Financial adviser education consultation open

Financial adviser education

The consultation process regarding the review of the financial advice education standards has been started by the new Labor government.

The federal government has commenced the consultation process that will help determine financial adviser education standards

Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones noted the process is being undertaken in an effort to improve the overall financial advice offering to consumers.

In particular, the Labor government is looking to improve the standards to accommodate all levels of practitioners, something it feels the current parameters did not accomplish to the detriment of the industry.

“By treating seasoned, respected advisers like undergraduates, the previous coalition government drove much-needed experience out of the industry without addressing quality of advice standards,” Jones noted.

“The consultation paper released today proposes removing the requirement for a tertiary qualification if an adviser has 10 years’ experience, a clean record and has passed the relevant exam,” he said.

“It also proposes several options for amending current education requirements on new industry entrants.”

According to the consultation paper, the education standards for new entrants to the industry are not broad enough in their scope as they focus too much on financial planning and financial advice disciplines.

“Some members of the industry are concerned that the approved degrees are too narrow and do not adequately recognise the needs of the diverse sub‑sectors that make up the broad ‘financial advice’ industry, such as stockbrokers,” it stated.

“It is worth noting that other professions require their members to study subjects as part of their formal education requirements that they may not use in their professional life.

“For example, all valid law degrees are required to teach criminal law, despite not all lawyers practising in that area. Therefore, being required to complete a degree with some specified knowledge should not necessarily pose a barrier to entry.”

The government is encouraging anyone with an interest in the financial advice industry to participate in the process.

Submissions must be submitted before 16 September and can be sent to [email protected].

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