The new standards, to be set by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), will apply to those licensed to provide financial advice from 2024.
Those with a bachelor’s degree in a related field - accounting, financial planning or advice, business, commerce, law or economics - will need to complete a bridging course of three study units to meet these standards, FASEA said in an update yesterday.
FASEA estimated this will equate to about a year of study if taken part-time.
Details of the new standards are continually unfolding, but solicitor director at The Fold Legal, Jaime Lumsden Kelly, said it’s clear that accountants, unless they have completed a relevant postgraduate qualification, will need to undertake a bridging course of three units of study.
The Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) said accountants who hold postgraduate qualifications in a related field are likely to just have to do one unit on the code of ethics.
“The good news is that it won’t matter when they did their degree, as many will have done it more than 10 years ago,” executive general manager for advocacy and technical, Vicki Stylianou, told Accountants Daily.
“So, they won’t have to go back to the drawing board,” she said.
The new standards will apply to anyone who is providing advice, whether an an employee or authorised representative of a full or limited licence.
Professional designations don’t qualify as an approved degree for the purposes of the new education standards, but FASEA still backed their relevance earlier this year.
“I want to be very clear – education, no matter what you’ve done, or where it’s come from, is never a waste,” said FASEA chief executive, Dr Deen Sanders.
“I’m not saying you always get the full value out of it, that’s a different thing, but it would be wrong and dismissive to say that because you spent time getting a specialist certification or a professional designation, that it was a waste of time," he said.
You can read the legislation in full here.