An increasing number of advisers are signing up to complete the AFA's Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP) designation as higher minimum professional standards are due to take effect later this year, the association has announced.
In a statement, AFA chief executive Brad Fox said enrolment numbers in the masters-level FChFP course had increased significantly in recent months.
“The momentum built quickly toward the end of last year and we have responded swiftly to ensure that the AFA can continue to support the financial advice community to manage and deal with the changes being experienced,” he said.
The AFA has employed two new staff members to its member services and campus AFA team to cope with the rise in students and new members, according to the statement.
Mr Fox said the FChFP program was rebuilt last year for the Australian marketplace to address higher expectations for adviser education.
He suggested the program had been designed to combine theory with client-centric training.
“We believe that the education standards debate has to reflect practical advice outcomes,” he said.
“Advice strategy and theory, the technical knowledge, is an important part, but the ability to create advice that deals with the non-technical demands of the client and is effective in helping a client to change their behaviour is also needed.”
The AFA has also announced it will be upgrading its membership experience software.
“This investment in upgrading our software will further enhance our engagement with our members and, as new members join the AFA, they will immediately experience the value of their AFA membership and feel a part of our professional community,” Mr Fox said.