The FASEA regime goes back to the legislated basics
A reading of the policy papers underpinning the Government’s reset of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) regime makes clear the Government has been listening to advisers and wants as many as possible remain in the industry.
That message is projected in the outline of the amendments being proposed, particularly around experience and prior learning and the ability of advisers to following a qualification pathway which can be “completed in a single qualification or across multiple qualifications”.
What is more there is a clear-cut intention to recognise appropriate prior learning and to be flexible about how adviser achieve the necessary levels.
In short, the Government is ditching the highly prescriptive and narrowly academic approach to degrees adopted by the now-defunct FASEA board.
The key statement in the policy documents is as follows: “To meet the proposed requirements in the experience pathway, by 1 January 2026 an individual must have been authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients in relation to relevant financial products for 10 or more years in the preceding 12 years”.
“The proposed education requirements in the qualification pathway can be completed in a single qualification or across multiple qualifications.”
“Advisers using the experience pathway must also have a clean record prior to 1 January 2026, meaning no sanctions from the Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP), excluding warnings. The FSCP has the power to require advisers to undertake additional training and may use these powers as part of a disciplinary action to require additional training regardless of the pathway under which the adviser meets the education requirements.”
“The Government will not accredit individual degrees or subjects to ensure they meet the requirements to be an approved degree. Higher education providers offering bachelor’s degrees or higher qualifications are responsible for ensuring their courses meet the relevant requirements.”
“Financial advisers undertaking any education must self-assess that they meet the relevant education requirements. The new single disciplinary body, the FSCP, which commences from 1 January 2022, will perform an important role in ensuring that correct self-assessment is robustly enforced within the profession.”
“The AFSL holder, in authorising an adviser, plays an essential role in ensuring the subjects and qualifications undertaken by that adviser meet the intention of the legislative instrument. Licensees should carefully assess if the subjects and qualifications undertaken by an adviser provide the appropriate educational background for the individual to provide advice on the products he or she is authorised to advise on.”