It is an “immense waste” of resources for the Government to ignore existing advisers’ prior learning, according to Labor’s Stephen Jones.
Speaking at the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) annual conference, Jones was asked by AFA general manager for policy and professionalism, Phil Anderson, for his views on recognition of prior learning (RPL) and whether more could be done to help experienced advisers.
Jones, the shadow minister for financial services and superannuation, said: “RPL is a technique that has been used across a range of different professions and occupations. The reason we are doing this is to ensure the workforce has the skill, knowledge and ethical disposition necessary to fulfil their task.
“If advisers already have that then it’s an immense waste of public and private resources to send people back to do a degree when there are more efficient means of recognising and measuring their existing skills and knowledge.”
Anderson said Jones’ comments would be “warmly welcomed” by the adviser industry.
Meanwhile, he said the Financial Advisers Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) was a “rolling train wreck” as it headed into the final months of the exam process.
“There’s been poor managerial decisions, the administration of FASEA was late to get its standards done, late to give advisers guidance and the whole exam process was a rolling train wreck,” Jones said.
The second thing Jones said he would have done differently regarding FASEA would have been to recognise not all branches of advice needed to know every part of the qualification as they would have their own specialisations.
“We don’t need life advisors being trained in stockbroking, it is not essential to their job, in the same way that stockbrokers don’t need to know about life insurance,” Jones said.
“Yes, you are going to have different specialisations and people with a foot in more than one camp but setting up an industry qualification that reflects the way the industry works would be a good starting point.”