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”.
“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.”