New Educational Standards for Financial Advisers Released for Comment

The Turnbull Government established the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) – a body comprising industry, consumer ethics and education experts – to raise the education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers.

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority has today released its much anticipated draft guidance on education pathways for existing financial advisers.

Under the professional standards reforms, existing financial advisers have until 1 January 2024 to meet the degree-equivalent requirements set by the Standards Authority.

The Standards Authority has determined five pathways of education, based on the various current qualifications of advisers, which will ensure that advisers can comply with the new statutory requirements (outlined in the table attached) by the due date.

Under the proposed pathways, existing advisers will need to undertake either a relevant degree, or between one and three bridging courses, including a course that focuses on the new Code of Ethics developed by the Standards Authority.

However, it is important to remember why these reforms are necessary – repeated instances of inappropriate or just plain bad advice has significantly eroded trust and confidence in the financial advice sector.

Every adviser has a role to play in rebuilding that trust, and these new educational requirements are a critical step towards professionalising the sector.

Ultimately, the professionalization of the advice sector will be in the best interests of all advisers, existing and new, because it will ensure enduring consumer trust and confidence in the financial advice sector.

The draft guidance is available on the Standards Authority’s website: www.fasea.gov.au. Consultation will close on 29 June 2018.