A key part of our role as the national peak body for the financial counselling profession is to set the framework for how the profession operates nationally.
In consultation with the state and territory associations and financial counselling agencies, we have created a number of standards and policies to guide financial counsellors and agencies in their work.
Code of ethical practice
A hallmark of a profession is its ethical underpinning to always act in the best interests of clients.
The Code of Ethical Practice was produced to codify the ethical and practice standards of financial counsellors across Australia. It comprises two parts: a relatively short Code of Ethics setting out the values of the profession and a longer Code of Practice, providing guidance about day to day financial counselling conduct and practice.
Membership and accreditation standards
The seven financial counselling professional associations are organisational members of the FCA. Individual financial counsellors join their respective state or territory association for support, training, and to share resources and information.
A key role of these associations is to set accreditation standards for their members, including requirements for professional development and supervision.
Practice standards for agencies
A variety of agencies employ financial counsellors, ranging from large charities to community legal centres and neighbourhood centres.
To supplement the legal and regulatory obligations of an agency, FCA has developed practice standards that set out the essential requirements an agency needs to meet to offer financial counselling services.
We encourage agencies to adopt the standards as part of their normal quality frameworks to demonstrate a commitment to high quality and consistent service delivery. The standards also assist agencies in managing risk.
We’ve also developed a tool to help agencies assess their compliance with the standards.