The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has added three months to the period in which financial advisers need to complete 40 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) as part of a one-off extension that recognises the impact of COVID-19.
FASEA stated the move was in response to inquiries and requests from the financial advice sector and it “recognises the challenges presented by the current extraordinary circumstances” and “that completion of planned CPD offerings may be difficult”.
The authority added the extension would not apply for future CPD years, in which the 40 hours of CPD in 12 months would still apply, and advisers could not use the extension to double count hours across the years.
The move was welcomed by the SMSF Association, which highlighted the relief would also apply to advisers with CPD schedules that fell outside the 30 June 2020-ending CPD year.
“Individuals with a CPD year ending prior to 30 June, later in the year and those with 18-month CPD years are expected to be able to access a three-month extension due to COVID-19,” the association stated in a message to members.
In the message, it said it was one of the professional associations to formally request that FASEA provide regulatory assistance around the issue of CPD requirements.
FASEA will shortly release, and consult on, a legislative instrument amendment to give effect to this extension and encouraged advisers to use video and online training options offered by licensees to complete their CPD requirements during the current halt to face-to-face training.
The education body recently announced a series of three exam sittings for advisers, which will also take place online after the government passed legislation giving financial advisers a further year in which to complete the exam.
It has also continued to expand the list of historical courses that meet its education requirements, as well as bridging courses and study for professional designations.