A new online, self-paced training program, “Path to Professionalism”, has been launched by the Profession of Independent Financial Advisers (the Profession) at its annual national conference held in Canberra last month.
President of the Profession, Daniel Brammall, said “the eCourse equips advisers with all the tools necessary to practise a Gold Standard of Independence and receive the recognition that comes from being certified as an independent professional.”
New independence laws
The release follows announcements by the Treasurer Josh Frydenberg that new laws will be introduced next year requiring advisers to warn clients if they are not independent. The initiative also comes a month ahead of FASEA’s financial planner code that bans conflicts of interest.
The response to date from industry associations has ranged from declaring how much revenue its members stand to lose, through to circulating a discussion paper asking for ideas. This apparent leadership vacuum caused one adviser to observe in the trade press last week that her association’s close relationship with the insurers and banks “means they have absolutely no way of helping advisers provide independent advice. It doesn’t appear [they] realise where the industry is headed.”
Practical material drawn from 10 years’ experience
Since 2010 the Profession of Independent Financial Advisers has been coaching advisers on what it takes to become independent and the benefits of going down that path. “We’ve spent the last 12 months distilling those experiences into an online coaching program for financial planners,” Daniel said. “This eCourse empowers you to rise above the regulatory noise – it’s available to all qualified financial advisers who want to do something to help themselves.”
Content of the eCourse
The program comprises 8 modules, addressing such topics as …
- Charging for insurance advice in a way that make sense even for young families,
- Communicating the extra value of the services you will offer as an independent adviser, and
- The keys to pricing and positioning fees, even if there are no products involved.
About the eCourse, Daniel said “Some of the coaching points in Path to Professionalism are more structural – the nuts and bolts of actually being independent, whereas others are more behavioural such as the sort of mindset that brings confidence.”
Time to completion
Asked how long a participant is likely to take to complete the program, Daniel advised that it depends on where each adviser is starting from on his or her journey to independence, and how motivated he or she is to use the tools the program provides. He further said “You can implement this material to reduce the regulatory intervention to not much more than noise, provided you take action now.”
Daniel also gave a caution: “Don’t waste your energy hoping for last minute intervention by your local MP or an industry association to stop the inevitable. This is actually a huge opportunity and everything you need to take advantage of that opportunity is right there for you. It’s up to you.”
Details about the eCourse are available at www.pifa.org.au/members.
Daniel Brammall is available for interviews, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.