What is your FASEA Education Pathway?

Monday 29 April 2019

Now is the time for Existing Advisers1 to clarify their FASEA Education Pathway to meet the minimum education requirements of the Adviser Professional Standards. These requirements need to be completed before 1 January 2024.

With this in mind, we have put together two flowcharts, one for Existing Advisers and one for New Entrants2 with the aim of making it easier for advisers to work out their Pathway.

These flowcharts supplement our previous articles on the Adviser Professional Standards reforms. Here we delve a little deeper into the education requirements.

This is particularly important for Existing Advisers who should be establishing their pathway now so they can allow enough time to meet the requirements before the deadline.

Some may need to complete a full graduate diploma, while others may only need to complete a single Bridging Course. Many advisers will receive recognition of prior learning and/or credits for previous study they have done and will fall somewhere in between these two extremes.

As we have previously noted, Existing Advisers who do not meet the requirements before 1 January 2024 will cease to be authorised as an Adviser from that date. In order to become authorised again, the requirements for New Entrants will need to be met, including the completion of a Professional Year.

Terms used in the Flowcharts are explained below.

 

Flowchart 1: FASEA Education Pathways – Existing Adviser

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Flowchart 2: FASEA Education Pathways – New Entrant

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Existing advisers with foreign qualifications

The above flowcharts do not explicitly deal with foreign qualifications. FASEA has released a Policy Statement3 on how qualifications outside Australia will be assessed for the purposes of the education requirements.

If you are an Existing Adviser with a foreign qualification, you will first need to seek assessment from a Department of Education and Training (DET) approved body. This assessment compares an overseas qualification to an Australian qualification, using the Australian Qualifications Framework.

Secondly, the DET approved degree will be assessed by FASEA as either relevant or non-relevant (similar to Existing Advisers with Australian qualifications). This, together with any additional qualifications or Professional Designations you hold, will determine the amount of additional study required.

 

Explanation of key terms

ADFP Advanced Diploma of Financial Services/Planning. The proposed requirements (as reflected in an exposure draft of legislative instrument amendments4) are that:
  • the Advanced diploma was completed with a registered higher education provider or training organisation registered with the National Vocational Education and Training Regulator; and
  • it relates to financial planning or financial advice.
This includes the historical eight course Diploma of Financial Planning – ‘DFP 1-8’ awarded by the Financial Planning Association.
Bridging Course FASEA determined bridging courses that are a legitimate part of the Education standard for Existing Advisers. These are as stated in FASEA’s Policy Statement,5 and are yet to be reflected in a legislative instrument. They are:
  1. Financial Advice Regulatory & Legal Obligations (Corporations Act, Anti-Money Laundering, Privacy & Tax Practitioners Board)
  2. Ethics and professionalism (including the FASEA Code of Ethics and Code Monitoring Bodies)
  3. Behavioural Finance: Client and Consumer Behaviour, Engagement and Decision Making.
Bridging Course 2 is also relevant for New Entrants who have completed a FASEA Approved Degree that does not cover Ethics and Professionalism.
Credits The number of unit exemptions from a FASEA Approved graduate diploma that FASEA will allow based on previous completion of the Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning, related degrees/subjects or Professional Designations. This is as stated in the FASEA Policy Statement6 and is reflected in an exposure draft of amendments 7 which is yet to be finalised at the time of writing.
Degree A bachelor’s degree, graduate diploma or master’s degree.
Existing Adviser Someone who was authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019 (and who was not subject to a banning order or enforceable undertaking not to provide financial product advice or financial services generally on 1 January 2019).
FASEA The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority. This is the body tasked with setting the standards and developing the Financial Planners and Advisers Code of Ethics under the Adviser Professional Standards legislation.
FASEA Approved Degree Several degrees from a range of education providers have been approved by FASEA8 for New Entrants which are also applicable to Existing Advisers. These cover a range of bachelor and postgraduate degrees, generally with majors/specialisations in financial planning. Conditions for each degree are specified, for example, particular subjects must have been completed. FASEA has stated its intention to update and maintain a list of Approved degrees on its website.
FASEA Approved GDip A graduate diploma approved by FASEA (see FASEA Approved Degree above).
FASEA Approved Unit Financial Advice Capstone subject. This is as stated in the FASEA Policy Statement9 but is yet to be reflected in a legislative instrument.
New Entrant The term used by FASEA to refer to someone entering the profession who does not qualify for the transitional rules available to Existing Advisers.
Postgraduate Entry Requirements Entry requirements to a postgraduate degree as determined by the education provider of the degree. Depending on the degree and the education provider, knowledge gained from relevant professional experience may be recognised as an alternative to an academic qualification.
Professional Designation As Approved by FASEA. FASEA has released an exposure draft of amendments10 that would provide approval for the five-unit CFP (Certified Financial Planner professional designation of the Financial Planning Association), commencing from Semester 2, 2003.
Related Unit A unit of study in one or more of the fields of study listed under ‘Relevant Degree’ above. This is as stated in the FASEA Policy Statement11 and is reflected in an exposure draft of amendments 12 which is yet to be finalised at the time of writing.
Relevant Degree A bachelor’s degree, graduate diploma or master’s degree that contains at least eight courses in one or more of the following fields of study in any combination:
  • Financial planning
  • Accounting
  • Taxation law (as approved by the Tax Practitioners Board)
  • Finance law
  • Finance
  • Business law or commercial law (as approved by the Tax Practitioners Board)
  • Investments
  • Estate law
  • Banking
  • Economics.
This is based on FASEA’s Policy Statement13 and is yet to be reflected in a legislative instrument.

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1 Those who were authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019 (and who were not subject to a banning order or enforceable undertaking not to provide financial product advice or financial services generally on 1 January 2019).

2 The term used by FASEA to refer to someone entering the profession who does not qualify for the transitional rules available to Existing Advisers.

3 See FPS005 Foreign Qualifications policy, January 2019.

4 Draft Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard (Amendment No. 1) Legislative Instrument.

5 See FPS001 Education Pathways Policy, January 2019.

6 See FPS001 Education Pathways Policy, January 2019.

7 Draft Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard (Amendment No. 1) Legislative Instrument.

8 Corporations (Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard) Determination 2018.

9 See FPS001 Education Pathways Policy, January 2019.

10 Draft Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard (Amendment No. 1) Legislative Instrument.

11 See FPS001 Education Pathways Policy, January 2019.

12 Draft Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard (Amendment No. 1) Legislative Instrument.

13 See FPS001 Education Pathways Policy, January 2019.

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