Uncertainty surrounding the requirements for the new adviser education standards are likely to be daunting for many, and the industry needs to treat those fears with empathy, according to the AFA.
Speaking to ifa, AFA general manager of member services, partnerships and Campus AFA Nick Hakes said it was important for the industry to “recognise high degrees of apprehension” in the lead up to the new education standards.
Mr Hakes noted that “no-one likes operating in uncertainty”, and the current lack of clarity meant many advisers, particularly those who haven’t been in formal education in several years and those with less existing qualifications, are understandably nervous.
“We need to recognise and treat with empathy that for some, a lack of clarity on the requirements is a real source of anxiety,” he said.
“For an adviser who hasn’t been through formalised education for a while, often decades, the idea of a registration exam can be daunting, and we need to develop cultures of guidance and support, and we need to give them the opportunity to practice.”
Mr Hakes said advisers who were feeling anxious about the standards should talk to their peers, and start taking steps to prepare themselves.
“Every individual needs to understand where they’re starting from, and the options available to them – if you have a diploma, for example, you might need to go through more education than someone with an advanced diploma,” he said.
Despite these fears, Mr Hakes noted that feedback from AFA members regarding the new standards was “overwhelmingly positive”, and that the AFA looked forward working with recently appointed FASEA chief executive Deen Sanders to manage the transition.
“People want to embrace higher education standards, let’s give them some clarity on the steps they need to take,” Mr Hakes said.
“We welcome Dr Deen Sanders and look forward to engaging with him when he officially starts.”
The comments came as Mentor Education managing director Mark Sinclair remarked that it will be easier to meet the education requirements than many advisers expect, and that much of the industry’s anxiety is unfounded.
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