The Financial Planning Association (FPA) is urging the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) to place professional associations at the centre of its proposed new continuing professional development (CPD) regime.
In a submission filed with FASEA on the proposed new CPD regime, the FPA has suggested that while it should still be open for licensees to approve CPD, it believed FASEA set the criteria for assessment of CPD.
“We also recommend that licensees can fulfil this requirement by adopting by reference the CPD policy of third-party organisations, such as professional associations,” the submission said. “Further, we recommend that for a licensee to approve CPD that it has been accredited by a third-party assessor, such as professional associations.”
Elsewhere in its submission the FPA also urged against lifting the CPD requirement to 50 hours a year and instead, like the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA), urged retention of the current 30-hour CPD regime.
However, it suggested that higher CPD requirements could be imposed by professional associations in similar fashion to the manner in which the FPA treats those holding its Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation.
“For example, the FPA requires CFP members complete 120 hours of CPD over a triennium,” the submission said.
The FPA said that while it was generally acknowledged that CPD programs in the financial services industry were more robust and of higher quality than other industries, the FPA had been concerned for some time that CPD is viewed by many in the industry as merely a compliance obligation, and that quality and choice of CPD programs and activities had been too limited for too long.
“FPA members also regularly point out that the current CPD regimes have created confusion and inconsistency due to multiple regulators, professional associations and content providers each establishing different CPD frameworks to comply with,” it said.
“The introduction of professional CPD standards set by FASEA creates an opportunity to address these issues.”