While the Financial Standards and Ethics Authority’s (FASEA’s) updated standards saw some work towards a good outcome for advisers in terms of the reduced examination time, existing advisers would still be impacted by the regulator’s arbitrary dates, according to panellists at the Financial Planning Academics Forum.
The Association of Financial Advisers’ Phil Anderson said an adviser entering the industry in the 2000s, having completed a Diploma of Financial Planning and then a certified financial planning course, will not be given credit for their efforts as it’s pre-ADFP (which was introduced in 2007).
“There’s always going to be some concern about arbitrary dates that get used in this,” Anderson told attendees to the Forum. “I think there’s a lot of anxiety out there in the adviser community, but we want to see as many as possible commit to the journey of meeting those standards.”
The Financial Planning Association’s (FPA’s) Ben Marshan said he thought the standards were getting there but was hesitant to express his opinion ahead of FASEA’s release of the details behind the updated standards.
“There’s a lot of questions around certifications and diplomas and advanced diplomas … but we just have to wait for the details,” he said.
Marshan said the FPA had mapped a lot of what members had qualifications-wise, and most would only require some bridging courses.
“But, for those who have done a lot of education further back, we’ll be looking to support them and get them through, and I know the universities are certainly helping us with projects to get them through,” he said.
Deakin University professor, Adrian Raftery, asked FASEA panellists how institutions would reconcile the amount of subjects in a graduate diploma without compromising the regulator’s requirements or the graduate outcomes of the students.
“Ethics could go across all eight subjects of the graduate diploma, and not be a single unit,” said head of accreditation at FASEA, Howard Cook. “There’s a lot of subjects that could be mainstreamed, and we’re looking for people to be proactive.”
Cook added that the accreditation of graduate diplomas would begin next year and would leverage the work of the Financial Planning Education Council.
FASEA’s Mark Brimble was also probed about how many full-time employees FASEA had given the large volume of consultation papers (800 submissions) the authority had to revise in the short timeframe but remained evasive.
“Enough to get it done,” he simply said.
Brimble said the remaining standards’ summaries and their legislative instruments and supporting documents would be released by 3 December this year. They would have between a two and four-week consultation process.