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Govt urged: Lock in adviser education standards before election

Mike Taylor2 February 2022
Time running out on legislation

The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) and other financial planning organisations want the Government to settle any changes to financial adviser education standards before the Parliament is prorogued as the Government fully enters election mode.

What is more, the AFA is amongst the planning organisations who will be using their submissions to the Government on the proposed “experience pathway” for financial advisers to argue for the adoption of a mid-point involving retaining the requirement for a graduate qualification while appropriately recognising experience.

AFA chief executive, Phil Anderson told Financial Newswire that his organisation’s submission to be filed with Treasury this week reflected the responses it had received from a member survey.

He said the findings of that survey, which had revealed a clear divide in adviser opinion, would be included in the submission presented to Treasury.

However, he said that a paramount issue for advisers was that the Government deliver certainty around the new education settings and that meant ensuring they were in place before the Government moved fully in election campaigning.

Anderson said that on the basis of the election being held around 21 May, he believed that meant the new settings should be implemented before Easter.

“Advisers do not want lingering uncertainty,” he said.

The AFA chief executive said he believed the Government could act quickly after assessing the submissions around its proposed changes because they could be achieved administratively rather than requiring any legislative amendments.

The AFA’s survey of its members on the education standards appears to have generated a similar outcome to Financial Newswire’s recent survey of adviser attitudes to the Government’s ‘experience pathway” proposals.

That survey confirmed that while there was considerable sympathy for older advisers and a belief that there should be greater recognition of experience and prior learning, there was considerable concern about the experience pathway significantly undermining educational standards in the industry.

Anderson said that notwithstanding some similar views being expressed in the AFA survey of its members, there was a strong level of support for better recognising the experience accumulated by advisers with more than 10 years’ in the sector.

He also noted that a graduate certificate was capable of being recognised as a tertiary qualification.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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