The course that’s setting a new standard in financial planning

A recent shake-up rocked the financial industry. The new standards mean that some existing financial advisors may have to re-train. This course is leading the way. 

In January 2019, the Australian financial sector changed forever. An investigation into the ethics and actions of the sector uncovered serious misconduct, leading the Financial Advisor Standard and Ethics Authority (FASEA) to declare a new era. An era in which all financial advisors must meet a new set of standards in order to practice.

While many in the industry agree that it was a long time coming, the shake-up rocked the industry. The new standards mean that some existing financial advisors may have to re-train, and those who are up-and-coming need to ensure the course they study meets the latest requirements.

Sensing the uncertainty in the industry, Australian Catholic University (ACU) provided a solution: the Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning through Open Universities Australia (OUA). Not only is the course accredited by the Financial Planning Association of Australia, it goes above and beyond to give financial advisors greater confidence than ever before.

Two academics from Australian Catholic University – Susan Dann, Professor of Marketing and Foundation Head of the Peter Faber Business School, and Dr. Wendy James,  National Deputy Head of the School, sat down to tell OUA why the course is changing the game.

An ethical approach

With the banking royal commission fresh in the minds of consumers and industry alike, it was integral for ACU to offer a course that not only met regulations, but created graduates who live and breathe ethics.

“As we know from the findings of the royal commission, a lot of the problems that people had as a result of financial planning were due to breach of ethics,” Wendy says.

Many financial courses teach one subject in ethics, the academic explains. But ACU’s approach gives graduates deeper knowledge – weaving ethics into subjects throughout the course.

Dr. Wendy James, National Deputy Head of the Peter Faber Business School at ACU

lecture-wendy-james

The ultimate flexibility

With many existing financial planners needing to up-skill to meet new regulations, the Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning through OUA is an ideal solution – as specific skills can be studied as single subjects.

But single subjects from the Diploma aren’t just for those who’ve worked in finance before. As Susan explains, they’re a great option if you’d like to test the water before committing to the full course.

 “Single subjects are able to be stacked so that you can ultimately develop a full degree or certificate program.”

“If you study one unit, it can provide you with the basis for moving on.” she explains.

The industry edge

The course’s roots in industry are yet another element that sets it apart.

“The majority of our academics are actually financial planners. So they have hands on experience in the industry,” Susan says.

“Students can be assured that what they’re learning is fully up-to-date with what is happening in industry today.”

What you’ll learn

Interested in the life of a financial planner? Or are you an existing financial planner wondering whether this is the right course to gain accreditation?

Study the Diploma of Financial Planning, and you’ll cover subjects such as:

Ethical Leadership

Risk Management and Insurance

Superannuation and Retirement Planning

Commercial and Corporations Law

Taxation Law


To express your interest in any of the courses on offer through OUA, fill out the form on this page and a friendly student advisor will get in contact. Otherwise, start browsing hundreds of courses from leading Australian universities right now.