January 8, 2019
The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority released a raft of statements just before Christmas which updated the sector on areas including future CPD requirements for advisers, newly approved degree courses and requirements for new entrants into the advice sector:
CPD Points Update
FASEA announced on 21 December that it has registered the Legislative Instrument for its Continuing Professional Development Standard, following a period of industry consultation.
Under the standard, advisers will be required to complete 40 hours of CPD each year, where 70 percent of those 40 hours will be required to be approved by the adviser’s licensee, including a maximum four hours of professional reading.
The Authority detailed the minimum required hours per CPD category as being:
- Technical: Five hours
- Client care and practice: Five hours
- Regulatory compliance and consumer protection: Five hours
- Pofessionalism and ethics: Nine hours
The balance of 16 hours, according to the Authority, will consist of qualifying CPD and is available to allocate to areas of an adviser’s greatest need, which may include technical competence or industry specialisation.
FASEA noted that feedback during its consultation period raised a number of suggestions it has adopted, including:
- A transition period to 31 March 2019 for documentation of CPD Policies and Plans
- An increase in the number of formal study hours that may count towards CPD from 25 to 30 hours
- Recognition that CPD may cover more than one knowledge area and may count across multiple CPD areas as long as there is no double counting of hours
- Licensees having the capacity to maintain CPD records on behalf of their advisers
- Part time advisers with licensee’s prior written consent can be entitled to a 10 percent reduction to 36 hours of required CPD while still being required to cover the minimum knowledge areas
On 24 December FASEA announced it had registered the legislative Instrument for its Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard.
Under this standard, “…advisers are required to complete a bachelor or higher or equivalent qualification…”. FASEA says its determination of approved, relevant and non-relevant degree courses includes a list of current and historical degrees it has approved and this list will be updated on an ongoing basis, as additional courses are approved.
Stakeholder feedback provided during the consultation period and adopted by FASEA include:
- Approval of the newly formed Bachelor of Commerce (Finance and Financial Planning) at Curtin University
- Approval of the re-accreditation of Western Sydney University’s Bachelor of Accounting Financial Planning or Financial Planning and Taxation and Master of Financial Planning
- Addition of the term ‘Financial planning’ (which includes financial advice areas of insurance, superannuation, retirement, estate planning etc) and investments (which include all types of investment eg shares, derivatives, foreign exchange, options etc) into the relevant degree definition
- Recognition of prior learning, where advisers holding a non-relevant degree who have completed between 4 and 7 of the relevant degree knowledge areas will be awarded 2 credits
- Clarification that courses/subjects are single units of study of approximately 120 hours of learning as per the AQF (eg 8 course Graduate Diploma and 24 course Degree)
New Advisers and the Professional Year
FASEA has determined that new advisers from 1 January 2019 will be given the appellation of ‘Provisional Financial Adviser’ or ‘Provisional Financial Planner’.
New advisers who are undertaking work and training requirements will be able to use either of these terms once they have passed their examination, which the Authority says will typically take place midway through the new adviser’s Professional Year.
FASEA notes the Professional Year “…will be the equivalent of one year’s full-time work and it will comprise 1600 hours, of which 100 hours is to be structured training.” It adds that a Professional Year plan will be required to develop the following competencies:
- Technical competence
- Client care and practice
- Regulatory compliance and consumer protection
- Professionalism and ethics