The incoming education standards to be set by FASEA must reflect actual adviser experience and not be preoccupied with technical knowledge, according to the AFA Adviser of the Year and Practice of the Year.
Shadforth Financial’s Charlie Fraser and Mediq managing partner Ravi Agarwal, told media at a Zurich roundtable yesterday that new education standards need to bear a strong resemblance to the actual work conducted by advisers.
The pair, who won the AFA’s Adviser of the Year and Practice of the Year respectively, responded to Zurich head of marketing Richard Dunkerley’s questions about FASEA by cautioning the new standards could present challenges for the industry.
“On the face of it, I think [the new standards are] a great outcome, and we need to raise the education standards absolutely, but I think we need to make sure the employment experience utilises the expertise that people gain,” Mr Fraser said.
Mr Fraser compared the introduction of a degree requirement for advice to a similar change in education standards for Australian nurses.
Nurses were then required to complete an “extraordinarily rigorous university degree”, Mr Fraser said, before entering a professional environment that shared little in common with the work environment they then entered.
“They basically come out almost as a doctor and they’re now wiping peoples’ bums,” he said.
“The difference between a good adviser and an OK adviser is not their ability to spout off technical knowledge, it’s their ability to communicate.”
Mr Agarwal added that current advisers must play an important role in “crafting that educational experience” to ensure its relevance to the industry.
“I don’t think it needs to be paraplanning or analytics, there can be a huge amount of soft skills involved in that, there can be less of a dichotomy between what the actual experience is compared with the educational pathway,” he said.
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