Questions raised over FASEA approval process

Adrian Raftery, associate professor of the financial planning program at Deakin University, said he was critical of how FASEA handled accreditation process.

“Deakin business school is delighted that we had two versions of our graduate diploma approved as well as our three bridging courses, as well as historical diplomas going back to 2006,” Raftery said.

“I was dismayed with what appears to be preferential treatment with some institutions with approvals with TPB (Tax Practitioner Board) sign-off and a clear blatant disregard to the alignment of certain subject outlines compared to FASEA’s clear Curriculum guidelines for bridging courses.”

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“I have seen a few instances where bridging courses that were put forward to FASEA - and subsequently approved – that are clearly commercial and business law subjects, and not financial advice law subjects.”

There was also the omission of certain courses that were expected to have been approved during the current approval process.

This included Deakin’s Master of Financial Planning, which was submitted in the same application as the graduate diploma.

“I am surprised that we are waiting on FASEA Approval for more Professional Designations by Coursework such as CFP 1-4, FChFP and CPA because I understand that these were submitted several months ago by the respective professional bodies,” Raftery.

“I was also surprised by one admission and that was the Ethics Centre as they were on record on Money Management only a month ago saying they had an accredited FASEA ethics bridging course.”

“And I know Stephen Glenfield [FASEA chief executive officer] did a subsequent clarification that there was no bridging courses approved at that stage, so I was expecting the Ethics Centre to have that course approved so it was a surprise it was omitted.”

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I am learning how to behave in a "professional and ethical" way by following FASEA updates. I have now learnt that I was completely wrong about both areas. I was using the dictionary definitions, but I should have been using the FASEA definitions. Professional means being tardy, obtuse, and obscure. Ethical means being tardy, obtuse, obscure and unknowable. Glad I sorted that out. Looking forward to the exam now....

Why are all advisers being forced to do an expensive, time consuming bridging course in ethics when many have previously studied ethics as part of another course? FASEA's claim that it is due to a need to be familiar with the new FASEA Code doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Anyone who has studied general ethics principles and theory before, should be able to apply those learnings to new codes and situations as they arise without repeating everything from scratch. That's the whole point of studying general principles. And everyone needs to study the specific FASEA Code independently anyway, for the FASEA Exam. An exam which must be successfully completed up to 3 years before the bridging course!

FASEA should be beyond reproach. They should be free of commercial conflicts, and making sensible decisions that stand up to external scrutiny. That is not happening. The government needs to intervene.

Could it be because one of the FASEA Board members will personally profit from ethics courses, textbook sales & licensing, and consulting fees?

He's already got his textbook listed on the official FASEA Exam Preparation Guidance (FG003) Suggested Reading list. Perhaps his next book should be called "The Unethical Ethicist".

Well said dude. We need advisers 110% on board with this change it's such an important issue for all Australians. Very much seems the conflicts of interest that we as an industry stamped out years ago are ripe in Academia and is this just a case of Academics fighting over their share of the pie? Calling one course better than another, or missing key areas, claiming subjects studied at certain Uni's won't stack up with FASEA just caused me to put study on hold... a whole lot more of stress...fear and anxiety..... I don't really need this. Maybe the final straw. Time to quit I reckon getting way too hard now.

Yeah have to agree. I am all for the education requirements and the bar being raised, however, apparently the ethics course I did less than 12 months ago isn't good enough haha.

At the end of the day ill just suck it up and do the bridging course but couldnt the 'ethics' box be ticked in the exam? An exam is only useful if it tests what you actually do as an occupation, advising people on their finances. It should have confirmed all advisers have the base technical knowledge to be a professional.

Most Uni's are under huge pressures to get students. Uni's don't get funding to teach empty classes do they. Another cash grab? Maybe FASEA is applying a common sense approach to save hundreds of already highly educated advisers having to go back to school. Perhaps the IT worker who studied Windows Vista or Android should also be required to go back to Uni because there Uni course did not cover Apple operating systems post 2018. Do we really need academics claiming courses are useless because Tax practitioner code of ethics was not covered? My course XYB covers FASEA code of ethics + I referred students to a single web page at the tax practitioners board so my course is so much better.

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