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Financial Planning Standards Council Unveils New Details About FP Canada™: A National Professional Body to Advance Professional Financial Planning
Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) unveiled new details about FP Canada—a national professional body dedicated to advancing professional financial planning. FPSC previously announced that effective April 1, 2019, FPSC will become FP Canada, with a broad new scope that will more effectively position the organization to lead the direction of professional financial planning in Canada.
FPSC has long served Canadian consumers by setting and enforcing standards for the financial planning profession and certifying only those financial planners who have demonstrated that they meet the standard. FP Canada will continue to play this critical role through an independently governed division—FP Canada Standards Council™—while FP Canada takes on important new responsibilities, through its newly created FP Canada Institute™ division.
In particular, the Institute will deliver Professional Education Programs and other tools to prospective and existing financial planners, to help them meet the needs and expectations of all Canadians seeking financial planning advice from a truly qualified professional. The Professional Education Programs will cover topics such as:
• learning how to apply technical knowledge to holistic, real world client situations;
• communicating important messages effectively;
• understanding and applying the key psychological and behavioural factors that motivate clients; and
• identifying and addressing real world ethical issues that financial planners face every day.
Following a transition period, the FP Canada Institute's Professional Education Programs will become mandatory new steps on the paths to certification, rounding out and enriching prospective financial planners' knowledge and skills. The new programs will complement the core and advanced financial planning education programs that are required for certification, which will continue to be delivered by FP Canada-approved education providers.
"As Canadians navigate a world defined by ever-advancing technology and increased complexity, the role of professional financial planners is becoming even more important," says FPSC President and CEO Cary List. "FP Canada's Professional Education Programs will ensure planners are properly equipped to deliver the counsel and solutions that Canadians need."
FPSC is also pleased to announce the introduction of QUALIFIED ASSOCIATE FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Effective January 1, 2020, the new QAFP™ designation will replace the current FPSC Level 1® certification with its own unique path to certification. Whereas CFP professionals are equipped to provide financial planning solutions at the highest level of complexity required of the profession, QAFP certification will indicate that an individual has demonstrated the knowledge, skills, experience and ethics to provide holistic financial planning strategies and solutions for clients with less complex planning needs.
QAFP certification will fill a critical gap in the existing financial planning landscape. It will provide access to professional financial planners for clients who may have previously not had access to CFP professionals. FP Canada will own and administer QAFP certification and will ensure certificants meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism and will be held to the same ethical standard as CFP professionals.
"There's a huge cohort of Canadians who are currently missing out on the important and much-needed counsel and guidance of a professional financial planner," says Dan Busi, CFP®, FPSC's Board Chair. "QAFP certification will fill this gap by providing more Canadians with access to appropriately certified professionals."
FPSC has established an Industry Advisory Council (IAC) to provide strategic feedback and support on key aspects of FP Canada's Professional Education Programs. Members of the IAC play an instrumental role in ensuring that those FP Canada certifies have the knowledge, skills and abilities to meet and/or exceed their client's demands. The inaugural members of the IAC include: BMO; CIBC; Great West Life/London Life; IG Wealth Management; Scotiabank; and TD.
As previously announced, Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) has signed on to become a Proud Partner of FP Canada. This partnership will lay the groundwork for establishing a truly unified Canada-wide financial planning profession, with a strong coordinated voice. As part of the agreement, FP Canada will operate in both official languages to the extent possible, including providing a bilingual website that will launch on April 1, 2019.