Members of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) have less than a month to consider their submissions to this year’s FPA Best Practice and Honorary Awards.

With the codes of conduct administered by associations under increasing regulator scrutiny, the awards will recognise financial planners who best adhere to the FPA Code of Professional Practice.

Mark Rantall, chief executive of the FPA, said that the awards are an opportunity for financial planners to be recognised for the difference they make not only in their clients’ lives, but also within the industry and community as a whole.

“Financial planners often go above and beyond for their clients, and we regularly hear inspiring stories of planners who have really made a difference in the lives of their clients,” he said.

“These awards recognise that role by acknowledging planners who have not only complied with the Code of Professional Practice, but in so doing have offered a considerable contribution to the profession through community involvement, mentoring and support to their local FPA chapter.”

What the winners say

Past winners of these awards, who will also serve as judges this year, report they have experienced benefits from both a personal and business perspective as a result of this industry recognition.

“When there’s a lot of focus on dealing with the consequences of the GFC, reform, costs and increased competition, it can be easy for outsiders to forget that our work is first and foremost about assisting clients,” said Mark O’Leary, winner of the 2012 Future2 Community Service Award.

“The Cancer Council Pro Bono initiative we worked on gave us the opportunity to help clients in very difficult circumstances and provided our team of advisers plenty of examples of the importance of comprehensive planning. Being recognised by the FPA with this award was also helpful in highlighting the value we provide to our existing clients – it gave our firm greater credibility.”

AwardFPA1Shane Lenehan, winner of the 2012 Financial Planner AFP Best Practice Award (right, receiving award from Andrew Starke), said being involved had been a fantastic experience.

“It has helped me articulate our advice process and how we add value to clients. Winning the award is recognition from our professional body that our business is on the right track, and the publicity generated for Silvan Ridge has been very well received,” he said.

Michelle Tate-Lovery, winner of the 2012 Certified Financial Planner Professional Best Practice Award added that the recognition was a mark of excellence for her business, “signalling to clients old and new that we provide a quality financial advice experience”.

“Financial planning can be life changing for people, so it’s fantastic that the FPA recognises the work planners to do help our clients through the Best Practice Awards. I would encourage planners to share their good work and success stories by submitting for the awards,” she added.

 How to enter

All members of the FPA are eligible to enter the awards, and can submit an application to three categories: FPA Certified Financial Planner Professional Best Practice Award; FPA Financial Planner AFP Best Practice Award; and Future2 Community Service Best Practice Award.

State winners and runners-up will be chosen in each award category. A national winner will then be selected in each category from the pool of state winners.

The deadline for submissions for all awards is August 21 and winners will be announced in September in the lead up to the inaugural 2013 FPA Professionals Congress in mid-October, where they will be presented with their awards.

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