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SMSF body ponders creating bridging courses

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SMSF Association looks at designing bridging courses for education providers.

The SMSF Association is contemplating reallocating its resources from delivering specialist education to potentially assisting with the required bridging courses under the new education standards for financial advisers.

Speaking to selfmanagedsuper, SMSF Association chief executive John Maroney said the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) had made it clear it was compelled by law to focus on the basic education requirements before turning to specialist designations.

This could act as a disincentive for financial advisers to continue with specialist education over the next five years as they channel their energy towards fulfilling education requirements, including degree qualifications and bridging courses.

“That might take away their available time for study and their training and so you might have a drop-off of specialist education over the next five years while people do what is mandatory education,” Maroney said.

While the association is not a registered training organisation, it is contemplating designing its own bridging courses to meet FASEA’s requirements, which will then be delivered by a higher education provider.

“We would partner with a higher education provider or probably several of those to actually design, develop and deliver some of the bridging courses,” Maroney said.

“We did a survey at our national conference and I think we had about 80 per cent of our respondents saying they would look forward to using bridging courses that we developed or were involved in because they liked our education courses and they’d be more relevant, so we’d be able to include more case studies to do with SMSFs.”

He said the association could repurpose existing education material it has developed over the past five to 10 years for the bridging courses on its own or by partnering with education providers.

Meanwhile, the body will continue advocating the importance of specialist education, with Maroney saying he hoped FASEA will make some progress in the next year or two.

FASEA recently announced its chief executive, Deen Sanders, had stepped down after just eight months in the job, with Griffith Business School finance and financial planning professor Dr Mark Brimble assuming the role in the interim while FASEA searches for a replacement.

The authority said its focus and direction for the education standards for advisers would remain unchanged.

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