AFA wants industry consultation on education

The Association of Financial Advisers’ (AFA’s) whitepaper on the financial advice competency framework aims to present a united industry voice in influencing the new education standards but did not aim to be the “actual answer”.

That was the stance presented by AFA general manager, member services, partnerships and campus AFA, Nick Hakes, who told a media briefing the whitepaper aimed to begin the process by presenting a unifying voice of practitioners and the profession to the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) on the nature of the new educational standards.

“We don’t want to tell FASEA what to do. That’s not our role. It’s done in an environment where the entity that has to make the decision has to consult back to industry and we would very much like them to take notice and be part of the conversation,” Hakes said at the 2017 AFA National Adviser Conference at the Gold Coast.

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“We’re not saying that this is the actual answer because it’s not us who makes the answer. But importantly I guess the difference is that before we’ve had different patchworks of professional standards, different frameworks, and we have created a unified voice for our profession that not only FASEA but licensees and advisers can think through the implication to ‘so what does a professional year look like?’.”

Hakes said that while FASEA has been charged by the government to determine the nature of degree requirements, the professional year, and model code of ethics, in parallel to that, the AFA aimed to present the industry consensus to ensure that the education provided to the next generation of financial advisers incorporated the qualities and attributes most valued by clients.

Hakes also wondered if the ongoing continuous professional development would shift the elements that were already a part of competency areas of professional development days.

“At the moment PD days are linked to the ASIC competencies and so you see things like superannuation, and estate planning and tax, but hold on. We’ve just heard an industry voice say what we need to get closer to is these things like connecting with people and coaching so where do we teach that in CPD?” Hakes said.

Hakes said the next stage of research was implementing the findings, and releasing an implementation kit but did not indicate when the AFA would release this, but added it would draw on additional feedback.

“We want to sit at the [FASEA] table and part of the consultation process is we’re going to draw upon this latest piece of research,” Hakes said.

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