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Allowing older advisers to practise without qualifications ‘counter to professionalism’

The Advisers Association chief executive says government must set a “firm date” after which older advisers without relevant qualifications can no longer practise.

In an opinion piece published on ifa, Neil Macdonald responded to feedback from a prior article he wrote in November in which he said advisers will exit the industry in droves if the current requirement for existing advisers with no degree to have an approved qualification by 1 January 2026 is not addressed.

Mr Macdonald said if the requirement is not changed, the next exodus “will make the current stream of exits look like a trickle in percentage terms”.

“We received a lot of messages from older advisers, many of whom thanked us for raising the issue but we also received a lot of comments from other advisers saying that no adviser should be given a free pass around tertiary education, regardless of age or experience,” Mr Macdonald wrote in the latest piece.

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“We happen to agree.”

Mr Macdonald backed government’s recently announced Education Standards for Financial Advisers policy paper that 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.

“So, to be very clear, we do not support giving concessions to people who have not bothered undertaking appropriate ongoing education. What we do support is allowing older advisers who have passed the FASEA exam, who continue to complete CPD, who have demonstrated that they are highly competent and experienced over many years, and who are highly valued by their clients, to continue doing what they are doing beyond 2026, without having to get a new degree,” he wrote.

“But we also believe a line needs to be drawn in the sand somewhere. There needs to be a firm date after which older advisers without these qualifications can no longer practise. Allowing them, or anyone else, to continue to practise indefinitely runs counter to professionalism.”

Read the full piece here.

Allowing older advisers to practise without qualifications ‘counter to professionalism’
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Neil Griffiths

Neil Griffiths

Neil is the Deputy Editor of the wealth titles, including ifa and InvestorDaily.

Neil is also the host of the ifa show podcast.

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