Adviser education needs ‘open-mindedness’

Minimum education requirements for advisers should be introduced with a degree of “open-mindedness” towards those with experience, according to an advice firm executive.

Speaking to ifa, Futuro director Dennis Bashford said that if the industry introduced minimum education standards, measured needed to be in place to ensure experienced planners are not driven out of the industry.

“It’s easy to say a degree in financial planning and/or advanced diploma should be a minimum, but there needs to be an open mindedness how this is introduced,” Mr Bashford said.

“There needs to be transitional arrangements in place so that we do not see our industry lose some of its most experienced and valuable people.”

Mr Bashford said one of his company’s best planners is approaching the end of his career and “could retirement tomorrow if he chose to.”

He could be one of the experienced planners the industry could lose if minimum standards were introduced across the board, Mr Bashford added.

“He is not willing to invest the effort in more study. My concern is that unless transitional arrangements recognise people like him and the value they bring then the industry loses this experience,” he said.

However, Mr Bashford said that for new planners, minimum education standards were a must if the industry wants to improve its reputation.

“For new people come into the industry, I don’t think it unreasonable to introduce a requirement of a degree in financial planning,” Mr Bashford said.

“If we aspire to be recognised as a true profession hen there is little choice other than to be going down this path.”

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