Will new education standards quantify experience?

There are lingering questions about how the new education and professional standards for financial advisers will quantify the experience accumulated by a financial adviser who has been practicing for decades, according to the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA).

National president, Marc Bineham told a media briefing the industry required clarity on what would happen to those advisers who began their career decades ago when diplomas and degrees in financial advice and planning did not exist.

Speaking at the 2017 AFA National Adviser Conference at the Gold Coast last week about the AFA’s whitepaper on the financial advice competency framework, Bineham said he did not question the need for advisers to raise their minimum education requirements.

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“For someone who is a 40-year adviser and who’s got all that experience and part of our whitepaper is how do we quantify that experience?” he asked.

“Yes you should have so much technical but then someone who’s just walked out of university to someone who’s been seeing people and built relationships for 40 years, you’ve got to be able to quantify that because it is appreciated by consumers.”

Bineham added that while the Future of Financial Advice (FOFA) reforms addressed investment advice and the incoming Life Insurance Framework (LIF) addressed life insurance advice, raising educational requirements for advisers was the final element of the package to raise consumer trust in advice.

“There is still a negative perception about what we do and we need to raise everyday Australians’ trust of our industry and as a profession and this is part of that,” he said.

“I think that package to help raise, we can go out and sort of say that we are raising that trust, and now education is the last piece of the puzzle that we need to help increase the trust factor with everyday Australians.”

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40 year advisor? Definately a rare animal or minority, if it exists at all. My hat off to anyone that has been able to put up with all this BS and the usual suspects for 40 years and is not now ready to walk or be admitted! I think we need to address how to fairly treat the ones that have been continuously practicing for say around 5-10 years + without ruining their businesses (as well as their clients and staff); Which all the other lunatics in the asylum have done a great job at -: competing professions, two main parties, insane rules + regulators, 'know-it-all' auditors, unions and banks, BOLR handcuff clause dealer groups, and even the supposed industry bodies. Few of these usual suspects have ever given advice, cared for clients + staff or run a business, yet there they are.
Our 'use by' date is shrinking each year....

There's a handful of 40 year advisers left who will most likely retire before the 2024 deadline. There's quite a few more of the 30 year+ advisers like myself with 10+ years left to practice, who need to decide how to approach the "degree equivalent" obligation - with limited information. For those who think that experience will get you through, the bad news is the FASEA Board is already lined up against you. If you want an informed opinion, read Dr Mark Brimble's draft paper for the FPA. He's the primary Education Director on the FASEA Board. And then compare his draft with current process adopted by Griffith University for enrolments in its Masters of Financial Planning course...which Dr Brimble oversees as Professor of Finance and Financial Planning for the Griffith Business School. Normally a Masters course is reserved for those who have already completed a Bachelors Degree, but you can use Griffiths alternate pathway, which recognises industry experience to qualify and start, The Masters is 12 units. If your experience matches the Units offered, you may qualify for up to 4 Units of credit from experience and previous education. RG146, Dip FP and CFP help with that application, but aren't guarantees. Dr Brimbles draft FPA paper says that you would need experience, Adv DipFP, CFP status AND 7 completed units at Masters level to be at "Bachelor equivalent". That position would/will be argued as recognising experience. So you WILL have to undertake further University level study. The choice for all current Non Degree advisers will be a) retire on or before 1/1/24 or b) sign up to a uni course and passing sufficient units by the deadline.
Personally, I've started the Masters course with a real university because I am sick of undertaking education programs that don't count for anything. LUATC 1 and 2 (anyone remember those pre AFA days?), DIp FP, adv Dip FP, CFP. 40+ hours a year of CPD for 20 years...........next to worthless apparently. Experience and a Masters.....should put a few of the louder kids in the industry back in their place! Ultimately its all good for our profession because both theory and practical application are both critical to doing our work.

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