Last Friday, FASEA rolled out multiple changes to its professional standards regime and clarified a few others.
FASEA chief executive Stephen Glenfield explained that the changes have come about following extensive stakeholder feedback - around 800 submissions were received.
"The detailed consultation input was valuable to FASEA in creating standards which address industry and consumer needs while at the same time balancing FASEA’s legislative obligations,” he explained/
"The detailed consultation input was valuable to FASEA in creating standards which address industry and consumer needs while at the same time balancing FASEA’s legislative obligations."
Let's go through the key changes:
CPD hours have been reduced
In what will likely come as a relief to many advisers, the total number of CPD hours has been reduced from 50 to 40 each year. 70% of the 40 hours will need to be approved by the adviser's licensee, and there are also a minimum number of hours for particular categories.
These are technical (five hours), client care and practice (five hours), regulatory compliance and consumer protection (five hours) and professionalism and ethics (nine hours.
A new pathway has opened up
Further tailoring the FASEA program, a seventh education pathway has been added to the existing six. The Post Graduate Career Changer pathway will require new entrants to undertake an approved graduate diploma. They will also be eligible for recognition of prior learning "from the education provider as per their credit and RPL guidelines."
Furthermore, FASEA is also clarifying RPL credits for existing advisers. The Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning, for example, will be eligible for two course credits.
The definition of a "related degree" has been revised, too, "and advisers will be able to undertake an AQF8 Graduate Diploma once approved by FASEA."
The announcement continues: "Advisers will be able to seek RPL for the Corporations Act and Behavioural Finance Client and Consumer Behaviour bridging courses. There will be no RPL available for the newly created Code of Ethics bridging course."
There's been additional guidance on foreign qualifications, with FASEA saying it will "will now recognise advisers who have had their assessments already assessed by Department of Education and Training (DET) approved bodies such as CAANZ and CPA. FASEA will undertake assessment for a fee of foreign qualifications to determine the relevant pathway to meet FASEA’s education standard as part of FASEA’s degree assessment service."
The adviser exam has been simplified
The FASEA exam originally covered four modules; these have been merged into three.
The modules are now "Corporations Act (emphasis on Chapter 7 – Financial services and markets)," "Financial Advice Construction – suitability of advice aligned to different consumer groups, incorporating consumer behaviour and decision making" and "Applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication – incorporating FASEA Code of Ethics and Code Monitoring Bodies."
The exam will last for three-and-a-half hours and will comprise both multiple choice and written responses.
Finally, FASEA has also revised its Code of Ethics - covering the "values of Trust, Competence, Honesty, Fairness and Diligence," with case studies available on the website - and clarified that the "Provisional Relevant Provider" can be used interchangeably with "Provisional Financial Planner" and "Provisional Financial Adviser."
Wrapping it up
It's a lot to take in, but it's heartening for industry participants to know the FASEA agenda has been measurably refined through adviser feedback. You can provide submissions on the legislative instruments gradually being released using this email address.
We have exclusive tools and resources coming soon to help guide you through the FASEA education requirements, find out more here.
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