regulation 02/04 – using the CFP® Marks
This regulation explains the use of the FPA brand by members, including the use of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®, CFP®, Financial Planner AFP® trademarks and associated logos;
Professional Standards and Conduct Committee
The FPA Professional Standards and Conduct Committee is charged with the responsibility for maintaining and regularly reviewing the Code to keep it alive to the current issues of practice. Professional peers on the committee continue to welcome member comments and feedback on operational aspects of the Code.
The Committee has the purpose of advising the FPA Board on strategies, activities and policies that will ensure the FPA operates effectively as a Professional Organisation, acting to build trust and confidence in the professionalism and services of its members.
Each quarter, Money & Life magazine publish a Complaints & Discipline Report which provide a summary of complaints received by the FPA. These are now available to download.
Please email or call our Professional Standards team directly on 02 9220 4518.