Financial advisers concerned about the detail of the incoming professional standards regime may be needlessly panicking, says an education provider.
Speaking to ifa, Mentor Education chief executive Mark Sinclair said the anxiety many advisers are currently experiencing may stem from a misunderstanding about what the new state-mandated regime will likely require.
“My message is to be calm and wait and see what the final outcome is,” Dr Sinclair said. “You might only have to do a few units, meaning just 10 or so hours a week. It’s not that hard, it’s not that scary.”
Dr Sinclair said he expects education providers to take prior professional experience into account when determining the course of study an individual adviser may be required to undertake.
“Technically, if you can show you have five years’ experience or more, and can demonstrate quality of advice and have supervisor statements confirming to that effect, than the provider of the qualification will give you partial credit for that experience,” he said.
“So for those that completed their qualifications more than 10 years ago and believe they may have to do a full graduate diploma or master's, that is not necessarily the case if they can demonstrate experience in the units of study.”
The comments follow a communication issued by the AFA to members earlier this week, which also sought to quell anxiety among financial advisers ahead of the new regime.
“The comment expressed by many and covered in recent trade media articles that a degree that is older than 10 years will not count is simply false,” AFA chief executive Philip Kewin said.
“Advisers with older degrees will still be able to get recognition for them, although they are likely to need to do a bridging course of some form.”
Like Mentor Education, the AFA has advised that members “wait and see” the final post-consultation fine print from FASEA before enrolling in courses with the intention of complying with the new standards.
Deakin University associate professor Adrian Raftery recently told ifa he expects the so-called 10-year rule will be one of the elements in FASEA’s preliminary guidance that will be “first to go” following the public consultation.
FASEA is yet to release information about the timeline and format of the consultation process.
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