Not all advisers will need a degree to remain in the industry, but they will need to undertake some form of study, according to incoming FPA chief executive Dante De Gori.
The government's proposed new professional standards for advisers are expected to be enforced by 1 July 2016, with transitional arrangements for existing advisers to begin in 2017.
Speaking to advisers at the FPA Professionals Congress last week, Mr De Gori said while those details are yet to be worked out, it is not likely that all advisers will need to satisfy the recommended degree requirement.
"I can assure you that from the FPA's perspective, we're not advocating that all of you go and do undergraduate degrees. No one is asking you to have to go back and do an undergraduate degree," he said.
"But the reality is, for some of you, some additional study may be required."
Mr De Gori does expect all advisers to pass a single exam, however, despite their educational achievements or number of years in the industry.
"It doesn't matter what training or qualifications you have, everyone needs to pass a one-off exam as the transitional benchmark and you all need to subscribe to a code of ethics," he said.
"Effectively, according to the [proposed] timelines, if you haven't passed the exam by July 2019, you will no longer be able to be on the register."
The transitional arrangements will be determined by an independent body, which is set to be established by July 2016. The group will also have 12 months to develop the curriculum, the exam and the minimum CPD standards, Mr De Gori said.
After that, advisers will have two years to complete any further study, pass the one-off exam and subscribe to a code of ethics.
"That's the timeline that's being proposed – it's very short," Mr De Gori said.
"In terms of getting there, we are likely to have some draft legislation by the end of the year."
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