FPA on CFP recruitment drive

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) has reminded planners that this year's second intake of Certified Financial Planners (CFPs) closes this Friday.

FPA chief executive Mark Rantall said member feedback indicated an increasing number of clients expect their planner to hold the CFP mark.

The FPA also pointed to recent Investment Trends research showing two thirds of planners thought the CFP designation had a positive influence on their reputation, and 41 per cent believed it had a positive influence on their business growth prospects.

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Enrolment in the program now requires applicants to have completed either an approved Bachelors or a Masters degree, a move first flagged back in 2003 then cemented in 2009 as part of a drive to increase the professionalism of the industry in response to planning disasters such as Storm Financial. 

Enrolment also requires planners to hold Authorised Representative or representative status with an Australian Financial Services Licensee, and that they are employed in a position that satisfies the definition of 'approved practitioner experience'.

Two further designations - Life Risk Specialist and Accredited Estate Planning Strategist - sit alongside the CFP designation. The FPA said all three are complementary but so far there are only four practitioners in Australia who hold all three marks.

FPA chief professional officer Deen Sanders said there continued to be strong growth at the university level in terms of the number of CFP-aligned degrees being offered, and that growth in programs will transfer into growth in the number of new students in CFP-aligned courses.

CFP enrolment itself is also growing consistently, with numbers this year already up on last year, Sanders said. There were 85 professionals who graduated from the CFP program in the last semester alone, he added.

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