FASEA warned on over-complication

One hundred and ninety-three of the Financial Planning Association’s (FPA’s) existing practitioner members hold foreign qualifications and the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) should not move to unduly complicate their status, according to the FPA.

In a submission filed with FASEA this month, the FPA said that while those 193 practitioner members indicated they held a foreign Bachelor or higher degree, it was worth noting that it was a condition of FPA membership that they also needed to be RG146 compliant.

The FPA said that, in these circumstances, all 193 of the members had also completed a minimum of a Diploma of Financial Planning gained in Australia with many also having completed a Graduate Diploma, Master or the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Program in Australia.

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The FPA submission said it was concerned about the reliance on a definition of related degree for transitioning existing advisers to the new education standard, including those with foreign qualifications, as it was at risk of creating a system that is complicated, inefficient and costly to administer.

It said such an approach also overlooked the evolution of financial planning education and the valid and advice specific past education of existing advisers.

“The proposed approval process for existing adviser foreign qualifications also ignores the fact that existing advisers with a foreign qualification are individuals who are currently authorised to provide advice in Australia,” the FPA submission said.

“Many individuals in this category (that is an existing adviser with a foreign qualification) have been providing clients with financial advice based on the Australian legal systems for tax, superannuation, social security, and investments, licensed to provide such financial advice, and meeting the Australian requirements, for most of their careers.”

“They are not individuals who are new to this country or wanting to relocate to and provide financial advice in Australia sometime in the future. They have been living in Australia and licensed to provide financial advice based on the Australian laws and systems for years, even decades. They are existing advisers transitioning to the new education standards.”

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The whole approach taken by FASEA has been excruciatingly over-complicated. It has been 17 months now, and we still have no clarity on education. I have a Masters Degree in Financial Planning (from an Australian university) and I am staring down the barrel of forced study, wasting hundreds of hours and several thousand dollars on courses I have already completed. It's a complete joke. It is out of step with community expectations and it massively exceeds their mandate. It's time for the Government to wake up and acknowledge FASEA has been a failure. Representatives from the FPA, AFA and AIOFP should immediately be granted seats on the board, replacing some of those with links to the educational institutions. They are clearly unable to separate their own self-interest when making these important decisions, so some balance urgently needs to be forced upon this dysfunctional and unaccountable rabble.

Well said "Useless..". Actually quite a useful comment.
Some in the Industry have University Degrees in Engineering, and have had Project Planning, Design and Management experience based upon high level skills which are readily translatable to the family situation and to owners and managers of SMEs as well as the needs of Executives in large Corporations. The skill of some of these people has been proven to be quite superior and their diligence in looking after the best interests of clients is founded on their previous responsible work. They have attended courses as Financial Advisers, done CPD activities and studies and have also been quite capable of interpreting Laws and Regulations with ease. BUT some may not have obtained "qualifications", as may perhaps be defined soon, to avoid having to go back and study alongside school graduates in undergraduate courses. How ridiculous! Are the Teaching organisations represented on FASEA so desperate for more students and therefore more staff and therefore more promotion opportunities? Whose BEST INTEREST is this FASEAFARCE designed for?????

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