Speaking at the launch of the SimplyBiz New Model Business Academy being rolled out to non-members, Davy said the drive for increased professionalism has come from advisers themselves rather than providers or regulators.
He said: “We have evolved from an industry to a profession, from a business to a profession and from a way of making a living to a profession. And who has driven the impetus for this? The regulators, the Johnny-come-latelies, the product providers? Sadly no. This drive for increased professionalism has been by the advisers.
“It was the advisers who created the Life Insurance Association in the early 70s with its ethics committee and emphasis on education. It is advisers who worked to launch Aifa and it is advisers who supported the merger of the Society of Financial Advisers and the LIA to create the PFS.”
SimplyBiz’s not-for-profit academy, open to advisers, paraplanners, admin staff and providers, focuses on four key areas – professional qualifications, sharing ideas, succession planning and changing business models.
Users can access course information and past papers and set up their own interactive progress map, which calculates the number of points required to meet the RDR requirements.
NMBA managing director Steve Braidford says: “The academy has dedicated its entirety to the professional development of all.
“Anyone who accesses the academy from now on will be able to find out exactly what it takes to start a career in financial services.”
Axxis Financial Planning director Owen Wintersgill says: “If people do not qualify and get their diploma by 2012, then they have to leave the industry so it is in everyone’s interest to make sure that people get through these exams and this academy will help everyone.”