FPA, FPA Professional Practice & CFP


The Financial Planning Association (FPA) represents the interests of the public and Australia’s professional community of financial planners.

Of 10,000 members and affiliates, more than 7,500 are practicing financial planners – accomplished professionals who adhere to high professional standards and put their clients’ interests first.

The FPA provides the leadership and professional framework that enables members to deliver quality financial advice to their clients. Members include over 5,500 CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® professionals – the global symbol of excellence in financial planning.

All FPA practitioner members are bound by a Code of Professional Practice that demands higher professional standards than those required by law, and they must meet continuing professional development requirements.


To represent professionals: to become a member of the FPA, financial planners need to meet higher standards than the minimum levels required by law, so we represent the true professionals in the financial planning industry.

To advocate and advance the profession: we represent the collective voice of our members and their clients when lobbying government, the opposition, the regulator and other bodies.

To set and maintain high standards: we set and enforce professional and ethical standards for our members to make sure that they conduct business to the highest quality.

To award certifications: we are the only Australian body that assesses and awards the Certified Financial Planner® or CFP® designation, which is the highest certification available to financial planners worldwide.

To foster professional development: we design and offer an industry-leading range of training programs to help financial planners keep their knowledge and skills up to date.

How the FPA can help you?

The FPA’s main mission is to raise the professional standards of financial planning in Australia, with the aim of protecting consumers from unethical practices and safeguarding their best interests.


Not all financial planners are the same.

FPA members agree to:

  • Be truthful about their skills, capacity, experience and benefits they   receive
  • Clearly document the range of services and the type of relationship you agree to
  • Disclose any limitations in their ability to provide certain services and products
  • Explain all applicable charges and costs to you before they provide any services.

FPA members are committed to a code of ethics and professional conduct, so you can rest assured that they’ll put your interests first and do the right thing by you.

The pinnacle of financial planning is represented by CFP® professionals. By achieving the ultimate level of education and ethics, these FPA members stand for the highest professional standards in the world today.

Frank Santagada is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER®  Professional

CFP - SIgn of Good Advice 280515


Be wary of people who call themselves financial planners but are not sufficiently professional or even qualified. Alarm bells should start ringing if you come across any of the following signs:

  • Doesn’t have professional licence, qualifications or FPA membership.
  • Doesn’t take time to learn about your individual circumstances, needs and goals.
  • Is more interested in selling you a product than developing a strategy for you.
  • Promises you the world (ie high returns and low risk) and tells you not to worry.
  • Avoids questions and withholds information.
  • The fees and charges are not clear or appear excessive.

Investment Options (Aust) of Townsville has been accredited an FPA Professional Practice by the Financial Planning Association, in recognition of their high professional and ethical standards.

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) is Australia’s peak professional body for financial planners. The FPA Professional Practice program is designed to recognise financial planning practices that go above and beyond, to deliver best practice financial advice in the local community.

As an FPA Professional Practice, Investment Options (Aust) is now eligible to use FPA Professional Practice branding in their offices, on the company website and marketing literature to clearly differentiate the practice.

To quality for FPA Professional Practice status, businesses undergo a rigorous screening process and are required to meet the following requirements:

  • Over 75 per cent of financial planners must be FPA members
  • Over 50 per cent of financial planners must be CFP® professionals, or will be within three years.

As an FPA Professional Practice, Investment Options (Aust) will also undergo regular audits and surveys as part of the FPA Quality Practice Assurance Program to ensure it continues to meet the high standards set by the FPA.