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Continuous Professional Development Continuous Professional Development

Our CPD program enables financial counsellors to maintain and improve their knowledge, expertise and competence.

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

FCRC strives to provide a broad variety of sessions that meet the needs of the diverse workforce.

FCRC provides CPD to help members maintain their skills and uphold professional standards. The CPD program aligns to the National Standards for Membership and Accreditation, agreed to by all states and territories in 2015. Program topics are influenced by changes in law, needs expressed by financial counsellors, economic trends and emerging issues identified in the financial counselling sector.

See our Calendar of Events for upcoming sessions

National Standards for Membership & Accreditation

The national standards for membership and accreditation of financial counsellors in Australia, as agreed by the eight state and territory financial counselling associations, including FCRC.

Download the National Standards for Membership & Accreditation

Under the national standards, there's a requirement for full and associate members to undertake a minimum of one of each of technical, skills and ethics based sessions per year. While membership requirements for the 2016-17 membership year remain at 10 points per annum, financial counsellors in Victoria will need to demonstrate 20 points of CPD to maintain compliance for the membership year starting in January 2018. CPD points can be claimed for a variety of learning activities, including e-learning, face to face sessions, preparation of education sessions, research and so on. Allocation of points is explained in the National Standards for Membership and Accreditation. The CPD program provides various ways of meeting professional requirements, all of which are articulated in the FCRC calendar. A key part of the CPD program is the Specified Professional Development Program (SPDP) which is funded by Consumer Affairs Victoria. CPD requirements are the same for all financial counsellors, regardless of working hours. There is no pro-rata application. You can view and download the FCRC CPD policy.

Keeping a record of your CPD

It is the responsibility of members to keep their own record of CPD that they have completed.

You will need a current CPD record for membership renewal in January each year. FCRC does not report to CAV, agency managers or any other organisation on what sessions members attend and does not keep a record of who attends which CPD session. There is a facility on the Financial Counselling Australia website to record your CPD.

This site is known as the FCA toolkit. The area where you record CPD is linked to your personal profile tab on this site. All financial counsellors who are members of FCRC are eligible to access the FCA financial counsellor toolkit and use this facility. The FCA toolkit also provides CPD resources such as e-learning, articles and relevant information for financial counsellors to educate themselves.

All financial counsellors should be using their National Registration Number in correspondence with creditors. Financial counsellors are automatically allocated a National Registration Number when they get a login to the site. If you do not have a National Registration number, you can register online.

The FCA toolkit will be the preferred way for financial counsellors to record their CPD from January 2018, when the National Standards for Accreditation become a requirement for FCRC membership.

Specified Professional Development Program (SPDP)

The SPDP is part of the CPD program that is funded by Consumer Affairs Victoria. It is available to all financial counsellors in Victoria regardless of funding streams.

SPDP Requirements

CAV funded financial counsellors

CAV funded financial counsellors are employed in the Financial Counselling Program (FCP). The requirement for all FCP financial counsellors is to undertake a minimum of four professional development sessions per year, of which two must be from the SPDP.

FCP supervisors

FCP supervisors are required to complete the mandatory Advanced Casework Supervision topic as one of their key topics each year.

FCP managers are required to report, every 6 months, on individual financial counsellor compliance with SPDP requirements.

Core SPDP Topics

The SPDP comprises predominantly technical topics. To comply with National Standards for Membership and Accreditation, members may need to complete some additional topics focused on Skills and Ethics.

To link the SPDP to membership requirements, FCRC allocates 3 points to every SPDP session, and allocates a key area that the session covers i.e. technical, skills or ethics. There will be times when there may be a couple of categories and members can choose the category that they record for the session to meet membership requirements.

Legal Knowledge/ skills

  • Australian Consumer Law
  • Consumer Credit Law
  • Debt Collection and enforcement
  • Bankruptcy
  • Superannuation and Insurance
  • New Legislation and Case Law Updates

System knowledge/ skills

  • Ombudsman Schemes
  • Infringements and Penalties
  • Hardship Systems
  • Social Security Law
  • Tenancy
  • Family Law
  • Injury compensation

Casework Supervisors only

  • Advanced Casework Supervision (required annually)

A session comprises 3 hours in total and may have a variety of components to assist learning.