The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has today approved the application by Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and CPA Australia to have their professional designation coursework recognised as prior learning.
CPA advisers stand to benefit the most, with those who have completed coursework to attain the CPA designation in or after 1989, and have completed specific financial planning electives as part of it, being awarded two credits for recognition of prior learning (RPL).
CPA advisers who have not completed a specific financial planning elective will be awarded one credit for RPL.
The list of CPA financial planning electives include personal financial planning and superannuation, financial planning fundamentals, superannuation and retirement planning, investment strategies, risk advice and insurance, and financial risk management.
CA ANZ advisers who have completed coursework to attain the CA designation in or after 1972 will be awarded one credit for RPL.
“The awarding of credits for coursework to attain the CPA and CA ANZ designations provides appropriate recognition to existing advisers who have undertaken these further studies,” FASEA chief executive Stephen Glenfield said.
According to FASEA, the recognition will mean existing advisers with a relevant degree and a CPA designation, inclusive of a financial planning elective, will only be required to complete the FASEA Ethics for Professional Advisers bridging course.
Speaking to Accountants Daily, CPA Australia general manager of external policy Paul Drum said the announcement was “streets ahead” of what they were bracing for 12 months ago.
CA ANZ financial advice leader Bronny Speed said that, while it was pleasing to see FASEA take steps to recognise the CA program, the professional body would now continue to lobby for “maximum recognition”.
“Having worked hard with, and alongside, FASEA over the last 18 months to lift standards, the next step is to continue to engage with them to clarify what studies will count for further credits,” Ms Speed said.
“This includes maximum recognition for their completion of a relevant degree, further studies to gain the CA designation as well as studies to enable registration on ASIC’s Financial Adviser Register.
“As trusted advisers, chartered accountants have enjoyed the confidence of Australians over many generations, and we consider the greater public interest has not been served by the decision to not wholeheartedly recognise the long hours of rigorous study required to gain and maintain the CA designation.
“This decision means we could see an exodus of chartered accountants from the advice sector which is likely to significantly reduce the overall level of training and expertise in the industry, and have the complete opposite effect to FASEA’s goal to raise the standards of financial advice.”
More to come.
Jotham Lian is the news editor of Accountants Daily, the leading source of breaking news, analysis and insight for Australian accounting professionals.
Before joining the team in 2017, Jotham wrote for a range of national mastheads including the Sydney Morning Herald, and Channel NewsAsia.