The Association of Financial Advisers general manager, policy and professionalism Phil Anderson has hit back at Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority chief executive Stephen Glenfield, over recognition of CPD.
Glenfield made comments at a recent Senate Estimates hearing, including: "We've recognised [financial advisers'] continuing professional development where you can benchmark it at bachelor level or higher."
In response, Anderson has said: "Neither the Professional Standards for Financial Advisers Bill nor the explanatory memorandum includes any statement that suggests that only CPD undertaken at the bachelor degree level could be counted towards the education standard."
He said recognition of the Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning is proof that FASEA has the capacity to approve training that is not at a degree level.
Anderson added that the discussion evidently mixed up the approval of professional designations with the recognition of CPD, which advisers have been required to do for many years.
"Mr Glenfield answered the questions at the Senate Estimates hearing with respect to recognition of CPD as though he was discussing recognition of professional designations," Anderson pointed out.
"Whilst the completion of a professional designation by course work may have counted towards CPD requirements in the past, professional designations and CPD are very different and thus he did not address the question with respect to the failure to recognise regular CPD activity, which is clearly set out in the Explanatory Memorandum in paragraph 6.9 and Example 6.3."
Ongoing uncertainty for advisers, Anderson said, is the result of the lack of clarity on these kinds of issues from FASEA and Glenfield.
In a paper for AFA members, he wrote that the debate on recognition of prior learning comes down to what degrees are approved by FASEA, what qualifications are considered equivalent and what the completion of 'one or more courses determined by the standards body' as outlined in the Corporations Act may require.