Sarah Abood (left) and Brian Knight

Kaplan Professional and the Financial Advice Association have paired to launch the Advice Academy to help set a “best of breed” PY standard in the industry.

The academy has three goals: boosting new entrants, creating a best-of-breed Professional Year tool tracker/analyser, as well as doing more than meeting the minimum requirements.

At a breakfast in Sydney last week, FAAA chief executive Sarah Abood said this will help solve the ‘big gnarly problem’ of boosting numbers of advisers in the profession.

“I hasten to add we’re not trying to add more requirements on to regulations that are already pretty stringent, this is not about going above and beyond the law,” Abood said.

“This is about making sure that these new entrants are job-ready – that they have the skills that they need and the confidence they need to go into a meeting with a client, to confidently present a strategy, to talk about fees, to talk about the benefits of advice.”

Abood said part of the initiative that tackles new entrants will seek out candidates among high school students, career changers and overseas students, and help tailor PY programmes to match the different streams.

“Every candidate is different though. The offerings through this PY will be tailored to the needs of individual candidates,” Abood said.

“The needs of a 35-year-old [former] teacher are going to be the quite different to the needs of a 21-year-old fresh graduate.”

The program won’t be limited to FAAA members or Kaplan students and instead would be an asset and resource to be used across the profession.

“These programs are for professional financial advisers. This is not about pathways for qualified advisers, although QAs might be some of the people that come into the program if they find they love what they do,” Abood said.