Only degree-equivalent status required for advisers: Govt

Existing financial advisers will only need a degree-equivalent status, Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Owyer announced today.

The announced came as the reforms to raise the education, training, and ethical standards of the industry has been revised in the draft legislation and accompanying explanatory memorandum.

The Government is also proposing to establish a standard setting body to administer the professional standards regime.

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"Existing advisers will be required to reach degree equivalent status, which can be achieved via a number of flexible pathways, including by completing bridging courses approved by the new standards body," O'Dwyer said.

"We recognise that existing advisers will need to balance any further education requirements with the demands of continuing to provide high-quality financial advice to their clients. Existing advisers therefore need sufficient time to meet the new standards."

O'Dwyer noted that the Government is also proposing to extend the amount of time existing advisers will have to reach degree-equivalent status and to pass the new exam requirement.

"The education and exam requirements are proposed to commence on 1 January 2019 (revised from 1 July 2017). Existing advisers will have until 1 January 2024 (five years) to reach degree equivalent status and until 1 January 2021 (2 years) to pass the exam," she said.

The standard setting body will be responsible for developing and setting the industry exam, code of ethics, and determining the education requirements for both new and existing advisers.

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As someone currently getting into the industry, can somebody inform me whether going from advanced diploma to grad certificate will be a high enough qualification? A Bach degree is level 7 whereas a grad cert/diploma is an 8. No one seems to be able to tell me how it will work

Tim the honest answer is there is a lot of flip flopping going around as you can see, the best thing to do is what you think you should do. This government dosen't really know what changes to make it seems, they will leave it to the new education standards people and also cant get anything through anyway at the moment. Myself I did a double major, Ive done DFP and now looking at Masters as it will give me exemptions for cfp should I wish to do that in the future. Im middle aged so its taken me a while to do all that. When it comes down to it , take any future legislation away for a minute, its how far you want to push yourself, what type of advice you want to give and what knowledge you want to have behind your advice. You can get this knowledge through a great mentor or study or a combination of both which is what most people I speak to aim for. This is why exemptions and so forth are ok suited to some people but you only cheat yourself if you dont do the study required. Selling a life insurance product from a bank desk, this needs less education than setting up a SMSF with insurances and doing the investments with multiple insurers and multiple investment vehicles or complicated buy sell and key person strategies working in with succession planning for example. I want to give high level advice, to give this I need to learn and keep learning too. Those that don't will just keep doing what they are doing, nothing wrong with that as long as they are doing the right thing by their clients which I know many do. All the best Tim,

2024? What's that in the distance? oh, it's prospect of achieving 'profession' status sailing off quietly into the sunset. Gotta love this "industry".

Well said, this is just a joke. I can name 3 dinosaur (sorry, experienced) advisers in my immediate area that can now continue to provide horrible advice for another 8 years before they retire and ride the gravy train off into the sunset.

yep, sadly they couldn't have made it any easier for them. The average age is 50 something, so yes, retire when it all gets too hard and they've given them their retirement date and almost the golden watch over 8 years

Anyone who needs until 2024 to complete a bridging course shouldn't be a planner in the first place.

Another standard cop out for 'experienced' advisers just like grandfathering opt in or grandfathered FOFA commission.

Planners should also have to meet an experience qualification under a suitable professional.

I would like to announce the new gold standard for financial planners and I am proud to introduce the Degree Equivalent Financial Advice Mandatory Education (D.E.F.A.M.E.) available to financial planners from 2019. The FPA and AFA et al. will now want to DEFAME all financial planners and then the whole industry can have DEFAME status by 2024. Please feel free to ignore the dissenting messages of educated financial planners that the new DEFAME status practically makes a laughing stock of those who actually have REAL university degrees and attempted to move the 'industry' into a recognised profession.

That's quite clever, I like it. I can smell a class action....

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