Adviser Education Requirements – Some Clarity?

This is my status leading into the new minimum Professional Standards regime:

  • I expect I'll need to achieve additional professional/tertiary qualifications to meet the new standards (38%)
  • I still have no idea what I'll be required to do! (36%)
  • I'm degree qualified but expect I'll need to undertake bridging courses (19%)
  • I'm qualified in a relevant degree and am confident I will already meet the new minimum standards (7%)

In a rare second-week turnaround, our latest poll results suggests more advisers may now be developing a clearer picture of what their future minimum educational requirements will be.

After two weeks running our poll, the overall result can be seen above. If we split these results, however, there is a rare significant difference comparing adviser responses in weeks one and two.

One reason for this difference may relate to industry activity and more adviser engagement on this critical issue. We initially released this poll on 21st February and during the course of its first week (where most votes were received in the first few days) the Association of Financial Advisers spoke to around 1,300 advisers in four states as part of its 2018 Connect Tour.

The second-week poll results, which followed the completion of the AFA’s main roadshow series, delivered a much different result to the same question:

Poll results to end of 27th February 2018 (week 1)…

But the week 2 poll results delivered this outcome:

Poll results since 28th February 2018, following AFA Connect Roadshow Tour (week 2)…


One of the key presentations to advisers in all states except NSW was made by AFA GM Policy and Professionalism, Phil Anderson. Anderson outlined to his audiences an analysis of the current ‘state of play’ on minimum education standards, including this chart:

Education Category What we Know Probable Action
Financial Planning Education Council Approved Financial  Planning Degree Already approved No Further Action Required
Non-approved Financial  Planning Degree Education Institutions can  apply to FASEA for  retrospective recognition Wait to see what happens,  however contact your  education provider to make  sure that they are going to  apply
Relevant Degree  (Commerce, Finance,  Business, Accounting,  Economics or Law) FASEA will make available  bridging courses Wait to see the detail on the   bridging course options,   which is expected to be   noticeably less than doing the   full Graduate Diploma
Unrelated Degree (Arts,  Science, Teaching etc) FASEA will make available  bridging courses Wait to see the detail on the   bridging course options,   which  is expected to be less   than doing the full Graduate   Diploma
No Tertiary Qualifications FASEA have proposed an eight subject Graduate Diploma You can start now, however, it is probably better to wait until FASEA have approved some specific financial advice Graduate Diplomas

AFA members were also updated via email earlier in February, but it appears Anderson’s roadshow message may have had an impact, with many more advisers in the second week of our poll having a more definitive idea of where they’re positioned in relation to their future education requirements.

The broader message to advisers from Anderson and the AFA is to wait a while longer. Anderson said he believed most advisers who would be required to undertake additional educational courses would be able to achieve that outcome. He encouraged AFA members and other advisers to wait to until the details on the nature of bridging courses were released before making any decisions about their future.

Those details will probably emerge in the second half of 2018 because the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority will be consulting industry about its proposed standards until Friday 29 June.

Meanwhile, we’ll continue this poll for one more week if you haven’t yet voted or if you would like to contribute to the ongoing debate on issues surrounding the new minimum Professional Standards regime…

  • emkay

    so my Advanced diploma suddenly has no worth?

  • Robert Coyte

    So is this how it works…people who designed courses in the past to skill a certain workforce are now designing courses once again for said specific workforce because the previous work they did was not adequate enough?