With key elements of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) regime, including continuing professional development (CPD) having come into force on 1 January, the industry is still warning of inconsistencies around which degrees are being recognised and the status of prior learning.
The level of continuing angst in the industry has been made clear by the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) in a submission filed with FASEA which made clear high levels of disappointment among more experienced planners about recognition of prior learning (RPL).
The AFA submission made clear that older, experienced advisers who joined the professional before recognised advanced courses emerged and who did not otherwise old an Associate Diploma of Financial Planning or a professional designation had been left particularly disappointed by FASEA’s approach.
That approach entails denying the right of Higher Education providers to exercise their discretion with respect to recognising the prior experience of advisers.
“These advisers have been told by many Higher Education providers that they would get at least two credits for experience,” the AFA submission said. “As a result of the announcement about the removal of any RPL discretion by Higher Education providers, these older experienced advisers will no longer have access to credits for experience.”
The AFA said this was “a particularly important point that needs to be addressed”.
“This is the group of advisers where there is the greatest risk of a mass exodus and these changes have only made it more difficult,” the submission said.
The AFA said it was also surprised to discover that existing advisers with a relevant degree would be required to do four subjects, whereas advisers with a relevant degree and an ADFP or professional designation would only be required to do one subject.
“Given the starting position of four credits for a relevant degree and two for either an ADFP (or equivalent) or a professional designation, we were struggling to understand how four minus two equals one,” the submission said. “We therefore assume that in this case the relevant degree is worth more because they have an ADFP (or equivalent) or a professional designation (i.e. five rather than four) or the ADFP (or equivalent) or the professional designation is worth more because they also have a relevant degree (i.e. three rather than two).”
“In either case, this seems to add further unnecessary complexity and we propose that the relevant degree goes back to being worth effectively five credits, with only the three bridging course subjects being required,” the AFA submission said.