AFA seeks greater recognition of experience

advisers recognition experience

Longevity in the industry should be considered when deciding how much study existing advisers must complete to remain in the industry.

Greater federal government recognition of experience and prior learning is required to stem the exodus of advisers, but those with long track records should be still be required to complete formal education to remain in the industry, the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) has recommended.

As part of its submission in response to Treasury’s policy paper on adviser education standards, the AFA stated an overarching recommendation for any change to be enacted should be that no one would be worse off relative to their current situation and anyone who had already passed the standard set by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) should not be required to do further study.

Building on this, it added existing advisers should be able to choose to stick with the FASEA standard or follow the experience or qualification pathways outlined in the paper.

For those following the experience pathway, the association proposed a “regime where all advisers are required to obtain a tertiary qualification, however, there is genuine recognition of prior learning and experience”.

To achieve this, it said the recognition of experience should be graduated and advisers with more than 20 years’ experience (as at 1 January 2026) should complete a four-subject graduate certificate with two subject credits, while those with more than 15 years’ experience would be required to do the same, but with one subject credit.

Advisers with more than 10 years’ experience would also be required to complete the graduate certificate, but receive no credits.

“The AFA has long argued for a sensible arrangement for existing advisers that recognised their prior learning and experience. We have also long supported a degree requirement for new advisers,” the body said.

The AFA suggested the 10 year full time experience requirement put forward under the experience pathway be reviewed to give consideration to those who have worked part-time or taking a leave of absence from providing advice.

“The 10 years full time out of the last 12 years requirement is potentially discriminatory to advisers who have had a period of paternity/maternity leave or who have worked part-time for an extended period. We believe that this should be assessed on the basis of elapse years.

“It is further noted the 10 years full time experience out of the last 12 years requirement will potentially impact a number of advisers who have had recent periods of absence from the profession, or who have at times taken on other roles such as licensee leader roles.

“We are also concerned that it could limit the ability for those who have passed the FASEA exam, however are no longer practicing, to return to financial advice. If someone has extensive experience over the last twenty plus years, then they should be eligible for some benefit for that experience.”

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