March 20, 2018
Financial advisers holding relevant degrees will be required to do only three bridging courses to be compliant with new education standards under new proposed guidelines released by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).
The guidelines, which have been released for industry consultation, state that an adviser with a FASEA approved Bachelors or Masters Degree already meet the qualification requirements and will be required to do a single bridging course on ethics at graduate certificate level by 1 January 2024.
The same will apply to advisers with a related degree (accounting, financial planning or advice, business, commerce, law or economics) and a related post graduate qualification while advisers who hold a related degree only will be required to complete three bridging courses covering elements of the Corporations Act, ethics and behavioural finance at graduate certificate level by 1 January 2024.
Announcing the changes, FASEA stated the three units would equate to less than one year of study if taken part-time and “…all advisers with these types of degrees will be eligible for the relevant bridging course option, regardless of when they obtained their degree”.
“…an adviser with a FASEA approved Bachelors or Masters Degree already meet the qualification requirements…”
The proposed guidance also reiterated previous statements (see: Existing Advisers Will Require Study: FASEA) that advisers with unrelated degrees would be required to complete eight units of an approved graduate diploma by 1 January 2024 and advisers without a degree would be required to complete graduate diploma, degree or masters course by the same date (see table below).
FASEA stated professional designations fell outside the current training framework “…and did not equate to a qualification on their own” but any education undertaken to achieve the designation could be taken into account as part of potential recognition of prior learning (RPL) exemptions for qualifications.
Previous training and education courses would also be considered for RPL exemptions but FASEA warned “RPL is a matter of individual policy for the Higher Education provider and TEQSA [the Government Education Agency] reviews the RPL that a provider offers”, adding “FASEA reserves the right to not be bound by RPL awarded outside of TEQSA guidelines”.
FASEA stated relevant bridging courses would be available by the commencement of the 2019 academic year and “This will allow a full five years to complete any necessary courses before the 2024 deadline”.
The draft guidance is available on the Standards Authority’s website: www.fasea.gov.au. Consultation will close on 29 June 2018.