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SMSF Association welcomes FASEA guidance

The SMSF Association has labelled the new Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) proposed guidance on education pathways for existing financial advisers as a crucial and positive step forward.

“The newly released guidance illustrates FASEA has listened closely to the industry and the proposed pathways are more flexible and give greater recognition to advisers’ prior education,” association chief executive John Maroney said today.

“The guidance, when coupled with the proposed draft industry code of ethics, will give the advice industry far more confidence that the implementation of the new educational and ethical standards is progressing on a much sounder footing.

“Since FASEA issued its initial guidance on adviser educational standards in December, the SMSF Association has been calling for far more detail and the documents issued today are a positive move in that direction.”

Maroney said it was a sensible and welcome outcome that existing advisers who have undertaken formal education in related fields and relevant postgraduate study will only have to complete a small amount of study to meet the new required legal educational standards.

“This is an improvement from our initial understanding of the FASEA standards and is a positive outcome for advisers who have a degree in a relevant field, as defined by FASEA, and have chosen to increase their knowledge by further education,” he noted.

The association also welcomed FASEA’s acknowledgement that professional accreditations are important and should be acknowledged by education institutions in granting advisers’ recognised prior learning.

However, Maroney stressed there is still more detail needed to see how the standards will apply to individuals, particularly regarding recognised prior learning, as well as what postgraduate qualifications will be included in the relevant pathway.

The association wants to work closely with FASEA to flesh this out, he said.

“To achieve this outcome, we will be making a submission and consult with FASEA on educational standards,” he revealed.

“We will also be continuing with our consultation roundtables with our members across the country to understand their views on how the updated guidance affects them.”

The industry body also welcomed the draft code of ethics for financial advisers, which was a key plank in ensuring consumers can have confidence all advisers are governed by the same ethical obligations.

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