September 2, 2019
There has been an almost universal thumbs up from industry stakeholders in welcoming the proposed extensions to FASEA’s exam and qualifications timelines – almost (see: FASEA Extensions Confirmed).
Key organisations were quick to voice their support for this move, including the AFA, which was able to relay to delegates the announcement by Senator Jane Hume at the final session of the 2019 AFA Conference at the end of last week:
In a subsequent message to members, AFA CEO, Phil Kewin, said the Association “…warmly welcomes this announcement as a reflection of the hard work done at many levels, including …our joint work with the FPA, and advisers talking to their local members to communicate the challenges presented by the current deadlines.”
…the cumulative pressure of everything that is happening has been very confronting
Kewin also acknowledged Assistant Minister Hume for taking an active interest and recognising the challenges with the original deadlines.
He noted financial advisers have a lot to be thinking about at this point in time, “…and the cumulative pressure of everything that is happening has been very confronting,” he said, adding:
“The FASEA process has taken a lot longer than expected. The new time-frame gives advisers the appropriate time to prepare for the exam and to deal with their other challenges.”
In keeping with the emerging industry theme of unity (different voices but one message), the FPA’s response referenced its joint efforts with the AFA.
CEO, Dante De Gori, said the Government’s decision to announce its intention to extend the original deadline means existing financial planners are no longer being unfairly disadvantaged by delays from FASEA in rolling-out its exam and its new Code of Ethics:
The Government has done the right thing…
“The Government has done the right thing by proposing to extend the deadlines for all existing financial planners to sit and pass the FASEA exam and meet the education standard.
“The proposed new deadlines will give existing financial planners more time to study, ensuring that these reforms are successful at raising the bar across the profession.
“We’re pleased that Minister Hume has listened to the feedback from our members and been willing to work with the FPA and AFA jointly to deliver a better outcome for all financial planners and their clients.”
Joining the main adviser associations in its warm reception was the main institutional association, the FSC, whose CEO, Sally Loane observed:
This is a sensible tweak to the reforms
“The Minister is demonstrating that she is listening to the advice industry and is acting to strengthen the foundations of the reform package. This is a sensible tweak to the reforms, and one that will alleviate pressure on the advice industry” said the CEO, who continued:
“While the professional standard reforms are very important, existing advisers need adequate time to transition to the new landscape. The extension of the time to sit the exam for existing advisers will ensure that they have the full two years to sit the exam.”
The (almost) universal support for the proposed extensions has been given perspective, however, by adviser feedback, which has been mixed.
Some advisers have taken the opportunity to share their views on the underlying premise of the FASEA exam and minimum professional standards, which argue against the principle of these already-legislated reforms.
Meanwhile, other adviser feedback has revealed how commercial, business-defining decisions, have already been taken and initiated based on the assumption that the minimum education standards, in particular, would have to be met two years before what is now proposed…