In an overwhelming positive for the financial advice industry and future-proofing the profession, leading education provider Kaplan Professional has announced a record number of financial advisers who have graduated from postgraduate financial planning qualifications in 2020 and 2021. Over 1,800 advisers have graduated from postgraduate qualifications that include: Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning Master of Financial Planning This means over 3,000 advisers have graduated from Kaplan Professional postgraduate financial planning qualifications since 2017. There are also thousands of advisers who are still in the process of completing their postgraduate qualifications. Interesting demographical insights from 2020 – 2021 cohort The youngest graduate is 22 years old and the oldest is 78 years old. 63.6% are male and 36.4% are female. 66.3% are metropolitan-based, 33.3% are regional-based and 0.4% are based overseas. Where advisers who have graduated are located State NSW VIC QLD WA SA TAS ACT NT O’SEAS % 29.3% 26.3% 21.1% 11.3% 7.4% 2.7% 1.2% 0.3% 0.4% Age profiles of advisers who have graduated Age group 18-30 31-40 41-50 51-60 61+ % 25.5% 30.8% 26.2% 15.3% 2.2% What the industry should be celebrating Kaplan Professional Chief Executive Officer Brian Knight said he was incredibly proud of what the advisers who have graduated have achieved despite the challenges of the pandemic. “They have achieved their postgraduate financial planning qualifications under challenging circumstances and have been able to successfully overcome any obstacles that may have come their way. “This is a story that the industry should be celebrating,” he said. Setting a positive example Knight said the advisers who have graduated are setting a positive example to follow. “These advisers have put in dedication, sacrifice and immense hard work for not only themselves and their loved ones, but for the betterment of their clients and profession. “As an educator, Kaplan Professional passionately believes in the benefit, power and value of education. “Over the past two years, we have been delighted to hear the stories of countless advisers who have reached out to us specifically to share their pride in completing their education journey and achieving their goals. “Many have reflected on how their learning experience has played a substantial role in increasing their confidence as an adviser and further developing client trust and professional recognition,” he said. Commitment and support from licensees Count Financial Chief Advice Officer Andrew Kennedy said his licensee was committed to the ongoing professionalism of its adviser network and the financial advice industry more broadly. “It is important that we work with partners that share similar values to us and play a strategic role in enhancing adviser education. “Kaplan Professional has played a key role in helping us achieve this objective, with their strong focus on technical matters, regulatory impacts and ethical standards. “As a licensee, creating positive client outcomes is essential, so we invest heavily in the learning and development of our advisers to ensure more Australians can access quality advice. “We have also received very positive feedback from our advisers about their experience studying a postgraduate qualification with Kaplan Professional – we are delighted with the support they have provided us and look forward to continuing this relationship into the future,” he said. Industry Fund Services Head of Technical Services & Advice Enablement Craig Sankey said his licensee was quick to recognise the importance of professional study for both individual advisers and for the industry as a whole in moving towards a profession. “IFS has encouraged and supported advisers to study not only to ensure they meet minimum legislated education requirements but in order to enhance their skills specific to financial planning. “We are pleased to report that the uptake of study by our licensed advisers with Kaplan Professional has been tremendous, especially considering many had not studied for a long time, and we are already in a position where over two thirds of our advisers have completed their education journey,” he said. Encouraging lifelong learning Knight said Kaplan Professional would be launching an ‘Alumni Advantage Program’ in the coming weeks. “Feedback from advisers is that they are anticipating continuing their education journeys to achieve a Masters degree or even complete single subjects in specialist areas of interest to them and their professional practice such as aged care. Some are also aspiring to achieve a professional designation, such as the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) Certified Financial Planner® CFP or the SMSF Association SMSF Specialist Advisor (SSA™). Whatever advisers want to achieve, we want to do everything we can to support them to continue to achieve their education goals and bolster their credentials,” he said. The achievements of Kaplan Professional’s cohort of 2020 – 2021 graduates will be celebrated and recognised at graduation ceremonies in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in mid-May and early June.