FPA confirms CFP sign-ups have taken hit

17 July 2019

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has acknowledged a significant downturn in the number of registrations for its Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation, but its chief executive, Dante De Gori, believes it can survive and thrive beyond the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) regime.

At the same time as publishing an explanation of the continuing value of the CFP designation, De Gori confirmed to Money Management that while his organisation had forecast on the basis of fewer sign-ups this year, that (reduced) budget forecast had almost been met.

Past FPA annual reports had revealed the CFP designation as being one of the organisation’s most important on-going sources of revenue.

Related News:

De Gori said he was also optimistic that notwithstanding the reduced revenue generated by the CFP designation and the costs associated with meeting other FASEA obligations, including the possibility of becoming a code-monitoring body, the FPA would end the year with a financial surplus.

“We always knew that the obligations imposed on planners by FASEA would impact the CFP equation and we budgeted accordingly,” he said. “Members are simply prioritising the FASEA regime and the need pass the examination.”

However, De Gori said the reality for those already undertaking the CFP designation, there was an imperative for them to finish to ensure they received the FASEA credits attaching to the course.

He said that while it was undeniable that there had been a reduction in the revenue flowing from the CFP designation, the FPA was still benefiting from its continuing professional development (CPD) regime.

“We are actually looking to enhance that CPD regime, recognising the needs of planners in the current environment,” De Gori said.

Recommended for you




Nobody should be wasting their time and money on doing the CFP program.

The FPA propagated the proposition that CFP designation was regarded as the most recognised qualification for professionalism.
What did you do for those who bought into before 2013 ?
The answer is, you abandoned them under the FASEA legislation !
Every one of those CFP member should sue the FPA for false and misleading statements.
I would suggest anyone now considering FPA/CFP membership think again !

Is a professional organisation there to make a profit? Surely the members are the most important part of the organisation, not the managers, not the CEO, this pursuit of profit does not serve the members interests, it serves the executive interest only. This is why the FPA is so ineffective, you ask anyone on the street who runs the FPA? No one will know. Then ask them if they want their planners to have a CFP, 99% will say what is that? They live in their own little worlds these guys, fantasy land its sometime referred to.

you are absolutely right in that the only people who value designations are those who have them. the public don't care.

and, the proliferation of designations means it is less and less meaningful each passing year. There are over 200 designations in finance alone, how does a lay person meant to know them all.

as for the associations, they are only interested in Self aggrandizement. they don't care for their members. ask any CPA Australia member

the CPAA got dragged through a massive public ordeal and were plastered all over the place for their governance failures, over 1,500 members protested. set up a website and raised money for legal action (which ultimately failed).

subsequently the CPAA undertook a review, no action recommended, all aok, ex- CEO left with a nearly $5m golden handshake.

members still angry, and we are meant to take governance lessons from them.

CFP registration is likely down as its not even accredited as a Graduate Certificate.
Surprising give CA is a designation and awards a Graduate Diploma (even though only 5 subjects). Further, the CFP was to be restructured but has been delayed. Its no surprise registrations have fallen.

Having nearly completed a Master of Financial Planning its difficult to see the value in CFP when the ethics bridging subject will not even give exemption for CFP1.

The CFP course does effectively provide the same 4 units of RPL as a Graduate Certificate. Even though strictly speaking CFP is only 2 units of RPL, you also get 2 units for ADFS/ADFP which is a prerequisite for CFP.

Unfortunately there is no RPL whatsoever for prior ethics training, including CFP1. Not even a doctorate in ethics is worth anything. This seems to be driven by appalling conflicts of interest on the FASEA Board, rather than anything to do with educational standards or content.

i don't understand, perhaps you could explain.

why you would want to do the CFP a lower level qualification with no AQF designation after completing a 12 (?) unit master of financial planning.

why would you do that?

Originally as the Masters gives exemptions gives exemptions from CFP2, CFP3 & CFP4. So 75% of coursework done... However, reconsidering given doing a 2nd ethics subject (CFP1) and a 2nd (ndustry wide) exam seems an unecessary step.

are you telling me that you are going to do a m.fin plan. then do the mandatory ethics subject for fasea. then do an exam with fasea and be totally qualified, and in fact in the 1% as most advisers will not have a masters degree like you, and then you were thinking of doing another ethics subject with fpa, and another exam with fpa in order to do what? be more qualified?

makes no sense at all to repeat the same coursework after you have already done it an AQF Level 9, and then to have to do it at a lower (no AQF) level.

are you sure you are ok? (RUOK)?

No!!! I am NOT doing an ethics subject and a industry wide exam twice! I'll only do CFP if FPA ever get around to recognising that Masters are a higher qualification and restructure the CFP course. Hence why I am rethinking whether I have any interest in the CFP.

"if the FPA get around to recognizing that masters are a higher qualification"

who are the FPA ? that we need their permission or recognition. i have a masters degree, and i don't consider the CFP anywhere near as good as my qualification. Masters IS a far superior Qualification. a cfp holder is not as well qualified as I am.

and the statutory authority regulating the education framework for financial advisers agrees with me.

the statutory authority, The Financial Advisers Standards and Ethics Authority says the following:

a. Master of Financial Planning - Approved Degree (subject to it being on the register of FASEA as an approved degree) (mine is)

b. CFP = 2 RPL no AQF, need to do more study up to 6 more units and obtain a grad dip

c. ADFP = 2 RPL at AQF 6

so the CFP is not AQF 8, but equivalent to an AQF 6 i.e an advanced diploma. this has been done to death. no more. CFP is equal to an Advanced Diploma only. Period.

If the Master of Financial Planning is done at a University or somewhere else does really affect the quality of the degree. I am doing mine through University of New South Wales as it had a tighter set of core subjects which allowed electives to be chosen and still meet FASEA approved degree status,

no, that is outdated thinking. the kaplan masters is equally good if not better than unsw. universities are not the sole purveyors of knowledge.

Bill, having recently completed a masters where I attempted to get the Kaplan "grad dip" I did on the 00s assessed as RPL, I can tell you that no university at the country will give you RPL for anything from Kaplan. I can still hear the assessors laughing as I argued my case. (I did get RPL in the end, but it was for my old Deakin DipFP which I did in the 90s)

It doesn't matter whether the universities give you RPL or not, most are inclined not to. Try getting RPL from Sydney uni, they won't give an RPL for any subject completed at any university in australia. their policy is not to award any RPL.

but their policy is not a judgement on your qualification, they are in the business of selling courses, the more RPL's they award the less money they make, so they try not to award any.

what matters is the kaplan masters is an approved qualification by FASEA and is on the fasea education register already and your deakin dip fp is not so I WIN.

and in the end, what matters is who wins.

it's probably because your qualification is more than 10 years old. you generally do not get any RPL for any courses you have completed more than 10 years ago from many universities. this is a broad principle applied by most if not all accredited HEP's in australia.

in any case, your opinion about Kaplan masters doesn't matter, i am approved, you are not. that is what matters.

Universities award degrees. When I did my DFP at Kaplan it only said fulfilled requirements of which I understood was what they also write on the Masters. Universities issue a completion letter before the graduation which effectively is what Kaplan are writing on the Masters degrees. I rather have a Masters actually awarded to me.

FPA argue that CFP is AQF Level 8 not no level. My point was if so why isn't it a Graduate Certificate???

Having held the CFP status/designation for 19 years, it has effectively been a huge WOFTAM ... it did little to boost my business (unless I spruiked it personally) even though renewals included an advertising "levy"...it earnt me nothing under the FASEA regime...the FPA didn't represent me or the FP industry as I/we would've liked them too in the recent RC & public scrutiny...emptying my pocket annually for theirs! - the relief that came on 1st July this year when I realised I was no longer a CFP was epiphanistic & refreshing & I strongly recommend it to any current CFPs teetering on the brink of chucking it in! :-)

Sounds like you were a grandfathered CFP, not a real CFP. You have done everyone a favour by getting out. Hopefully the other grandfathered CFPs will quickly follow.

The FPA's greatest failure has been their unwillingness to force grandfathered CFPs to upskill or get out. That's how we ended up in a situation where the FPA has no credibility, and a bunch of conflicted course providers was handed the role of educational standards setting. If the FPA had a genuine commitment to professionalism they could have ended up in a similar role to CA, and FASEA would have been completely unnecessary. The continued protection of grandfathered CFPs by FPA board members over the years has landed everyone in the current mess.

Anon, you sound like you have a very high opinion of yourself over ramjet and perhaps you are right to have that belief, but I hope it is not simply based on the fact that you have the 5 unit CFP and ramjet only complete the qualifications to the standard of their day (plus CPD each year). In time, the current 5 unit CFP will be assigned to history, the HSC will evolve and have different subjects, Universities will change offerings of Degrees and you may find that you no longer hold a qualification that is relevant - and then you might remember what you said about ramjet.

Well I agree with your comments, and FYI, I was not a "grandfathered" CFP :-)

Are the FPA surprised. The CFP program has been the biggest waste of time and money and the FPA should be sued. Not least for continuing to try and flog this for their own financial gain.
The FPA is just have to ask the FSC and instos for more handouts to survive and promise to continue doing anything they tell them too.

I was reported to one of our associations for saying in what was supposed to be a 'private - invite only' social media group that I had completed the study for one of the designations but wasn't currently a member so I could not advertise the designation etc. Didnt take long for someone to give me quite a hostile call about having said online (in a private, not public space) that I had completed the study for the designation (which is factually true).

Ironically, what they didn't realise is that I was in the process of organising membership with the association for TPB etc. Following the phone call, the first thing I did was go with the competitor association. I genuinely thought it was a stitch up.

One really has to question membership given the behaviour of their fellow members dragged before the Royal Commission. Charging clients fees for no service, taking bribes, lying to ASIC 22 times. These members have caused over regulation and more red tape. Shame on FPA members.

Add new comment