As the peak body for financial counselling in Australia, our role is to represent and support the profession by providing a voice in national debates and policy making. We also advocate for a fairer marketplace and fair treatment on behalf of the public.
Our priorities are based on our strategic plan, which is updated annually. Our current strategic plan has four goals:
- Increase access to financial counselling
- Advocate for fair treatment
- Build and support the profession
- Raise the profile of financial counselling
The graphs below demonstrate the value of financial counselling.
Policy and advocacy
One of our key goals is to campaign and advocate for legislative and policy reforms that result in better treatment for those struggling with financial problems and a fairer marketplace for all.
As part of our policy and advocacy work, we conduct research, write submissions and reports and comment on government policy and other matters that are relevant to financial counsellors and their clients. This can include comments in the media and appearances before parliamentary committees.
We are proud of the impact of our advocacy. FCA reports have led to free ATMs in remote Indigenous communities and a review of and subsequent changes to Centrepay, a free bill-paying service for people in receipt of Centrelink benefits.
Does financial counselling work?
Development of national standards
A key part of our role as the national peak body for the financial counselling profession is to work with the state and territory associations to set national standards for the profession. These include a code of ethics, membership and accreditation standards for financial counselling associations, and practice standards for agencies.
Training and development
We are dedicated to providing professional development resources and opportunities for financial counsellors so they can better serve the community. These include updating content in the Diploma of Financial Counselling, offering webinars and elearning on relevant topics, and running our annual conference which includes a number of professional development sessions.
Jan Pentland Prize and Scholarship
We provide administrative support to the Jan Pentland Foundation, named in honour of Jan Pentland, a former chair of FCA. The foundation provides annual scholarships to help people cover the costs associated with studying the Diploma of Financial Counselling. The scholarships are announced at the FCA conference dinner.
Each year we also award the prestigious Jan Pentland Prize to a person whose contribution to financial counselling and advocacy has been outstanding.
Financial Counselling Foundation
We provide administrative support to the Financial Counselling Foundation. The Financial Counselling Foundation is a charitable trust set up to accept donations from industry and the public to advance financial counselling services. The foundation will provide funding for direct financial counselling casework or to build the capacity of the sector.
Toolkit for financial counsellors
Our FCA Toolkit is a password-protected website providing financial counsellors and financial capability workers with online access to a host of useful tools, resources and industry information.