Comprehensive financial advisers should have a Bachelor of Financial Planning degree and limited advisers should only complete a subset of the degree, Mentor Education believes.
The firm's managing director, Mark Sinclair, said the government needs to legislate around a clear distinction between comprehensive and limited financial advisers.
Sinclair said accountants, life insurance, and other advisers seeking to provide personal advice in self-managed superannuation funds, and who limit their advice to retail clients should be exempt from the requirement to do a whole degree.
"At an absolute minimum these limited financial advisers should have completed that subset of a Bachelor of Financial Planning degree comprising of two foundation subjects, with ethics being mandatory, plus a minimum three core subjects focusing on their area of interest or specialisation," he said.
"On the other hand, those advisers who want to provide full financial plans and holistic advice should be required by law to do a standalone 24-subject Bachelor of Financial Planning degree."
Sinclair noted depending on existing qualifications and experience, existing financial planners are likely to qualify for credits/exemptions for a great deal of the subjects required by the new legislation.
He said a financial planning degree did not exist yet, it would not take long for the relevant material to be developed and approved.
"Certainly a five-year transition period for the development of such materials would suffice," Sinclair said.