Advocis is introducing two new professional designations and establishing minimum education requirements for new members as part of the organization’s attempt to get financial advisors recognized as professionals.
“With an eye to the future, the Advocis board of directors has approved a plan that includes changes we believe are necessary to establishing the level of professionalism that will allow the industry to demonstrate to the government, regulators, the public and other stakeholders that it is capable of self-regulation,” Advocis said in an email to members.
Members deserve to be recognized as professionals
Advocis says its membership deserves to be recognized as a profession, just like doctors, lawyers and accountants, and beefing up its own requirements is the right place to start especially with ongoing regulation, increased competition and more focus on protecting consumer interests.
As of the beginning of January 2019, all new Advocis members will be required to meet minimum education requirements while current members will be grandfathered.
Ontario plans to regulate financial planning
The Ontario government has promised to regulate the financial planning profession in the province by restricting the use of some financial planning titles and imposing specified proficiency requirements.
Advocis already has a best interest standard as part of its professional code of conduct. However, it has held fast to its belief that only the profession itself, not regulators, can interpret how to apply the standard.