Study examines changes to financial planning profession

Tree in money 

The financial planning profession has experienced radical change in the last decade. Financial planners are now subject to more stringent education requirements and Western Sydney University and the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) are at the forefront of the research guiding this transitional period.

Professionals such as doctors, solicitors, engineers and accountants are required to complete minimum work experience requirements in order to practice in their professional field. As the government has submitted draft legislation to parliament to raise the educational, professional and ethical standards of financial planners, Dr Michelle Cull is conducting much needed research to assist with the implementation of these new professional requirements. 

Dr Cull's current research on career development models for financial planning is assisted by a grant from the Financial Planning Education Council through its Academic Research Grant Scheme sponsored by the Financial Planning Association of Australia.

Preliminary findings reported by Dr Cull's research show that:

  • Employers indicated that a more structured work experience program would assist both employers and graduates in their common goal to serve clients.'
  • Approximately 70% of a graduate's work experience training is in the area of soft skills such as developing client relationships, communication skills, conversational skills, networking, understanding client needs and feelings which are much more difficult to learn in a classroom environment.

Dr Cull has also reported that the preliminary findings of this study indicate that incorporating a work experience component as a professional requirement will allow graduates to refine both their interpersonal and technical skills and ensure they are able to apply what they have learned in a meaningful way.

In order to assist financial planning employers as well as future financial planners, the researchers invite those involved in the financial planning profession to contribute to the research which will shape the future of financial planning as a profession.

Industry professionals can complete the survey online


30 January 2017

Media Unit