Crucial piece still missing from FASEA guidance
Education providers and SMSF professionals are still waiting for FASEA to confirm who will be responsible for assessing whether individual advisers have met the relevant degree requirements under the new standards.
In the past month, the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has released seven pieces of guidance, including five legislative instruments.
Under the proposed standards, existing advice professionals who have a relevant degree will only need to complete a maximum of four subjects.
One of the crucial aspects that is yet to be confirmed by FASEA, however, is who will be responsible for confirming whether or not individual advisers have met the requirements for the relevant degree pathway, according to Kaplan Professional head of operations Sally Greener.
“We’ve actually approached FASEA and asked for confirmation as to who would confirm that an individual has a relevant degree,” Ms Greener said at a recent SMSF Association event.
“Do we do that as the education provider, does the licensee do that or does FASEA do that? It’s crucial as it could mean the difference between needing to do four subjects versus eight subjects. Unfortunately, we don’t have that confirmation.”
Ms Greener explained that SMSF professionals who have a relevant degree will only need to complete four subjects, which consist of the three bridging courses including behavioural finance, the Corporations Act and the FASEA Code of Ethics, and a capstone subject.
The recent guidance also confirmed that extra credits may be available for designations completed by coursework, Ms Greener noted.
“Our understanding of the policy statement is that it’s at the discretion of the higher education provider,” Ms Greener said.
Ms Greener added that FASEA has now confirmed that it is not mandating this credit, and that it’s only stating that it should be taken into consideration by the higher education provider.
“At the FPA Congress, there was a lot of talk around, well, I’ve got an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning, it automatically only means I need to do six subjects, for example,” Ms Greener said.
“I just want to caution that it does say ‘may be eligible for credits’. I don’t want anyone misled. However, it would be incorporated into our recognised prior learning RPL policy once the final process is confirmed.”