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Blog

New educational requirements for financial planners

June 14, 2019

New educational requirements for financial planners  

The financial planning industry is undergoing significant shift, triggered by the recent banking and financial services royal commission 

The royal commission exposed the need for structural and cultural changes in the industry, including new requirements and education standards for practicing financial planners. This need is exacerbated by the increasingly complex financial landscape, where Australians need trustworthy and informed financial advisers to navigate the rapidly changing environment.  

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA)’s Education Pathways Policy details the new requirements, both for practicing financial planners and those wishing to enter the sector.  

Existing advisers who need to undertake further study will have until 1 January 2024 to meet the revised education and training standards. It is estimated around 25,000 practicing financial planners will be impacted by FASEA’s new standards. 

Dr Reza Tajaddini, Finance Discipline Leader and Senior Lecturer in Finance at Swinburne University of Technology, anticipates that raising education standards for financial planners will improve the quality of services provided by the sector. 

“By raising the level of qualification required to practice, the new regulations enforce a higher standard of knowledge and ensure more expertly-trained professionals are working in the sector,” he said. 

FASEA’s Education Pathways Policy 

Even if you’re already a practicing financial planner, you’ll need to undertake further study to meet the new standards. Financial planners who already have a FASEA approved degree in financial planning must undertake the ethics bridging unit as a minimum.  

If you have a degree, but in a field unrelated to financial planning, you can undertake the Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning to meet the FASEA requirements 

For those who aren’t financial planners yet, but are looking to move into the field, you can also study the Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning or the Bachelor of Business with a major in Financial Planning. Then you’ll undertake a professional year of work and training.  

For both new entrants and practicing financial planners, there are a few additional requirements specified by FASEA that you’ll have to meet. This includes an exam and continuing professional development.  

“The Financial Planning courses available through Swinburne Online prepares students to meet the new FASEA standards, ensuring they are equipped for the open-book exam and post-professional year of professional development,” says Dr Tajaddini.  

To check what pathway is right for you, book a call with one of our Course Consultants.  

Flexible study 

Dr Tajaddini suggests online education will become an important avenue for existing professionals to achieve the minimum education requirements.  

“We recognise that finding the time to pursue academic qualifications can be a challenge for working professionals,” he said. 

“The option to study online provides working professionals with the flexibility to continue working full time and study where it suits their lifestyle.  

Financial Planning at Swinburne Online 

The Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning through Swinburne Online covers the fundamentals of financial planning including investment, ethics, estate planning, insurance and superannuation, while also preparing students for emerging technologies that will impact the future of the financial services industry. Taking into consideration FASEA’s Education Pathways, the course is suited to new entrants to the field and existing financial advisers 

With a substantial cohort of students already working in the industry, Dr Tajaddini says the Financial Planning Association (FPA)-accredited course content will provide graduates with a combination of interpersonal communication and technical skills. 

“In addition to people skills such as decisionmaking and conflict management, this course will ensure students graduate with the technical skills required to provide tailored, professional financial advice whilst navigating complex financial matters and ever-changing industry regulations,” he said. 

“For example, students will use industry software and technology to develop a Comprehensive Statement Advice, as it is required in the sector.” 

With a spotlight on malpractice in the sector after a year of media scrutiny, students won’t just be taught the Industry Code of Ethics but will also be encouraged to consider and evaluate real ethical scenarios, preparing them for a range of situations they may need to respond to in practice. 

Learn more about the benefits of online study for existing financial planners, as well as those who are looking to enter the industry on our business courses page.