CFP numbers surge amid education fallout

The FPA has heralded growth in the global number of Certified Financial Planners as some designation holders in Australia have questioned its worth under the new education regime.

The Financial Planning Standards Board – the global body that administers the CFP designation outside of the US and licenses it to the FPA in Australia – has reported a 3.2 per cent rise in the number of CFPs worldwide in 2017.

The designation now has 175,573 holders around the globe – 5,702 of which reside in Australia – with a goal of reaching 250,000 CFPs by 2025, according to the FPSB website.

The FPA issued a statement welcoming the finding and spruiking the alleged benefits and features of the designation.


“The continued growth of the CFP designation provides a larger pool of highly competent and ethical financial planners,” said FPA chief executive Dante De Gori.

“The CFP designation is the only financial planning designation recognised worldwide that requires financial planners to adhere to world-class professional and ethical standards.”

A spokesperson for the FPA also confirmed to ifa that Australia was not immune to the growth trajectory, with an additional 101 financial advisers joining the CFP ranks in 2017. 

However, a number of FPA members and CFP holders have recently questioned the enduring value of the designation in the wake of the state-mandated professional standards regime, including during a heated Twitter exchange between Mr De Gori and members last week.

In December, following the release of proposed guidance by FASEA, Mr De Gori clarified that the government is unlikely to consider holding the CFP sufficient to meet the incoming standards despite the significant cost and time commitments associated with the designation.

“A designation is something that you must maintain, whereas with a qualification, once you’ve obtained that knowledge they can’t take that away from you,” Mr De Gori explained.

The article airing Mr De Gori’s clarification garnered more than 90 reader comments, a great number of which claimed to come from CFP holders now questioning the designation’s worth.

The release of updated global CFP figures comes alongside the shock resignation of academic Mark Brimble from the chairmanship of the Financial Planning Education Council (FPEC) following conflict of interest concerns relating to his concurrent board position with FASEA and employment with Griffith University.

The FPA maintains FPEC is an “independent body” it established in 2011, but the FPA is listed as the council’s owner in records held by government body IP Australia.

CFP numbers surge amid education fallout
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