FPA chief executive Dante De Gori has rejected Mentor Education's calls to exempt limited advisers from degree requirements, saying this is "irresponsible" and not in the interest of consumers.
Financial services training company Mentor Education said yesterday in a statement that the government's proposed adviser education standards should only apply to comprehensive advisers, and not "overreach" to those whose services are limited to risk or SMSF advice.
Speaking to ifa, Mr De Gori said these comments are "wrong".
"I think it's dangerous to start exempting people from different education standards. That is counterproductive. It is not in the interest of consumers and it's not in the interest of fostering a proper profession," he said.
"I think anybody that is authorised and licensed to provide personal advice to a consumer, irrespective of whether it's limited or specialised in a particular area, has to be held to the same education and training standards."
As an example, Mr De Gori pointed to other professions, including doctors and lawyers, who go on to specialise in areas after meeting the minimum standards.
"Everybody has to do the same core competencies and training before they then become a specialist," he said.
"It should be no different in financial planning."
Asked when the draft legislation on new education standards will be introduced into Parliament, Mr De Gori said it will likely be delayed.
This also includes the establishment of the independent standards-setting body, which was set to start operating on 1 July.
"The priority of the government is the budget and the election at the moment. With the timing and the election, it looks like it's probably not going to happen until after the election," Mr De Gori said.
"The FPA will be pushing ahead with this as soon as the election is done and dusted. This is not going to go away but yes, it's being delayed because of the political cycle we're in."
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