The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) have released draft guidance for ongoing education requirements for advisers, which include a 50-hour minimum CPD requirement.
Licensing for Accountants chief executive Kath Bowler said the number of CPD hours is out of touch with reality.
“It’s higher than the amount CPD hours that professional accountants need to complete and the same hours that doctors are required to do,” said Ms Bowler.
While there will be some overlap between the CPD requirements under FASEA and the CPD they need to complete as an accountant, she said, it will still mean accountants have to dedicate 50 hours to financial planning when it’s often an area they only work part time in.
Although accountants would already undertake some training in the financial planning area as part of the 40 hours of CPD they already complete, this would typically only comprise between 10 to 20 hours, she explained.
“So for them to dedicate 50 hours to financial planning in an area they work part time is completely over the top because they would then have to do additional hours for the other areas they work in, she said.
“Professionals will just be doing training for the sake of training in order to tick off their hours. It’s not actually achieving the outcome of continuous learning.”
Ms Bowler said the government and regulators seem to think the more they educate, the more it will fix the issues existing in the advice industry.
“Education is not going to fix ethics. The whole culture of the profession needs to change, education is a piece of that, but it is not the only solution. All this is going to do is cause good advisers to leave the industry due to the cost and time required to meet a requirement that actually is not going to make them any better,” she explained.
“The only people set to gain are education providers. They have kept the providers that can deliver training quite broad so there’s a lot of scope for providers to deliver poor quality training so it will [end up being] 50 hours of poor quality training as opposed to 10 hours of quality training.”