AMP’s financial planning academy Horizons, will launch an online Masters program with Griffith University which will allow candidates to gain a Master of Financial Planning through a flexible program that combines rigorous academic training and practical experience.

The innovative new education program has been jointly developed by Horizons and Griffith University, and will offer candidates a flexible pathway to gain a university qualification and employment opportunities across AMP’s licensee groups.

AMP Horizons Director Amelia Constantinidis said the program further underpinned AMP’s commitment to the highest standards of professionalism.

“AMP is committed to delivering high quality financial advice that makes a real difference in people’s lives.

“Through this program candidates will not only achieve a qualification with one of Australia’s leading academic institutions in Griffith University, they will gain practical financial planning experience through Horizons, as well as access to employment opportunities within the AMP network on completion.

“With a flexible combination of online and face to face learning we think this will really appeal to people looking to further their career as a financial adviser and aspire to the highest professional standards,” Ms Constantinidis said.

Griffith University Discipline Head of Finance and Financial Planning, Associate Professor Mark Brimble said the program will build on the theoretical and practical base of the existing AMP Horizons program, while for individuals aspiring to become advisers under the AMP banner, the new Masters degree will offer a learning process embedded within industry frameworks.

“We are delighted to partner with AMP which allows the provision of a financial planning program that strengthens educational opportunities within industry, but is also a great opportunity for Griffith University to engage with such a reputable nation-wide company like AMP.

“The Griffith University AMP Horizons program is the perfect fit as we are both leaders in our respective fields.

“There exists two major trends in education; developing the capabilities of students to study online, plus the alignment of study programs with the industry to provide a holistic practical and theoretical framework.”

The initiative strengthens AMP’s commitment announced last month to implement a series of measures to significantly lift the bar on adviser professionalism.
The measures include a requirement that all existing and new advisers must obtain a Certified Financial Planner® (CFP), a Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP), or Master of Financial Planning (MFP) qualification.

New advisers must complete this qualification within five years of joining an AMP licensee while existing advisers have up to 31 December 2019.

The Masters program with Griffith University will provide an alternative pathway for advisers across AMP’s network to achieve AMP’s new education standards .

The Griffith program enhances AMP Horizons’ current Career Changer Programs, which involves a 12-month structured training pathway to becoming a qualified financial adviser, as candidates can now attain a university qualification.

Horizons entry standards are already among the highest in the industry with a 10 week intensive academy course followed by a nine month supervised placement in the Horizons practice.

The Griffith relationship is in addition to the AMP University Challenge, which aims to increase awareness of financial planning as a career choice for university graduates. Now in its fourth year, the AMP University Challenge has seen a significant increase in student applications and universities embed the Challenge into their curriculum.

The first intake for the Griffith University course will commence in November 2014.