Education, Financial Planning, Regulation

FASEA slammed for draft guidance error

An SMSF specialist adviser has hit out at the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) for publishing erroneous requirements for financial advisers with foreign qualifications without conducting adequate research.

While FASEA has since acknowledged its mistake, Verante Financial Planning director and SMSF Association board member Liam Shorte lambasted FASEA for an error in its draft foreign qualifications guidance released last week.

The draft guidance said both new and existing advisers with educational qualifications obtained outside Australia will need to obtain an assessment from the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition (NOOSR) to ensure compliance with the new education standards.

Shorte pointed out NOOSR no longer exists and wondered who would conduct assessments for financial advisers with foreign qualifications instead.

“I’m just disappointed that they seem to have cut and pasted their requirements from somewhere else because they keep on mentioning the NOOSR and it doesn’t exist anymore,” he told selfmanagedsuper.

“It’s done by what they call the Overseas Qualifications Unit in each state, but New South Wales doesn’t have one of those.

“It just seems really sloppy that in the press release they mention NOOSR at least three times in the one pager and that office doesn’t exist anymore. It’s been replaced.”

On Friday, Shorte wondered whether the Department of Education and Training could step into the role, but noted its website said its assessments do not compare overseas qualifications by study area. Its units are competency standards.

“The Department of Education and Training said they only assess overseas qualifications for employment and general purposes. They do not undertake assessments for the purposes of admission, migration, membership, employment, registration and/or licensing of a regulated profession,” he said.

“Just again, this is our future we’re talking about so naturally we’re all trying to get some clarity.”

A FASEA spokesperson has since confirmed to selfmanagedsuper the assessment will be conducted by the Department of Education and Training.

Shorte urged FASEA to be clearer in its communications and conduct thorough background research before releasing guidance papers to avoid anxiety in the industry.

“I believe people on the board have got the best interests of the industry in their minds, but I don’t know whether they’re short-staffed or whether it’s just looking at what previous organisations have in place and trying to cut and paste that to make up the set of rules,” he said.

“That will lead to people doubting them.”

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