In ISA’s view, any proposals to wind back the professional standards reforms requires sufficient evidence-based justification, having regard to the potential impact of those proposals on trust and confidence in the financial services sector, the quality of financial advice and access to clear information about financial advisers’ experience and qualifications. We consider that the proposals in the consultation paper have not been supported by evidence, in particular evidence as to why the proposed changes are in the public interest.
ISA also considers that any proposed changes to the education standards of financial advisers should be considered in conjunction with any proposed changes arising from the Quality of Advice Review, given the clear nexus between education standards and quality of advice.
Below is a summary of ISA’s response to the consultation paper:
ISA does not support an experienced pathway for existing advisers. We consider that the law was based on a deliberate policy position, which was arrived at following extensive reviews and broad consultation, to impose minimum qualification requirements without reference to work experience. ISA does not consider that a sufficient case has been made to change the existing policy settings.
ISA does not support streamlining the core knowledge areas and is particularly concerned with the proposal to remove the topic covering superannuation and retirement planning from the knowledge areas given that superannuation is compulsory and therefore is relevant to every Australian worker.
ISA does not support education providers self-declaring that their courses teach the core knowledge areas. Treasury should seek guidance from academic institutions to understand the impact on the quality of courses offered.
Further consideration of the education standards should wait until the outcome of the Quality of Advice Review has been resolved.
*The above material, whilst correct at the time of publication may include references or statements which are no longer current.