O’Dwyer to Relay Exam Concerns to FASEA

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer will relay adviser concerns about the lack of details in the National Exam proposed by FASEA, after the issues was raised in a meeting with the AFA.

The Minister for Revenue and Financial Services, Kelly O’Dwyer

In a note to members, AFA Chief Executive, Phil Kewin said the Association had met with the Minister last week and raised concerns around education standards, including the definition of a related degree and the lack of recognition for prior learning and professional designations.

Kewin added the AFA was also told the Government did not intend for the professional standards reforms to pressure advisers to leave the industry.

“We also took the opportunity to express our concerns about the potential impact upon the financial advice profession if a practical solution could not be found,” Kewin said.

“We asked the Minister about what the Government expected the outcome would be and the Minister clearly stated that there was no target for adviser attrition,” he added.

The National Exam was also raised with the Minister, including the AFA’s concerns around the lack of detail on its content, the lack of preparation materials or practice exams and that it was to be a closed book, four hour long exercise.

“The objective of this reform program should be to lift the standards of existing advisers, not to remove them on mass from the profession.”

“The Minister expressed a view that this appeared to be unreasonable,” Kewin said, adding the Minister highlighted the exam was still part of a consultation process, to which the AFA responded that the process “…should not be run on the basis of ambit claims and unreasonable expectations as the starting point”.

As a result of the meeting, Kewin said O’Dwyer would discuss the AFA’s concerns with FASEA, and the AFA had also sought to meet with FASEA given there had been a limited number of formal consultation forums so far.

“We will also discuss our concerns with other groups and politicians in the lead up to the release of any further consultation and the finalisation of the requirements in coming months,” Kewin added.

In a recent submission to FASEA commenting on the proposed National Exam, the AFA stated that while it recognised the need for higher standards “…it was never our expectation that the Professional Standards regime was the vehicle for a ‘cull’ of a large percentage of the financial adviser population”.

“The requirements set out in this consultation paper will, if they are implemented as proposed, achieve exactly that – a cull of many advisers,” the AFA added.

The Association also claimed that no other profession was solely reliant on a single exam as the measure of a practitioner’s ability to operate, and the requirements for the proposed exam were substantially above the typical requirements of university courses.

“The objective of this reform program should be to lift the standards of existing advisers, not to remove them on mass from the profession.”

  • Jeremy Wright

    A major portion of advisers that will exit the Industry if this continues, are Life Insurance specialists who are fed up with the level of incompetence and lack of common sense with every aspect of FASEA.

    How many times do the Government and it seems even people working in the Industry, need to be told, that most of what is being proposed, has little or no bearing on the advice a Life risk only adviser provides and advisers will not be forced to do expensive and irrelevant studies.

    There is a massive under-insurance epidemic in Australia, so what do the “Guru’s” come up with to resolve this?

    Answer;

    The exact opposite of what needs to be done, with the end result being the devastation of the only true industry client representatives who have proven time and again to be the difference between a client being paid full benefits or not.

    The purpose of Government and the Education Industry, is to justify their existence by coming up with policy direction.

    The fact that the bus is veering to the edge of the cliff, does not seem to concern these Institutionalised robots, as they are not on the bus and don’t care for anything or anyone else, other than themselves and their jobs.

    The AFA and specifically Phil Kewin, seem to understand this.

    For the sake of all Australians, let us hope that Canberra wakes up and takes note before it is too late.