In a submission to the Financial System Inquiry (FSI) CPA Australia said it strongly supports lifting the minimum training requirements for those offering financial advice.
The industry body said that robust training for financial advisers is vitally important to ensure quality financial advice is consistently provided to the consumer.
CPA has called for advisers to require a bachelor degree education and to undergo a period of monitoring and supervision when entering the industry, much the same as accountants do currently. This, according to CPA, will be "valuable in developing financial adviser skills and to embed at the beginning of a person’s career an appropriate ethical and behavioural framework".
“A key element of the accounting profession has been incorporating, through its supervision and mentoring programs, an ethical framework and culture early in an accountant’s career development,” the submission said.
In its own submission to the FSI, the Financial Services Council (FSC) called for a "new architecture" for Australia’s financial advice industry.
The FSC recommends a revised model for financial advice that includes an Advice Competency Standards Board to oversee the development of competency standards, adviser education and a register of advisers.
John Brogden, chief executive of the FSC, said “significantly improved adviser education, increased ASIC powers and greater disclosure of experience and ownership are needed to increase public confidence in financial advice".
“We have recommended the Murray Review considers a model which establishes clear segments of personal advice, general information, factual information and intrafund advice and for new adviser competencies to address these segments."
“Our revised model for advice clearly distinguishes between personal advice and information and ensures consumers will receive appropriate advice from advisers with appropriate competency and skills,” Mr Brogden said.