The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has praised financial advisers for “raising” education standards within the industry.
On Wednesday, the standards authority revealed a 180 per cent increase in FASEA-approved university-level course units being studied by existing and potential advisers, with 33,703 individual course unit enrolments at the end of 2020 compared to 12,054 in 2019.
It also noted a 203 per cent increase in the number of bachelor’s degree units being studied by an estimated 2,800 potential new entrants to advice (up from 5,548 units in 2019 to 16,817 in 2020) and a 160 per cent increase in postgraduate and bridging units being studied from existing advisers (up from 6,506 in 2019 to 16,886 in 2020).
Meanwhile, 560 new entrants as of September 2021 have commenced their professional year since January 2019, with enrolments increasing from 47 in 2019, 209 in 2019 and 334 so far this year.
“FASEA commends those financial advisers who have embraced raised industry standards and embarked upon uplifting their education levels,” FASEA CEO Stephen Glenfield said.
“The uplifting of financial adviser levels of education represents a key component of the Parliament’s vision to build a trusted, educated and ethical financial advice profession.
“Advisers who have completed their education or embarked on their education pathway will play a significant role in helping promote a profession that consumers can have confidence in today and into the future.”
The news comes after the Financial Services Council (FSC) urged for prior study and education undertaken by advisers to be recognised following the FASEA transition in 2026.
In a white paper released last week, the FSC called for an assessment of whether industry-developed courses and qualifications meet the FASEA education and CPD standard offered by tertiary institutions.
“Education requirements have increased the cost of advice. However, it is important for professional standards to be given time to mature,” the paper reads.
“The FSC supports changes over the medium term to deliver a professional framework that is more inclusive of different qualifications or development pathways that reflect the FASEA standards.”
FASEA confirmed on Wednesday that approximately 50 per cent of advisers who have no degree have received recognition for prior learning.
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