The push for higher education standards is moving the industry forward, but ensuring those standards provide the best outcome for all will be a “particularly complicated issue”, according to a University of Technology Sydney professor.
Speaking to ifa about research the university has conducted to shape its unreleased master's in financial planning course, UTS finance professor Marco Navone said higher education standards will benefit the industry.
“As an academic, here I must warn of a possible conflict of interest, but I honestly think that FASEA is moving the system in the right direction,” he said.
“Asking for an academic qualification limits the risk of having the industry flooded by certification providers offering ticking-the-box solutions based on online quizzes. Of course, the devil is, as usual, in the details.”
However, Dr Navone said balancing the need to recognise advisers’ past experience with benefits that come from completing a degree qualification will be a notable challenge for FASEA.
“A particularly complicated issue is the transition for existing advisers who have years of professional experience but do not meet the new qualification standards,” he said.
“On the one side, one wants to properly value the wealth of experience of these planners, but on the other side, it has to be recognised that people who have come to the profession without a degree in business or finance may benefit from a more systematic learning experience.”
Dr Navone added that the shape FASEA’s framework will take also presents a challenge for the industry, as it is difficult to predict with the information presently available.
“What topics will have to be covered in the accredited degrees? So far FASEA has adopted the existing FPEC structure. Is this an indication of what will happen next year? Without having the complete picture is difficult to form a definitive opinion,” Dr Navone said.
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