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Government expected to 'move' on addressing education standards

Education standards are widely considered a top priority for the industry.

The head of the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) expects that the Albanese government will make good on its promise to address education standards in the financial advice sector.

Appearing on a new episode of the ifa Show podcast, AFA CEO Phil Anderson said there is reason to be optimistic about positive change with the Quality of Advice Review (QAR) set for release in December, as well as the appointment of financial services minister Stephen Jones who previously pledged to fix the "Mickey Mouse job" of education standards.

In the lead up to May's federal election, Mr Jones said Labor would not require advisers with 10 years of experience and an “unblemished record” to complete a university degree to practice.

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Currently, existing advisers with no degree must have an approved qualification by 1 January 2026.

"I think Stephen had made a commitment to address the issue with the education standard," Mr Anderson said on the podcast.

"We do expect the government to move on the education standard... but I think largely everything else will depend upon the recommendations that come out of the Quality of Advice Review."

Mr Anderson's comments come after fellow industry body, the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA), said that addressing the education standards should be the “first order of business” for Mr Jones.

The current requirements have been criticised by a number of groups within the sector, including the FPA, AFA and The Advisers Association, with CEO Neil Macdonald saying the industry will experience a “mass exodus” by 2026 if changes are not made.

The number of advisers in Australia shrank below 19,000 late last year and is predicted to reach 13,000 by the end of 2023.

On a special Momentum Media podcast recorded prior to the federal election, Mr Jones outlined his plans to address the education standards.

"... there'll be a bunch of people who've been providing excellent advice for decades that we don't want to tip them out of the industry at exactly the time when we need them," he said.

“We need them as mentors, we need them as service providers, we need them as trainers, we need them in the industry."

Mr Jones added: “Let's take a step back and say, ‘Let's do some recognition of their prior learning and experience, not a Mickey mouse job’. So we'll do it properly."

Listen to the full episode with Mr Anderson here.

Government expected to 'move' on addressing education standards
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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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