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Major industry group calls for experienced pathway proposal to include sunset clause

In response to Treasury’s adviser education standards consultation paper.

A major industry group which represents over 90 per cent of financial advisers in Australia has released its submission to government this week.

The Joint Associations Working Group (JAWG) — made up of key associations including the FPA, AFA, FSC, TAA and CA ANZ — has supported proposed changes to the current education framework and the proposal for an experienced pathway for advisers in an attempt to halt declining adviser numbers.

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

The JAWG recommended that advisers can access this pathway if they have passed the exam, can demonstrate relevant experience (10 years between January 2004 to January 2022) and maintain a clean record.

“The JAWG recommends that the experience pathway include a sunset clause which ends 1 January 2032. Any adviser who wishes to continue to practice post this date would need to meet the education requirements for existing advisers,” the group said in its submission.

“To help address the shortage of advisers, we need to help more students choose financial advice as a career, make a career change to become financial advisers a viable option through improved flexibility in education pathways, and make it easier for highly competent individuals to continue in their chosen profession.”


The JAWG also recommended that “holistic review” of the education pathways be undertaken which would include recognition of prior learning, quality education and experience, while units and learning outcomes for each unit should be set and approved by a “recognised independent authority”.

Following this, the association said existing advisers and career changers should then be allowed to choose whether to complete the current FASEA pathway or the new revised experience.

The submission comes after Shadow Minister for Financial Services, Stuart Robert, called out the financial advice industry for failing to correctly address education standards for some time during an appearance on a recent Momentum Media podcast.

“So I've been doing this journey for a long time and the industry — the advice industry — couldn't get itself together on education. Couldn't agree,” he said.

“Hence, why FASEA was born. Now, FASEA is gone, thank goodness. Because where it landed, I thought was quite poor.

“I'd like to see industry own its own education requirements, come together like the broking industry did, where the players all got together and all agreed.”

To listen to the full podcast with Mr Robert, click here.

Meanwhile in its own submission released publicly last week, the Association of Independently Owned Financial Professionals (AIOFP) said it “supports abandonment” of the financial adviser exam.

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.