Michael Miller

Overlooked for some of the more notorious parts of the Code of Ethics, Standard 12 has flown under the radar yet presents one of the strongest opportunities for the professional to self-regulate.

Capital Advisory director and certified financial planner Michael Miller will be hosting sessions across all dates on the United Associations Roadshow, hoping to collate a knowledge base on how the profession understands and approaches Standard 12.

“When we really look at Standard 12 and the way it’s actually written and the guidance that has been given, it’s the key to unlocking the concept that we can increasingly take responsibility for our own standards,” Miller tells Professional Planner.

“A lot of practitioners would like elements of self-regulation – a lot of Standard 12 is a key of what this is. We don’t have a strong history of self-regulation; it’s always been very externally imposed.”

Standard 12 states: “Individually and in cooperation with peers, you must uphold and promote the ethical standards of the profession and hold each other accountable for the protection of the public interest.”

Miller says there is interest in gaining a read on the current impression of Standard 12.

“It would be interesting to see how that compares to what has been said in financial planning already and outside [of the profession],” Miller says.

“When we look at some of the accountability aspects, there’s often not a right or wrong to approach it.”

FASEA’s guidance on the standard underscores a vision for advisers to be in the driver’s seat for professionalism.

“This standard deals with relevant providers’ professional relationships with each other, emphasising that they need to be supportive and aligned to the profession as a whole – a profession that acts ethically and professionally.”

Miller says what has been left out from the discussion of the standards is discussion around how approach peer accountability.

He adds advisers understand the sense they must do something, but don’t know where to start.

“It’s putting in a framework in place for people so it’s not [necessarily] the answer, but they [have an idea] of what they would consider,” Miller says.

Passionate discussion