A proposal from the regulator to distance itself from the education aspect of financial planning and shut down the adviser training register is the wrong approach and will increase the cost of advice, according to the Financial Planning Association (FPA).
In its submission response to the CP 212 and CP 215 papers (that look to update the current RG 146 framework), the FPA pointed out the register is key to helping licensees navigate the “maze of disparate documentation” which has emerged through multiple education and training regimes.
In August’s CP 215, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) proposed shutting down the register, admitting it only conducted cursory assessments of courses and as such, the measure did not add value. ASIC also argued it was not equipped to be an education regulator as well as a corporate regulator.
But the FPA wasn’t buying the argument that ASIC is not an education regulator, pointing out that it mandates minimum training requirements. It is ASIC, not education regulators, that licensees and financial planners look to satisfy when determining whether a course meets the minimum standards, the FPA argued.
“ASIC strongly influences and even dictates the course curriculum, and as such is acting in the education regulator space,” the FPA submission stated.
The proposed closure of the ASIC training register would exacerbate an existing issue whereby there is a lack of portability of training, and licensees are imposing their own standards. With no viable equivalent and CP 153 currently on hold, it will be difficult, time consuming and costly to assess adviser compliance with RG 146, the FPA said.
The FPA questioned how, without the register, a licensee or financial planner would be able to assess whether a course satisfies ASIC’s training requirements, or if an individual is appropriately trained.
This will more than likely result in licensees requiring fully-trained financial planners to unnecessarily undertake initial training again, at great expense to both the financial planner and licensee, the FPA argued.
Instead, the FPA suggested a coordinated framework be developed by a forum of representatives from ASIC, the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), financial planning profession, and education sector.
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