FASEA education elements causing SMSFA angst

The SMSF Association has highlighted specific educational requirements proposed by the Financial Adviser Standards and Education Authority (FASEA) as further areas of concern it has for the advice industry.

SMSF Association head of policy Jordan George identified the potential obligation around continuing professional development (CPD) as one of these items.

“[A] really important part is the CPD requirements. FASEA has proposed 50 hours a year, but we think that this is too high,” George said during a recent member technical update webinar.

“We think that 40 hours a year is more appropriate.”

In addition, he said the SMSF Association was worried about the make-up of the CPD obligation.

“Within the CPD requirements we think there needs to be a good balance between technical skills and broader education. We’re thinking at the moment where FASEA has landed there is too much emphasis on ethics and high-focus issues and not enough on the technical skills that are needed to provide good-quality advice,” he said.

It was also pointed out the industry body has issues with the format of the proposed financial adviser examination.

“With the financial adviser exam what we saw in the initial guidance there we thought was far too complex and too onerous,” George said.

“[They were] looking at things like four-hour exams that had multiple-choice questions and written-answer questions – a very significant hurdle to jump,” he noted.

“What we said about that was it needs to be more relevant and targeted to make sure it’s not a burden on people that is too onerous.

“So we will wait and see what happens around FASEA’s final guidance on this.”

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