February 13, 2018
The AFA has downplayed the likelihood of advisers with degree level qualifications having to undertake further extensive study, telling members they have already met the standards required under professional standards legislation.
In a lengthy message to members, aimed at addressing confusion following the release by FASEA of proposed education standards for existing advisers (see: Existing Advisers Will Require Study), the AFA stated that from its perspective “advisers who have already completed a degree, particularly in a relevant discipline, are degree qualified. This is the objective of the legislation”.
The Association added that where a degree was not in financial planning, further education – including continuous professional development, professional designations and formal short courses – has been sufficient in keeping up to date with changes under the Corporations Act.
“It was our view that an adviser with a relevant degree, the DFP and the ADFP or a professional designation such as the FChFP which is at a higher AQF level, should not have need to do any further study, however we are hopeful that the bridging courses will be reasonable,” the AFA stated.
“It was our view that an adviser with a relevant degree…should not have needed to do any further study…”
The message to members also tackled misconceptions that degrees more than 10 years old would no longer be considered relevant, stating this was ‘simply false’ and said the 10 year issue related to the recognition of prior education for credit towards further study.
“This is a fundamentally different to the issue of what education FASEA will recognise. The FASEA announcement provides no indication that they will not recognise degrees that are older than 10 years. Advisers with older degrees will still be able to get recognition for them, although they are likely to need to do a bridging course of some form,” the Association stated.
According to the AFA, the announcement by FASEA from 14 December 2017 was mainly intended to provide guidance for existing advisers who do not have any tertiary qualifications, and specific details concerning bridging courses and recognition of prior learning have not yet been released.
AFA members were encouraged to review their own education levels and to begin to prepare if necessary with the Association stating “the requirement to increase education standards is law, it is going to happen, so we need to be prepared”.
Members were, however, urged to be cautious with the AFA pointing out that FASEA will still be consulting on education standards until 29 June 2018 and, unless members were required to complete an undergraduate or masters degree, they should wait before commencing any study as no graduate diploma or bridging courses have been approved by FASEA.