O'Dwyer to introduce education reforms in next sitting block

Minister for Revenue and Financial Services Kelly O’Dwyer is expected to introduce the new adviser education reforms into parliament during the next sitting block, which commences next week.

ifa understands that the government is planning to introduce the adviser professional standards legislation in the last sitting fortnight. There is, however, no guarantee given the volume of legislation that has to go through.

Ms O'Dwyer announced in October that the reforms will include compulsory education requirements for both new and existing financial advisers.

It will also include supervision requirements for new advisers, as well as a code of ethics for the industry. Further, there will be an exam that will represent a common benchmark across the industry and an ongoing professional development component.

The new regime will commence on 1 January 2019. Existing advisers will have until 1 January 2021 to pass the new exam and until 1 January 2024 to reach degree-equivalent status.

An independent standards body will also be established to co-ordinate the adviser exam, develop a code of ethics and determine education requirements. This body will initially be funded by the big four banks and AMP.

In a statement to ifa yesterday, a spokeswoman for Ms O'Dwyer said: “The new legislation is the government’s response to a recommendation made in the Financial System Inquiry report to lift professional standards of financial advisers.."

“The minister looks forward to introducing the reforms, which will play a significant role in improving consumer trust and confidence in the financial advice industry."

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