While the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) believes the Government’s proposal to amend the adviser education pathway is a good thing, it is on the fence about whether the proposal had “gone too far”.
AFA chief executive, Phil Anderson, said the association was pleased the government made the decision to review the education standard and that it had sought feedback from its members that had so far seen a “mixed bag” of reactions.
Anderson said it was a mix of those who were supportive and those who had reasons to disagree with parts of the proposal.
At the end of 2021, the Government proposed an “experience pathway” that would allow financial advisers who had 10 years or more of fulltime experience in the last 12 years to only complete a tertiary level unit on the code of ethics to continue providing advice.
“There are concerns about whether it's going to undermine the recognition of financial advice as a profession. There are people who've already done the study as they were required to do so who feel this is unfair,” he said.
“The issue is whether they've gone too far with requiring someone to do just one subject and if that will undermine confidence in advice, recognition of advice as a profession.
“With the qualification pathway, it's whether that ensures that people have done study in an area that is most relevant and what does it mean for new advisers who are looking to come into financial advice over the next few years.”
Anderson said these were really critical policy matters and that the association was considering feedback from its members and what was in the long-term best interest of financial advice as a profession.
“We're pleased that they have put a proposal on the table where they are going to better recognise experience,” he said.
“The question is whether going from eight subjects to one subject for people who've got 10 years of experience as at the first of January, 2026, is going too far. If it was accepted that it's going too far then what is the right compromise or the right balance?”