More than 4,000 participants in an online poll have argued CPD points should count towards achieving ‘degree equivalent’ professional status.
Out of the 5,081 voters on the latest ifa straw poll, 86.6 per cent (4,398) said CPD points should count towards achieving ‘degree equivalent’ status in response to the new education requirements that existing advisers must fulfill come 2024.
Meanwhile, 13.4 per cent (683 votes) said CPD points should not count.
The idea of CPD points contributing to achieving ‘degree equivalent’ status was suggested by the FPA recently in its 100-point adviser education transition proposal. The FPA suggested that in order to achieve 'degree equivalent' status advisers should be required to earn 100 points (degree equivalency) through a combination of study and industry experience. CPD would be capped at 14 points, the FPA suggested.
Despite the clear results of the poll, the controversial topic has garnered different responses from industry commentators.
Speaking to ifa, Houghton Strategic Solutions director Melinda Houghton said, “Degree equivalent status must have some flexibility and include experience and knowledge. CPD is part of that and records are available. Experience counts for a lot of our value to clients. CPD shows we have maintained currency, so is a good tool.”
Ms Houghton added, “If the FASEA board doesn’t get the mix right, we will lose more advisers. The current shortage will be exacerbated and clients will not have viable advice options. Getting this right is vital!”
However, managing director of Hewison Private Wealth Andrew Hewison said there needs to be a hard line drawn – a line which most financial advisers shouldn’t make it over.
“I am sceptical on the notion of applying CPD points to account for industry experience. Sooner or later a hard line needs to be taken on the matter of raising professional standards,” Mr Hewison said.
“The final guidelines should create some controversy because if it doesn’t, it basically means that most current ‘financial advisers’ have made it over the line and they shouldn’t. The FPA’s proposal to cap CPD points at 14 out of 100 may be acceptable depending on exactly how they can be earned.”
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