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Why being a recognised professional is about more than promising not to break the law

Right now the media and other industry talking heads are claiming that we’re all professionals, that financial planning has become a profession.

Not so.

ASIC and FASEA have imposed new administrative, ethical and education standards on financial advisers but this isn’t what happens in the recognised professions. Can you imagine the Hippocratic Oath including a statement “I promise to do the minimum required by law”?

Professional standards aren’t dragged into line with community expectations by law-makers. The recognised professions are the experts. They set the standards. The public gets this which is why they hold the professions in such high regard.

Although being part of a recognised profession doesn’t come for free, it does bring significant benefits …

  • Immediate recognition of expertise – you are standing head and shoulders above the pack because you are holding yourself to a higher standard than the rest of industry.
  • Immediate trust – because you hold yourself to a higher standard (rather than begrudgingly accept standards forced on you by legislators) you are immediately more worthy of trust.
  • Less risk – one of the risks of being in a white collar business is the risk of liability arising from the advice you provide … professional standards legislation caps legal liability.
  • Lower costs – the knock-on effect of caps on legal liability are greater availability of professional indemnity insurance and lower premiums for recognised professionals.

… to name a few.

So what is the cost of becoming a professional? What is the price that one must pay in order to become recognised as truly different?

Join us for an in-depth view of what standards you are committing to when you ‘take the oath’ to join the ranks of recognised professionals. Part one in this series starts next week …