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SMSFA calls for FASEA CPD obligations fine-tuning

The SMSF Association has identified certain Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) requirements pertaining to continuing professional development (CPD) for advisers it feels need amending.

The first of these is FASEA’s stipulation that advisers will be required to develop and maintain a CPD plan on a continuing basis, which the SMSF Association says translates to having to formulate the said plan on a yearly basis.

“We don’t necessarily think that doing a CPD plan every year is actually a useful activity. We think it’s going to be a bit of a grudge document for advisers where it will become potentially just a compliance point rather than anything useful,” SMSF Association head of policy Jordan George said during the industry body’s final technical update for 2018.

“So it’s not something we necessarily support.”

According to George, the association holds reservations about the mandatory minimum yearly CPD hours required to be completed across four specific disciplines.

Under the FASEA requirements, advisers have to complete five annual CPD hours each for technical competence, client care and practice, and regulatory compliance and consumer protection. In addition, practitioners will have to complete nine CPD hours per year covering professionalism and ethics.

“One of the issues the association also has is we do believe that technical competence requirement of five hours should come up. That should be a higher amount than five hours,” George said.

“We believe it should be around 10 hours per year.”

Last week, the SMSF Association also recommended that CPD activity accredited or delivered by a professional body should be automatically approved for the FASEA requirements so as to alleviate what could be perceived as an unnecessary additional responsibility licensees would bear as part of the new educational framework.

The current FASEA recommended rules require licensees to approve 70 per cent of adviser CPD activity.

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