Education, Financial Planning

CPD requirement handicaps part-time practitioners

The continuing professional development (CPD) requirements mandated under the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) will potentially disadvantage practitioners working part-time, such as women, the chair of a dealer group has said.

“We believe advisers who work part-time and flexible hours will not be able to complete the required study within the time frame FASEA is proposing and still maintain a high standard of service to clients,” Synchron chair Michael Harrison said.

“We recognise that financial advising is attractive to women who want to balance their work and family commitments, particularly those who want to run their own businesses, and believe the proposed requirement will therefore have a disproportionately negative impact on female advisers.”

Harrison also identified older advisers as another group that will be negatively affected by FASEA’s CPD obligations and education standards.

“Our concern is that these highly skilled and experienced advisers will find it very difficult to maintain these hours when, more likely than not, they will also be required to study for a degree,” he said.

He expressed a fear up to 5000 experienced advisers would exit the industry as a result and this would have flow-on effects as well.

“The exit of so many people from the industry will not only result in unemployment, it will increase the cost of advice, potentially making it prohibitive for many people to access,” he said.

Other concerns he said he had with the new education framework included minimum and overly prescriptive standards of education, a lack of recognition for industry experience, no differing treatment for specialist disciplines and an unrealistic implementation time frame.

“FASEA has taken 18 months to determine draft standards and yet has not commensurately extended the implementation time frame. This is grossly unfair to both advisers and licensees,” he noted.

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