New FASEA educational guidance ‘positive step forward’

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) new proposed guidance on educational pathways for existing financial advisers is a crucial step forward, says SMSF Association CEO John Maroney.

“The guidance, when coupled with the proposed draft industry code of ethics, will give the advice industry far more confidence that the implementation of the new educational and ethical standards is progressing on a much sounder footing.

“Since FASEA issued its initial guidance on adviser educational standards in December 2017, the SMSF Association has been calling for far more detail, and the documents issued today are a positive move in that direction.

“The newly released educational pathway guidance illustrates that FASEA has listened closely to the industry and the proposed pathways are more flexible and give greater recognition to advisers’ prior education.”

Maroney says it is a “sensible and welcome outcome” that existing advisers who have undertaken formal education in related fields and relevant post-graduate study will only have to complete a small amount of study to meet the new required legal educational standards.

“This is an improvement from our initial understanding of the FASEA standards and is a positive outcome for advisers who have a degree in a relevant field, as defined by FASEA, and have chosen to increase their knowledge by further education.”

The Association also welcomes FASEA’s acknowledgement that professional accreditations are important and should be acknowledged by educational institutions in granting advisers’ recognised prior learning.

“There still is more detail needed to see how the standard will apply to individuals, especially regarding recognised prior learning and what post-graduate qualifications will be included in the relevant pathway and the Association wants to work closely with FASEA to flesh this out.

“To achieve this outcome, we will be making a submission and consult with FASEA on educational standards. We will also be continuing with our consultation roundtables with our members across the country to understand their views on how the updated guidance affects them.

“The Association also welcomes the draft code of ethics for financial advisers. This code is a key plank in ensuring consumers can have confidence that all advisers are governed by the same ethical obligations,” Maroney says.