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Government proposes an ‘experience pathway’ for existing advisers

The government has proposed a pathway that considerably eases requirements on advisers with 10 or more years of full-time experience.

In its Education Standards for Financial Advisers policy paper, released on Thursday (16 December), the government has proposed a pathway that streamlines the minimum education requirements and recognises on-the-job experience for individuals with 10 or more years of full-time experience.

Namely, under the proposal, individuals who have 10 or more years of full-time experience as a financial adviser in the last 12 years would only need to complete a tertiary level unit of the Code of Ethics in order to continue providing financial advice.

The pathway, termed “experience pathway”, also asks for the eligible individuals to have a “clean record” prior to 1 January 2026, meaning no sanctions from the Financial Services and Credit Panel (FSCP), excluding warnings.

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Existing financial advisers or new entrants who do not meet the requirements under the “experienced pathway” would, however, need to complete a bachelor’s degree or higher with at least eight units in a related field of study in any combination.

“Units must either be at bachelor’s (AQF7), graduate diploma (AQF8) or master’s (AQF9) level. Existing providers continue to have until 1 January 2026 to complete any required units,” the policy paper reads.

New entrants will, however, be able to seek recognition of prior learning in a related field of study as part of completing their bachelor’s degree or higher qualification.

“For advisers who were listed on the Financial Advisers Register at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019 but who do not qualify for the experience pathway, two units may be substituted with the completion of a course or program that is listed in FASEA’s Approved Recognition of Prior Learning List,” the government said. 

It also clarified that it would not accredit individual degrees or subjects to ensure they meet the requirements to be an approved degree.

“Higher education providers offering bachelor’s degrees or higher qualifications are responsible for ensuring their courses meet the relevant requirements.

“Financial advisers undertaking any education must self-assess that they meet the relevant education requirements.

“The new single disciplinary body, the FSCP, which commences from 1 January 2022, will perform an important role in ensuring that correct self-assessment is robustly enforced within the profession,” the government explained.

It noted that these education requirements are the minimum requirements and that many advisers have and will in future undertake study above and beyond the minimum baseline to gain additional knowledge and expertise.

“The government recognises that industry associations, licensees and the professional community should, and do, play a vital role in reinforcing the value of qualifications and education above government-mandated levels across the industry,” it added. 

The government is welcoming submissions to this consultation until 1 February 2022.

Government proposes an ‘experience pathway’ for existing advisers
experience pathway
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