The Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has made a special plea to the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), arguing that advisers aged over 55 in 2023 should not have to face the same educational hurdles as their younger counterparts to remain in the industry.
However, the AFA has also argued that the older advisers who access the lesser educational arrangements should be subject to a sunset date for capacity to practice of 31 December, 2029 – effectively giving them just six more years in the industry.
In a submission responding to FASEA’s policy position on education standards for existing advisers, the AFA has argued that all financial advisers who are aged 55 or older as at 31 December 2023 and who have at least 10 years’ experience should be able to complete a four subject Graduate Certificate by that time.
However, it said that those arrangements should be subject to a sunset date for capacity to practice of 31 December, 2029.
Commenting on the AFA’s response, the organisation’s general manager, Policy and Professionalism, Phil Anderson said the submission was reflective of the organisation’s concerns about the sustainability of the advice industry and the results of its recent survey of members.
AFA chief executive, Phil Kewin said the approach was based on giving planners the opportunity to remain in the industry in circumstances where, while professionalism was absolutely the key, the sustainability of the industry was also important.
The submission outline said the key objectives of the AFA approach was to achieve from FASEA a broader and clearer definition of a related degree and an alternative solution for existing advisers with an unrelated degree.
The submission canvasses that if an adviser has an Associate Diploma in Financial Planning and has completed a relevant professional designation program, “then they should have access to the three-subject bridging course, along with possible recognition of prior learning for the behavioural finance bridging course”.
The AFA approach also urges access to cost-effective education solutions, in terms of course fees and obtaining exemptions.