IFAAA to professionalise and change its name
1 December 2017
The Independent Financial Advisers Association of Australia (IFAAA) today announces its intention to
become a profession by submitting an application to the Professional Standards Councils (PSC) for an
Occupational Scheme, under the Professional Standards Act 2004. This means, when successful, all
members of the IFAAA will be nationally and legally recognised as professionals, a ground-breaking
first in Financial Services.
“For the first time in the history of financial planning in Australia an Association will be recognised as
genuine professionals in the eyes of the Australian law”, announced the President of the IFAAA,
Daniel Brammall. “In addition, as part of our commitment to professionalising the industry, the
IFAAA will be officially changing its name to the Profession of Independent Financial Advisers” (or
PIFA), Mr. Brammall said.
“We have been working with the PSC for the last eighteen months to ensure we complied with their
very guided instructions. We now have an invitation from PSC to finalise an application for an
Occupational Scheme. We are a small and nimble organisation and we have the full support and
commitment of all our members. There is an exhaustive vetting process that applications needs to
get through however we feel very confident the PSC will have no difficulty completing the
assessment process promptly. This is a long overdue move to professionalise the industry ”,
explained Mr. Brammall.
Once the Occupational Scheme is in place, all PIFA Practising Members will adhere to PIFA’s
professional standards, which includes a compliance and risk management framework, complaints
and discipline protocols, and a Code of Ethical Practice. The Scheme will conduct member quality
assurance audits every year and go through an open and rigorous reporting process to the PSC.
Although this will be a thorough administrative process carried out annually, Daniel Brammall
maintains that it won’t be altogether much too different for PIFA Members.
“Each PIFA Member already practices the IFAAA Gold Standard of Independence, and therefore most
of the ‘heavy-lifting’ has been done to be able to qualify as a ‘statutory professional’. The missing
piece for the IFAAA was the annual audit and verification process for each Member which is what
the Occupational Scheme will achieve for PIFA and for the ultimate benefit of the Australian
consumer”, Mr. Brammall said. “Australians will soon have the added benefit of the extra level of
security that PIFA Members will bring to their service”.
In their bid to ultimately change the landscape of Financial Services, PIFA has simultaneously
introduced a category of membership, the Associate Member, which will be a strictly transitional
style of membership with a view to the Associate Member advancing to Practising Member and
statutory professional within 18 months of joining PIFA.
“This idea has been in the making for quite some time now”, Mr. Brammall said. “PIFA believes all
financial advisers deserve the opportunity to become a legally recognised professional because
fundamentally, they joined the industry as trained advisers to help their clients make smart choices
about money. Unfortunately, these advisers came into an industry that was fundamentally
practising a conflicted model of service and there was very little hope of breaking free from that
model. The PIFA Associate Member category will coach financial planning businesses as well as
individuals who want to transition to legally authorised professionals”.
The PIFA aims to publicise the transitional Associate Membership program early in 2018 and roll out
the program nationally in mid-2018.
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