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FASEA upgrades pathways guidance

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has released new guidance on its education pathways proposals, confirming bridging courses for advisers with bachelor’s degrees in related fields such as accounting, business, commerce, law and economics.

FASEA has also issued a draft code of ethics for consultation dealing with ethical behaviour, client care, quality process and professional commitment, including a requirement that advisers uphold the ethical standards of the profession and hold their peers to account.

Commenting on the updated pathways guidance, FASEA chief executive, Deen Sanders said that advisers with a bachelor’s degree in a related field – that is, accounting, financial planning or advice, business, commerce, law or economics – would need to complete a bridging course of three study units to meet the standards.

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 He said this typically equated to less than a year of part-time study.

“Advisers with a bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate qualification in a related field will only need to complete a one-unit bridging course covering the FASEA Code of Ethics,” the FASEA announcement said.

It said all advisers with these types of degrees would be eligible for the relevant bridging course option, regardless of when they obtained their degree.




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I have a Masters Degree in Financial Planning, a Grad Cert in Finance and a Diploma of Financial Services (Mortgage Broking). I complete approximately 80 hours of professional development each year. I am not doing any bridging courses.

Mr Saudners, you are completely out of touch with reality and need to step down immediately!

Is this a joke?? How is a Bachelor Degree in Financial Planning a "related field"...isn't it "the field" and the only degree that new entrants to the industry can do to meet the new standards? Even with a Bachelor in Financial Planning and a Post Graduate qualification in a related field you will still need to do a 1 unit bridging course haha. How is it possible that a new graduate can meet the education requirements with less qualifications than an existing Adviser?

It can't be right surely? Have a degree in the specific field, but still need to do a bridging course?! It's like saying a lawyer with a legal degree, needs to do a bridging course. Madness if correct.

Boys and girls, this is FASEA setting up for the next round of education revenue raising.

And what about people with 30 years of experience in the industry who have done other courses.....

RobinBris - I think you're missing the point, what about the course you did 30 years ago....it's probably not relevant in today's world. Surely completing ongoing CPD points would make you aware of this....

Perhaps you are correct, but My Lawyer is over 50 years old and my Physician is over 50 as well. Both still are counted as qualified. The ongoing training and "CPD" points ensure that is happening. However these new education standards appear to ignore the ongoing CPD and upgraded training I do every year. This seems to be totally different to every other occupation. However my point was costs to clients will probably increase, and I don't see how this will benefit people. Next time you see a client ask them if they have an annual review of their will. I have and the general answer is "No way. I paid $2000 for that, I can't afford that every year". The cost of legal advice is now higher than people are prepared to pay, and they did not even consider the potential benefit in their response.

Dr Deen Saunders, are you going to complete a bridging course to justify your role on the FASEA board and show that your own education requirements are sufficient? I have a Masters in Financial Planning and Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning, these qualifications aren't in the field, they are the field. Using this exercise as a revenue grab is the same reason the industry is frowned upon, your actions are no different that dodgey advisers putting clients into products to receive larger commissions. Obviously you're not familiar with best interest duty...

This is fantastic news for the public.
Well done FASEA

Hi All,
If I were to obtain a Masters in FP post 1 Jan 2019, will this be enough the provide advice? (Obviously outside of the other FASEA exams etc)
I already have an ADFP however no degree.

Hi All,
If I were to obtain a Masters in FP post 1 Jan 2019, will this be enough the provide advice? (Obviously outside of the other FASEA exams etc)
I already have an ADFP however no degree.

Yes. If you are on the ASIC register before 31 Dec as an authorised rep you will count as an existing adviser and have till 1 Jan 2024 to get the degree. If you have ADFP (AQF6) you will need to do either an AQF7, 8 or 9 qualification to meet the new degree standards. Bachelor degree (AQF7) would take 3 years fulltime. Grad Dip (AQF8) will take approx 1 year fulltime. Masters(AQF9) approx 1-1.5 years fulltime. You may get some subject credits for things like CFP/FChFP which would reduce the study time. Also different universities offer different terms/sessions - some run 2 semesters a year, some 3 trimesters and some 4 quarters. Choosing one that offers more terms/sessions may help you achieve the degree faster.

Yes, but I'm not sure it's clear yet as my understanding is that various degrees etc not only have to have those levels - AQF levels, but also be on the FPEC approved list. For example, a Masters in Applied Finance which is AQF9 still may not be recognized if not on the FPEC list or defined as relevant.

Thank you for replying.
For me, it's still confusing for a new entrant into Financial Planning post 1 Jan '19 and not on the ASIC register before 31 Dec'18. Will a Masters in Financial Planning through Kaplan suffice, or will I need to go and do further studies i.e. degree in order to become an Authorised Rep.

Yes, when you do a degree you want to choose one from the FPEC list.
If you are new(not on the ASIC register by year end) you need an FPEC approved degree (AQF7,8, or 9)
Kaplan Master is at AQF9 but you will want to check its on the FPEC list: https://fpa.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/ApprovedDegreeList_2018.pdf

yes but I'm not certain the FPEC list is set in stone, i.e. it is still part of the consultation process is it not?

Bozo, apparently "consultation" is another way of saying "we already know exactly what we are going to implement". It seems a few of these posters here are quite close to the action, so you can probably take some of those comments to the bank pardon the pun.

It is great. I do a 3 unit bridging course. My employer pays, hopefully i learn maybe 5 things tops, i spend less time doing things i want to do for a few months. Clients get same result which is good advice and what they want and need and those who dont engage stay the same.
If i want to do the wrong thing well, i am still the same person

Interesting point you make "my employer pays". That might depend how generous one's employer is. Pretty confident my employer won 't pay. Will be interesting to see if advisers employed by the banks, for example have their education paid for or subsidized. Will advisers staring at significant cost move under a bank or other large organisation umbrella?

So you learn a few things, you're a better adviser and your client is better off. Industry better off.

3 units of teaching your grandmother to suck eggs, after over 15 years in this industry some self interested career students come in and say and lets teach these people about Ethics...stuff me...tell you what FASEA, you better make sure there are no more bad advisers out there after this magic course as this will mean a major fail for you. Everyone agrees advisers should have a degree, but really if people want to rip others off they will, you cant educate against that....madoff anyone? Will we be covering fairies in the garden as well as thats something I dont know about and maybe there would at least be some value added there?

The latest guidance says "New Entrant Education required Approved Degree (24 subjects) at AQF7) by no later than January 1 2019" - see FASEA education pathways explained chart. Why wouldn't approved degrees completed after January 1 2019 count as the education required for new entrants?

Well thats at least very poorly explained and inconsistent with the previous FASEA guidance that said new entrants after 1 January 2019 need an approved degree. FASEA need to issue consistent advice.

FASEA where is the list of approved Graduate Diplomas of Financial Planning??? The FPEC list was for approved Bachelors and approved Masters - not approved Graduate Diplomas.

It is not as simple as assuming that all Universities or other higher education providers have the same first 8 subjects of their approved Masters in their Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning offering. Some subjects offered in one Graduate Diploma maybe offered only at Masters level in another and vice versa.

I do recognise their maybe significant degree of consistency in content - introduction to financial planning, superannuation, insurance etc within Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning but a couple of examples may help.

1. UNSW offer both in their Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning subjects such as FINS5512 Financial Markets and Institutions & FINS5513 Investments and Portfolio Selection whilst other Universities may cover the same content but less thoroughly in just one subject.

2. UNSW most cover superannuation in FINS5510 Personal Financial Planning and Management (their introduction subject) and FINS5537 Financial Planning Advice and Ethics (its sequel subject). However, UNSW also have a subject fully dedicated to retirement planning as an elective in their graduate diploma - ACTL5401 Retirement Planning - its offered by UNSW School of Risk & Actuarial Studies.

I don't see any approved Master of Financial Planning that as much focus on investments and retirement planning as UNSW. Its two reasons why I am studying a Master of Financial Planning with UNSW.

FASEA if your going to say approved Graduate Diploma - be consistent in the breadth and depth of content by specifying what is an approved Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning!!!

Further FASEA's Proposed Guidance on Education pathways for Existing Advisers with no degree or an unrelated degree require an "Äpproved Graduate Diploma (8 Subjects at AQF8).

The FPEC list was for approved Bachelors and approved Masters. There was no FPEC list of approved Graduate Diplomas. Whilst the Masters may have been approved that FASEA have ignored that Universities have different subject offerings in the Graduate Diploma i.e. first 8 subjects of the 12 or 16 subject approved Masters.

FASEA seem to have forgotten that they are asking for comments by end June 2018 on

FASEA the FPEC approved degree list gave approved Bachelors and approved Masters degrees.

FPEC is currently in the process of accrediting Grad Diplomas.

FPEC is not FASEA. The chair of FPEC reports and is appointed by the FPA. FASEA should not be using FPEC full stop. Firstly FPEC is a list of courses to determine entry into a higher learning course like the CFP program and 2) The FPA receives payments from organizations like Commonwealth Financial Planning and bundles them as member fee. Just look at an FPA member now being questioned about bribes. FASEA should have no connect to the FPA whatsoever. It does not represent all advisers and is weighted towards mainly CBA employees. I am a FPA member.

Good point on FPEC, Yet FASEA did not do the work to come up with their own list of approved degrees, they just borrowed FPEC's.

FASEA confusion. Raising education standards is NOT consistent with new entrants requiring an approved bachelors degree by no later than January 1 2019 - what happens to new entrants who complete an approved bachelors degree after January 1 2019???

Raising education standards is consistent with the previous guidance that new entrants after January 1 2019 need an approved degree. Those approved degrees were also Bachelors or Masters in financial planning. Why are FASEA now ignoring approved Masters!?!?

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