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Quality mark plan raises CFP questions

Advisers worried about how the CFP designation will fit in with Financial Advice NZ’s planned quality mark for advisers are being told to wait for more details.

Wednesday, February 14th 2018, 6:00AM 2 Comments

by Susan Edmunds

Since it was revealed that the new professional association would administer its own quality mark, there have been concerns that it could dilute the standing of the IFA-administered Certified Financial Planner (CFP) mark in this country.

More details are expected on the Financial Advice NZ quality mark next month. It is believed that CFP will be the domain of the financial planning member advisory committee.

Fred Dodds, chief executive of the IFA, said advisers needed to wait before they formed a view. He said the quality mark details had not yet been finalised but it would not be the type of system that required advisers to have a level seven qualification. “It will be different.”

Adviser Murray Weatherston said CFP had been a “poor relation” for a long time.

He said Financial Advice NZ could not hold out CFP as its quality mark because too few of its members would have it.  But he said it was unclear why the new body needed a mark at all. “When the government is introducing a standard that all advisers must meet, why would that organisation feel it had to have something different from that?”

He said, since regulation introduced the concept of AFAs, CFPs had been sidelined.  The number of people in NZ with the accreditation has dropped over recent years. There are now 279.

“Now that the new regime brings in entity licensing firms will decide for themselves what they require.”

Stephen O’Connor, former chair of the Financial Planning Standards Board, said he had reservations about the Financial Advice NZ mark. “A quality mark from a professional body needs to be a quality mark not just a mark given to everyone because they are a member. There should be requirements that need to be met.”

He said he was “not worried but wondering” where the quality mark would fit with the CFP. “Whether there is going to be enough emphasis placed on CFP. The certification has lost traction particularly since regulation started. It’s something we need to focus on and put effort into to revive it.”

Adviser Paul Sewell, who is a CFP, said the quality mark would have no impact on CFP.  He said the CFP standard was seen as an international designation and something to aspire to. But more work should be done to increase the numbers of CFPs in New Zealand. He said the new professional body could be one way of increasing interest in it.

Tags: CFP Financial Advice New Zealand Fred Dodds Murray Weatherston

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Comments from our readers

On 14 February 2018 at 9:17 am John Milner said:
As a CFP and CLU for that matter, I guess it’s a case of wait and see for now. However, I would be disappointed if the CFP mark was sidelined in any way. After all, AFA is really only an entry level to the industry and the only requirement as an RFA is to fog the mirror.
On 14 February 2018 at 3:25 pm Another AFA said:
I see CFP as additional education in a field that requires very little knowledge to operate. Standard Sets A/B/C/D/E are quite limited in education value and do not set the bar very high. Yes, AFA's must complete a certain amount of CPD each year, but how much of this is actually of value and advances knowledge? If I were a young adviser starting out, I'd be hungry for more education than that provided by the AFA standard sets. I thoroughly enjoyed the 8 CFP papers, the challenge of the assignments, the exams and discussing the papers and concepts with others at the time.

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