The most important issue for advisers as we embark on the journey of 2022, as it was at the close of 2021, has been the release of the Government’s proposed Education Pathway for 10-year advisers of good standing. Our poll results suggest there are two distinct points of view when it comes to the benefits that the proposed Experience Pathway will deliver – for the sector itself and for the consumers it ultimately serves…

Do you support the Government’s ‘Experience Pathway’ proposal for 10-year advisers of good standing?
  • Yes (59%)
  • No (36%)
  • Not sure (5%)

Our latest poll results suggest a divide exists between advisers when it comes to support for the Government’s proposed Experience Pathway for 10-year advisers of good standing.

As the industry returns from its festive season hiatus, slightly more than half of those who have so far voted in this poll (53%) support the Experience Pathway proposed by the Government just before Christmas (see: ‘Experience Pathway’ Proposed…).

Two in five advisers, however, do not support the Government’s proposal, even though it will almost certainly be implemented following a period of industry consultation.

The comments we have received are from those who support the Experience Pathway proposal, albeit being seen by some as ‘too little too late’ for an advice sector whose numbers continues to head south.

As we outlined in releasing this poll, the summary argument for those in favour of introducing the Experience Pathway revolves around stemming the current and future exodus of advisers from the sector, which in turn would mean more Australians, especially those represented in the ‘mums and dads’ demographic, would have access to the financial advice that would make such a difference for many.

On the other hand, those advisers and other industry stakeholders who don’t support the introduction of the Experience Pathway argue that such a move would impede the progression of the industry to ‘profession’ status, and also be a backward step in rebuilding consumer trust in financial advisers.

We welcome your views on this important issue and remind all Riskinfo readers that you can also send your own submission to the Government during its consultation period on adviser education standards, which closes on 1 February 2022. Email your submissions to: FAStandards@treasury.gov.au.

…And click here to access the Government’s Consultation Paper on Education Standards for Financial Advisers.



7 COMMENTS

  1. I am an existing adviser with 30 years experience in the industry. I completed my diploma of financial planning decades ago and have completed other studies since. I have spent countless hours on ongoing CPD requirements and reading to keep myself up to date with what I have to know to advise my clients.
    I understand what the government and regulators want to do in increasing the education standards and don’t have an issue as such, but I believe a realistic approach needs to be taken, with changes phased in over an appropriate time frame. Why do you think so many advisers have left the industry, with many more to leave?
    I have passed the FASEA exam and am studying the graduate diploma. I have so far, completed 2 units of the 6 I am now required to do, at great cost financially and on my personal time. What I have found in my studies is that there is a reasonable amount of information that is out of date. I pity the poor new students coming into the industry learning something that is already out of date.
    What this highlights to me is the value of experience, and knowing when what I am reading is wrong. Studying a graduate diploma at a point in time, when a lot will change is certainly less valuable to me as an existing adviser than spending the time and effort keeping up to date with the ongoing changes. What I have also realised is how different the real world of advising is, compared to the theoretical world I read about in my studies. There are so many shades of grey we deal with that would make a theorist’s head spin. I guess to me this also highlights the value of experience, and keeping up to date with ongoing changes as they occur.
    So I will eventually complete my studies, and most likely look to retire maybe a couple of years later. Hardly worth the time, effort and money in my opinion, which is why I understand why so many advisers have decided to call it quits.
    For those advisers that oppose the proposed education pathway, I am more than happy for you to spend the rest of your lives studying. Promote yourself as the most highly educated person around if you think that is the most appealing thing to clients.
    I do wonder what will happen in the future when an adviser with several degrees does something wrong and rips off a client. Surely this won’t happen if they are university educated, but let’s say it does. What then? Do all advisers go back to school again?

    • Education or the lack thereof is not the driver for bad behaviour. It’s a personality type i.e. a personality type that is drawn to money.

  2. This constant debate about professionalism that can only be attained by ignoring and treating with contempt, thousands of hours prior ongoing studying and decades of experience in the REAL world that can never be taught from a theorist, plus this false narrative that Australians will only respect an Adviser who has a bit of paper hanging from their wall, is forgetting and ignoring as usual, the very people all this is aimed at, the Australian public themselves.

    Ask 1 million Australians that are in Business, who would they prefer to get advice from and people whose financial and emotional futures and well being, rely on advice that is based on their Adviser who has either been through everything they are facing or will face in the future.

    Or, if they would discount real life experience and focus on the theory based degree qualification as their most important basis to determine who they can call upon when things get tough and advice is the difference between making good or bad decisions that could dramatically affect their lives today and in the future.

    Everyone has an opinion. However an opinion counts for NOTHING if the argument does not take into consideration what the end recipient wants or the end result will actually be.

    Those Advisers who have just finished or are finalising their degree requirements so they could keep their jobs, will feel ripped off and rightly so.

    However, Government policy that determines that tens of thousands of honest, decent, experienced people who have provided great service for decades and who have done substantial prior learning and studies, should now be held as some sort of pariahs who must be driven out of Business because they disagree with false propaganda, is a disgraceful indictment on how this country is behaving and must stop now.

  3. I have said before and happy to repeat myself, professionalization is not hindered by allowing the grandfathering of current experienced advisers, contrary to the fear of some that are rightly looking forward to the full recognition of professional status. All the academic writings that investigate the steps towards professionalization, all allow for the recognition of current learning and none require existing practitioners to upgrade their educational status, only to continue to learn and grow through continuing self education and intellectual pursuit. In fact, one of the marks of a profession is an ingrained desire to continually self educate, to upgrade knowledge and keep up with contemporary theoretical thought and skills. If a professional feels that going to university and completing further postgraduate study will assist them to achieve their goals than that is also honorable, but never a prerequisite of the journey to true professional status. I have read that many that think it is the public that is needing to see all adviser degree educated, but as Jeremy Wright point out in his posting, any sensible thoughtful client would truly feel comfortable with an older adviser, with life experience, knowledgeable and endowed with integrity to serve their needs!

  4. Such great comments here from Phil, Jeremy, Steveo and Pterodactyl . . .

    After 36 years, at age 60+, protecting families and small businesses with their risk insurance, this is my first comment on these pages since I left the industry in abject disgust and despair just before Christmas. I’d planned to stay while health held out (70+?). I never struggled with knowledge or learning something relevant to my work, the knowledge of risk theory, risk practicalities, family life, people and products I needed to protect my client. It was all an ingrained part of me and I loved it and helping people. I never struggled with ongoing Kaplan learning and the many relevant specialized risk courses I would seek out over the years to know my craft better – for my loyal clients.

    However, I saw zero value in the irrelevant so-called “ethics test” or the multi-layer AQF8 ‘financial adviser’ degrees the academics were insisting we risk advisers also needed. To put aside hundreds of hours, $10K++ and time away from family and clients (and time $$$ lost) into such irrelevant study, well, I simply could not do it in all good conscience to myself or family and clients. I spoke to many of my clients about this before I decided and NONE – ZERO of them said they would view me differently and/or care if I had degrees on bits of paper. My clients were more than happy with what they already had in me and so was I. In fact, my clients were appalled that I would be forced from the industry if I didn’t waste my time doing these irrelevant things.

    I read from numerous respected and reputable sources how the laughingly named “Ethics Exam” was irrelevant to a risk adviser and already seriously out of date. The material in the uni degrees was also fully irrelevant to my work with risk clients. Therefore, against this background and seeing no let-up to the increasingly onerous compliance requirements, I sold my client base in November. I was extremely fortunate to have a satisfactory quick sale to a friend and fellow adviser. Very fortunate! After much contemplation and reflection over Christmas & new year I am now thinking these useless pollies and academics gave me a blessing in disguise. Yes, these creatures who’ve never sat with a client to help them or have any comprehension of what an adviser really does to help a client.

    I sadly (or happily??) will be in a different seat now as I watch self absorbed tax payer funded politicians and academics with no real clue of client best interest finish off what is left of our once magnificent industry. How much simpler things may have been if the life companies got rid of the bad advisers when they had the chance – they knew precisely who they were. Very best wishes and luck to you all who are brave enough to trust in these people and remain to fight, especially all you long suffering Riskies. Cheers all.

  5. Such great comments here from Phil, Jeremy, Steveo and Pterodactyl . . .

    After 36 years, at age 60+, protecting families and small businesses with their risk insurance, this is my first comment on these pages since I left the industry in abject disgust and despair just before Christmas. I’d planned to stay while health held out (70+?). I never struggled with knowledge or learning something relevant to my work, the knowledge of risk theory, risk practicalities, family life, people and products I needed to protect my client. It was all an ingrained part of me and I loved it and helping people. I never struggled with ongoing Kaplan learning and the many relevant specialized risk courses I would seek out over the years to know my craft better – for my loyal clients.

    However, I saw zero value in the irrelevant so-called “ethics test” or the multi-layer AQF8 ‘financial adviser’ degrees the academics were insisting we risk advisers also needed. To put aside hundreds of hours, $10K++ and time away from family and clients (and time $$$ lost) into such irrelevant study, well, I simply could not do it in all good conscience to myself or family and clients. I spoke to many of my clients about this before I decided and NONE – ZERO of them said they would view me differently and/or care if I had degrees on bits of paper. My clients were more than happy with what they already had in me and so was I. In fact, my clients were appalled that I would be forced from the industry if I didn’t waste my time doing these irrelevant things.

    I read from numerous respected and reputable sources how the laughingly named “Ethics Exam” was irrelevant to a risk adviser and already seriously out of date. The material in the uni degrees was also fully irrelevant to my work with risk clients. Therefore, against this background and seeing no let-up to the increasingly onerous compliance requirements, I sold my client base in November. I was extremely fortunate to have a satisfactory quick sale to a friend and fellow adviser. Very fortunate! After much contemplation and reflection over Christmas & new year I am now thinking these useless pollies and academics gave me a blessing in disguise. Yes, these creatures who’ve never sat with a client to help them or have any comprehension of what an adviser really does to help a client.

    I sadly (or happily??) will be in a different seat now as I watch self absorbed tax payer funded politicians and academics with no real clue of client best interest finish off what is left of our once magnificent industry. How much simpler things may have been if the life companies got rid of the bad advisers when they had the chance – they knew precisely who they were. Very best wishes and luck to you all who are brave enough to trust in these people and remain to fight, especially all you long suffering Riskies. Cheers all.

    • Thanks for your input. Its always good for us to hear the experience of others. every little bit of understanding helps in our battle. Good luck in your future retirement.

Comments are closed.