Push for More Flexible Education Standard to Bolster Adviser Numbers


The 11 industry and professional bodies that make up the Joint Associations Working Group are looking to improve the pathways for new advisers to enter the profession in response to the declining numbers of financial advisers.

In noting the number of financial advisers has reduced by 46% since the peak in 2019, with only 381 new entrants joining and remaining in the profession in 2023, the group has “…proposed some core principles to strengthen the education standard for new entrants to the profession.”

It says these principles aim to enhance the flexibility of the education standard for new entrants while maintaining professional standards.

…encouraging more advisers to the profession is now vital…

“With access to financial advice increasingly out of reach for many Australians, encouraging more advisers to the profession is now vital.”

The group notes only a small number of tertiary educators offer financial planning studies, with many already reducing their courses.

Under the JAWG proposal, the minimum requirement for new entrants would remain a tertiary degree.

“Importantly, the existing approved programs would remain valid and available. This proposal gives new entrants and career changers greater flexibility by recognising more of their pre-existing degree courses, while maintaining appropriate qualification levels to ensure consumer protection,” it says.

…JAWG members have met with Treasury to commence discussions on the proposal…

The group says the joint position of the advice associations sector has been welcomed by the government “…and JAWG members have met with Treasury to commence discussions on the proposal.”

“JAWG looks forward to collaborating broadly with the sector to ensure education requirements ultimately support more new entrants into the profession.”

Core elements of the proposal

The proposal builds on the August 2022 Treasury consultation paper and includes the following elements:

  • Five core knowledge areas with a further three elective knowledge areas to be chosen from a broad list that recognises different streams of financial advice. Examples of elective knowledge areas could include SMSF Advice, portfolio management and aged care.
  • The ability to complete study units across multiple programs that can be supplemented by bridging units either contemporaneously or later if required.
  • The curriculum is to be set and maintained by a broadly representative advisory group, including representatives from associations and academia.

The JAWG coalition of industry and professional bodies represents financial advisers, stockbrokers, accountants, superannuation trustees and investors.


  1. It is a never ending merry go round of a plethora of interested parties who all jump on, take a seat and voice their interpretation of how to improve availability of advice and how to increase Adviser numbers, yet after years of debate and discussion, countless meetings and dialogue, what have we ended up with?

    We are still watching more Advisers leave, very few coming into the Industry and as for the Life Insurance sector, all this talk and Government “improvements,” has taken this crucially important sector for all Australia, from many thousands, to hundreds of risk Advisers when what is needed is a minimum 20,000 risk Advisers to properly look after the needs of Australians.

    I and other experienced practitioners have for many years, been vocal advocates for separating risk advice from Investment Advice and having specialised and relevant upfront and ongoing education that is fit for purpose.

    As usual, the vested interest brigades and ignorant theorists, did not listen and even after the fiasco of thousands of experienced Advisers leaving the Industry, which we warned years in advance they would walk away unless the insane pathway was changed, I find it incredible that anyone could be so foolish as to say that this totally failed experiment as far as the Life Insurance sector is concerned, can be turned around by continuing to throw up barriers that have made this totally avoidable debacle, a laughing stock of absolute stupidity.

    How can any person with a bit of common sense who sits on these committees and has watched this slow motion disaster, not see that everything that has been said and done in the past has CAUSED the collapse, not fixed it.

    The Titanic sinking was, like the collapse of the Advised risk Adviser pool, totally avoidable and even a slight deviation from the path of destruction eagerly followed by the vast collection of sycophants who could not find a decent leader or voice of reason among them who could force through reasonable mandates, have made even Fawlty Towers seem like a well managed Business model.

    The solution has been staring them all in the face for years.

    When will they finally stop talking and start listening.

Comments are closed.