SAQA approves title change for the FPI’s designation

16 May 2019 Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa NPC (FPI)

On 26 April 2019, the South African Qualification Authority (SAQA) Board approved the title change of the FPI’s RFP™ professional designation from Registered Financial Planner to Registered Financial Practitioner.

The approval came after the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa NPC (FPI) made an official request to SAQA during February 2019 to update the SAQA approved designation from planner to practitioner.


Why the FPI is no longer phasing out the RFP™ designation

In 2012 the strategic focus of the FPI was to focus on the CFP® designation as the gold standard for financial planning, with the AFP™ and RFP™ designations as pathway designations to the CFP® certification.

In 2018 the strategic focus of the FPI shifted to ensure that professionals can operate in financial advice and/or financial planning. The phasing out of the RFP™ designation would have left a large gap for financial advisers on an NQF 5 level who wanted to hold a professional designation. As a result, the FPI took the decision not to phase out the RFP™ designation any longer.

The AFP™ designation is though replaced with the FINANCIAL SERVICES ADVISOR™ (FSA™) designation. The FSA™ professional designation is now also a SAQA Registered professional designation in terms of the NQF act.

We believe that the RFP™ designation holds value due to members being required to abide by the FPI Code of Ethics, which hold members to a higher standard than the suitability requirement in the FAIS Act.

Why the change from “planner” to “practitioner”?

During October 2014 the then Financial Services Board (FSB), today the Financial Sector Conduct Regulator (FSCA) distributed the South African Retail Distribution Review (RDR) document. RDR states that an adviser that also qualifies as a financial planner may also use the additional designation of financial planner.

In order to make it clear that the level of qualification needed by a financial planner is on an NQF 8 level, we had to change the RFP™ designation from Registered Financial Planner to Registered Financial Practitioner as the underlying qualification needed by an RFP™ professional is on an NQF 5 level.

The title change is therefore aimed at protecting the terms “financial planning” and “financial planner” and for making it clear that the financial planner referred to in RDR is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® with an underlying qualification at NQF Level 8 or higher.

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