Government slow to act on ‘quick and dirty’ licensing courses

CPA Australia has slammed the government for being too slow to respond to the poor quality of certain limited licensing courses on offer.

Speaking to SMSF Adviser, CPA Australia general manager of public practice Peter Docherty warned accountants they need to be wary of courses that claim to provide a diploma of financial planning in as little as two days.

“A lot of the courses in the marketplace are ‘quick and dirty’ courses that [only] allow them to sell products for a financial dealer group,” said Mr Docherty.

While this type of training course may be adequate if an accountant simply wants to align themselves with a particular dealer group, accountants who are attempting to use these courses to meet the education requirements for a limited licence through ASIC are set to have a “rude awakening”, he warned.

“ASIC is rejecting lots of applications – certainly with applications for the limited licence, one of the main instances where they’ve been rejected is because the knowledge requirements don’t comply with the minimum guidance,” Mr Docherty said.

Despite efforts by the Australian Skills Quality Authority to ramp up audits of some of the limited licensing courses on offer, Mr Docherty said the “government has been too slow to respond to bad quality”.

The response by Treasury to recommendations made by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services may, however, lead to better standards among education providers, he said.

“Any professional needs to be wary of any course that can provide you with a diploma of financial planning in two days – it just doesn’t make sense and it’s just not possible," Mr Docherty said.

“It’s very important, first of all, that accountants only take training with a registered training organisation, and actually ask the training organisation questions to ensure the training program being delivered meets all the minimum requirements that are established in the ATO regulatory guides RG146 and RG105 and etc.”

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