AFA dismisses 10-year degree rumours as false

The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has labelled suggestions that degrees older than 10 years will not count under the new Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) regime as “simply false”.

In a comprehensive message to members aimed at addressing what it describes as “vigorous” feedback, the AFA has pointed out that the existence of FASEA and the changes it intends to make are law and has urged planners against what amount to knee-jerk reactions.

However, the AFA made particular mention of reports and comments around the 10-year degree scenario, stating that “the comments expressed by many and covered in recent trade media articles that a degree that is older than 10 years will not count is simply false”.

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“Whilst there is an academic convention with respect to the recognition of prior education for credit towards further study, this is fundamentally different to the issue of what education FASEA will recognise,” the AFA document said. “The FASEA announcement provides no indication that they will not recognise degrees that are older than 10 years. Advisers with older degrees will still be able to get recognition for them, although they are likely to need to do a bridging course of some form.”

“We expect that the bridging courses for those with existing degrees will involve much less study than doing a full graduate diploma,” it said.

Elsewhere in its communication to members, the AFA said that from its perspective, “advisers who have already completed a degree, particularly in a relevant discipline, are degree qualified”.

“This is the objective of the legislation,” it said. “Where the degree is not in financial planning, then further education would have been required, and up to this point, we have relied upon the DFP, the ADFP and professional designations for financial advice formal education.”

“To remain current with changes to the Corporations Act and other legislation, advisers have been required to complete continuous professional development and formal short courses. It was our view that an adviser with a relevant degree, the DFP and the ADFP or a professional designation such as the FChFP which is at a higher AQF level, should not have needed to do any further study, however we are hopeful that the bridging courses will be reasonable.”




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in other words, go back and study.

WHAT???? The ten year rule is false, but those with older degrees will have to go back to study a bridging course!!!! I HAVE A MASTERS DEGREE IN FINANCIAL PLANNING FOR GOD'S SAKE. Why should I be forced to pay thousands of dollars and sacrifice family time going back to university to complete more study. What is going on here? No professional body representing other professions would stand for such outrageous nonsense. I am seriously starting to wonder if some of the conspiracy theorists (re conflicts of interest) might be on to something because these comments from the AFA make no sense at all.

Ben,
If you have a Master's Degree in Financial Planning then hopefully it is either already on the FASEA approved list, or your education institution will apply for it to be retrospectively approved. In which case you would have an approved degree and not need to do any further study. FASEA have indicated that a bridging course would be required for non approved degrees, whether they are less than ten year old or not. This is a proposal paper from FASEA and all of these issues will need to be addressed as part of the consultation process.

Hi Phil,

I'm afraid it was the wording of the communication by the AFA and also the FPA in recent days suggesting that those with degrees older than 10 years old will need to complete a bridging course.

This is utter nonsense. I have a Master of Commerce (Financial Planning) and a Grad Cert in Finance from real universities, (both of which trump the CFP and FChFP) completed in 2005 and 2003 respectively. I also hold a BA in an unrelated field.
A more appropriate qualification for someone at my stage in my career would be an LLM focusing on Estate Planning or Taxation, not a 'bridging course' that is less onerous than an Advanced Diploma in FP.

The AFA needs to clarify it's statement ASAP.

Thanks.

You're assuming that 1) the University will pay to be on the list and 2) the University is still offering the course. RMIT Masters of Financial Planning is no longer offered, due to numbers. It would be highly unlikely for a Head of school at a University to go through the process of putting a closed course on any Government register. Do you really think they are going to go to a bunch of ex-staff who probably don't even work at that Uni and say can you compare Unit A written in 2006 to FASEA's Unit B? not going to happen. Secondly what about those merged Univeristies. I.e FINSIA becoming Kaplan. This is why they need to recognise all past finance related degrees.

Are you Phil Anderson, the General Manager of Policy & Professionalism at the AFA? If so, why are you doing FASEA's work by responding to advisers on this forum? Why are you trying to smooth things over? The draft from FASEA is utterly offensive to any financial planner who has an existing degree (most of which will not be on the FPEC list, like my Masters completed less than 9 years ago). If you are not equally outraged you should resign immediately.

How and where was this message delivered? I'm a member and haven't received anything.

It is the following sentence which is causing the vigorous feedback and must be clarified/rescinded.

"Advisers with older degrees will still be able to get recognition for them, although they are likely to need to do a bridging course of some form”.

Any suggestion that a relevant degree holder needs to complete a bridging course because their qualification was completed over 10 years ago is utterly offensive to those of us who were at the front of the curve in terms of education and professionalism.

This is really the problem I agree. They have given no person recognition of the hard slog many undertook to help move the profession forward, voluntarily. They have implied that the study done, until consultation occurs, is somehow inferior or irrelevant. Perhaps the current CEO of FASEA forgets the many members of the FPA who supported his career via their fees, did a lot of study on his/their advice that was deemed relevant as little as 2 years ago. To deliver such a blunt message without first showing some respect to what has occurred before, is dumb communication policy on top of dumb policy.

The FASEA proposal is that advisers who have a "relevant" degree would need to do further study with a bridging course being one option. A relevant degree is one in a finance related area such as Commerce, Finance, Business, Economics, Accounting or Law, but is not a financial planning specific degree. This FASEA position applies to relevant degrees no matter whether they are less than 10 years old or not. Totally agree - a relevant degree was considered the most appropriate degree at the time that many advisers completed them. This is an important point to make as part of the consultation, which the AFA will be doing.

"...however we are hopeful that the bridging courses will be reasonable.” How comforting. How deluded.

This is just plain WRONG. Epic Failure AFA. 1 + 1 does not equal 3. The FPA and the AFA are already looking at how much money they can make from advisers by white labeling a Graduate Diploma from Deakin or Griffith Universities. Recognition of prior learning is only 10 years long and Universities only give you exemptions for at a maximum of 40% to 50% of the course work, so for the majority of advisers with Degrees in Finance it will mean further study, and not some $500 kaplan course. i.e min 4 units times $2,200 to $3,300 = $8000 to $13,000. Do not think either the FPA or the AFA will save you. Common sense is not going to prevail on this one my friends. Write to your local MP ASAP and get them to intervene on your behalf to the Minister for Fin Services.

The same organisation that sold us out on the LIF. You can understand why nobody would believe what the AFA are saying (aside from the fact that what they using is the word "hopeful" )

I find it's disappointing the attitude of most planners. Sitting back doing nothing, thinking the FPA or the AFA are on their sides and it will be sorted. How did FoFA and LIF work out for you in those cases? They have there own conflicted agenda. You'd think if planners really cared for their clients they'd be writing to their MP's in droves... but they won't. This lack of caring for their industry, their clients by planners just shouts that clearly most are still unprofessional and don't even give a rats. Too busy to even care that a fellow adviser has a 2006 Masters in Financial Planning and FAESEA is saying it's no good. Too busy to even appreciate the ramifications this has for the future of advice.They are happy to perpetuate the myth that we are all uneducated with less than hair dressing like qualifications. Shame on Financial Planners I say.. . I think perhaps we deserve Government over regulation.

I dont understand how sending an adviser who has been advising clients for 10+ years back to university will help anything. After 10 years and countless hours of CE points surely you know everything you need to know to do your job.

Who do you think would give the better advice. An adviser who has been advising clients for 10 years with a degree completed in 2007 (or even a DFP completed in 2007) , or an adviser in his first week who has a diploma of Financial Planning in 2017?

Why cant they just make these requirements for advisers with less than 10, or even 5, or even 3 years experience as an adviser.

FASEA is only about making more money for the universities and i for one will not waste my time and money on something i dont need to do to run my business which i have been doing for 10+ years.

Listening to Nick Haykes from AFA today it seems like the AFA is fully behind FASEA. Don't think we should be hoping for them to intervene and help us planners.
They have a campus so obviously would love to see us all go back to learning. Also, how is the AFA the only mob with this 10 yr opinion? FASEA and ASIC have unequivocally stated the 10 yr anniversary of degrees is definitely in.

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