CFP designation will survive and thrive says FPA

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) believes its Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation can survive and thrive beyond the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) process, probably as a bridging mechanism.

FPA chairman, Neil Kendall has told Money Management that he accepts that uncertainty currently surrounds the future value of the CFP designation, but he believes it will not only continue to be relevant but will become more relevant.

Kendall has also acknowledged to Money Management that the uncertainty surrounding the future of the CFP designation had impacted enrolments in program with many advisers awaiting more clarity around future education pathways.

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According to the latest FPA annual report, the CFP designation represented the organisation’s second largest revenue generator after fees, and Kendell finds it unthinkable that it will not continue to be relevant.

“We don’t believe CFP is a minimum standard, we believe it represents the highest global standard,” he said.

“FASEA’s ability is only to recognise qualifications, not designations so it means the CFP doesn’t fit into the degree or graduate diploma boxes but what FASEA haven’t so far told is what represents an approved bridging course,” Kendall said.

He sees the CFP becoming part of the bridging course scenario because it covers off nine of the 10 Financial Planning Education Council (FPEC) curriculum criteria.

“Where do we fit, where do we want it to fit? We think it is inconceivable that it [the CFP] cannot be an approved bridging course and at this stage FASEA has given away nothing on approved bridging courses,” he said.

On that basis, it seemed entirely possible that those who had done the CFP could be counted as having completed an approved bridging course.

“That’s where we think it’s likely to sit initially,” Kendall said. “Longer-term the creation of FASEA has created an environment where the CFP becomes more valuable because right now you’ve got advisers out there who say they are more valuable because they’ve got a degree.”

“But in future there will be two standards – there will be degree-qualified financial planners and then there will be CFPs who have gone the extra step,” Kendall said. “So it will be very strong in future for the CFP because it will be the point of differentiation going forward.”




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The FPA have caused their own mess around CFP. It appears that over promising and under delivering seems to be the FPA way. They have burnt too many members too many times on opt in, LIF and now education standards. No one, especially clients, care about the "highest global standard"of CFP. Neil you are better working on a replacement for the lost revenue stream rather than the marketing spin, no one is buying it.

I'm afraid I disagree with Mr Kendall. I can't see any reason why anyone would do the CFP when additional study would be required to meet FASEA's demands anyway. Mr Kendall might believe it's 'unthinkable' that the CFP won't continue to pour rivers of money into the FPA, but I would call that pretty poor management. The FPA should be thinking about what happens if the CFP becomes irrelevant.

perhaps CFP will become the equivalent of a graduates professional year in accounting, I think that's what he's trying to suggest.

This is the organisation that trumpeted that it was the premier designation - all things CFP - on results this is a miserable failure on every level - AFA has done no better. $1200 or so a year - + cost of training - very poor value proposition. total bloody failure.

The FPA have proven time and time again that they are dishonest. The CFP 'designation' never has been, nor will it ever be the 'highest global standard'. I can't believe they have been able to get away with this for so long as it is clearly deceptive marketing. A post grad degree such as a Masters will always be a superior qualification.

The FPA has every reason to be concerned because the main reason members stay with the FPA is due to the fact the CFP designation cannot be used if they leave the association. Many CFPs that I speak to are looking to upgrade to a Masters so they can leave...

FPA failure by being vertically integrated education provider..interesting.

Once again the FPA is completely out of touch with the industry. Only because the CFP designation is a major source of revenue for the FPA they are trying to justify it's existence to ensure they keep this revenue stream. As I graduated from university over 5 years ago I have been holding of undertaking my CFP for the simple fact that I saw it as a nonsense accreditation. I hold an AFP I would rather spend the time and money towards (as others have indicated in the comments) on a post graduate qualification that is held in higher regards by the general public. Average joe would rather see me hold a Masters over a CFP designation.

It seems the FPA may itself be riddled with conflicts and this is perhaps the effect of when it ceased to be solely a member based organisation. The chairman runs a business that assists the public with complaints against Financial Planners through the FOS system to gain benefits - this is difficult to reconcile for me. Do complaints that come into the FPA get steered to that business? In a world that demands transparency this seems another own goal by the FPA, alongside it's insto supporters and now the education conflict.

The Chartered Accounting (CA) Program is both a designation and a qualification - Graduate Diploma of Chartered Accounting. Hence why has the FPA not been able to establish its CFP program as both a designation and qualification?!?!

As the CFP is 4 subjects shouldn't it be at least a Graduate Certificate (Australian Qualifications Framework Level 8). The CA is 5 subjects - just one longer and achieves status as a Graduate Diploma even though its 3 subjects short of the usual 8 subjects in a Graduate Diploma.

Hence why has the FPA not managed to get the CFP recognised as a qualification?

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