AFA gives FASEA blueprint a qualified welcome

19 November 2018

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) appears to have made “some material improvements” to its adviser blueprint, according to the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA).

However, the AFA has raised serious questions about the logic utilised by the FASEA in terms of credits attaching to the Associate Diploma of Financial Planning (ADFP) and the associated timings.

Writing to members, AFA chief executive, Phil Kewin said a number of his organisation’s had been addressed but that there “are a number of concerns remaining, particularly around RPL [recognised prior learning] and the outcomes for experienced advisers”.

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“As previously reported we met with Assistant Treasurer Hon. Stuart Robert on the 18th of September. As a follow up to this meeting, at the AFA National Adviser Conference on 12 October, the Minister announced that existing advisers will get two credits for completion of the ADFP.  These credits will be available to existing advisers with a relevant degree, those with a non-relevant degree and those with no degree,” Kewin’s letter said.

“The Minister also announced at the conference that advisers with a professional designation beyond a certain date would get two further subjects credit.”

“On Friday, FASEA clarified that this was CFPs after 2007 and FChFPs after 2014. There has been no discussions with the AFA on this date and at this stage we don’t know why they have chosen to exclude all CFP’s who graduated before 2008 or all FChFPs who graduated before 1 January 2015,” Kewin’s letter said. “This is something we will continue to advocate for a better outcome.

It said that amongst other education changes, FASEA had now defined a relevant degree as one with eight subjects from a short list of related fields and said this was much more in alignment with what the AFA had advocated.

“Impacted members will need to go back and review their academic transcripts to assess whether they qualify.  There have been no changes to address what we had proposed for experienced advisers without the ADFP or a professional designation, which is an area that we will be carefully looking at.”

The letter then went on to acknowledge improvements with respect to the financial planning exam and the reduction in the continuing professional development (CPD) requirements
and the greater clarity around code of ethics.

“The next four or five weeks will be hectic, with responding to consultation on seven separate legislative instruments and assisting members to understand the implications of these changes,” Kewin said. “We understand that FASEA intends to finalise these standards by the end of this year, so we recommend that you carefully check the standards as they are released.”

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