The Association of Financial Advisers has moved to placate its membership under any belief that tertiary degrees completed more than 10 years ago will not be recognised by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority.
In a statement on its website, the AFA labelled the belief as "simply false", explaining that older degrees held by advisers will be recognised but may require the adviser to undertake some form of bridging course.
"Whilst there is an academic convention with respect to the recognition of prior education for credit towards further study, this is fundamentally different to the issue of what education FASEA will recognise. The FASEA announcement provides no indication that they will not recognise degrees that are older than 10 years," the statement said.
With the objective of the professional standards legislation being to ensure all financial advisers are degree qualified, the AFA's perspective is that those who have already completed a degree, particularly in a relevant discipline, meet that requirement.
"For advisers who completed relevant degrees before entering the profession, these degrees were considered the most appropriate to practice financial advice at that time. Understandably, years later, advisers with relevant degrees and further education have been most surprised by the FASEA announcement," the AFA said.
In the past, where an adviser's degree was not in financial planning, the industry has relied upon the DFP, the ADFP and professional designations for financial advice formal education, the AFA said.
"It was our view that an adviser with a relevant degree, the DFP and the ADFP or a professional designation such as the Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner which is at a higher AQF level, should not have needed to do any further study, however we are hopeful that the bridging courses will be reasonable," the statement said.
The AFA added that it will be advocating for those bridging courses to involve significantly less study than would be required to complete a full graduate diploma. It also intends to advocate for the inclusion of areas of specialty, such as life insurance, and having its FChFP designation recognised as prior learning.