The Association of Financial Advisers has a counter-offer to the government’s proposed Education Pathway; take a more detailed approach to the amount of experience planners have behind them and allocate required learning accordingly.

In a submission on the pathways consultation released Wednesday the association put forward a proposal that still used the ten-year benchmark, but rewarded longer experience with less study burden.

Advisers with more than 10 years’ experience should do a full four subject graduate certificate, the AFA stated, while those with 15 years’ experience get one subject credit in a four subject graduate diploma and advisers with over 20 years’ experience would get a two-subject credit as part of a required four subject graduate diploma.

Currently, the proposed Education Pathway would exempt advisers with 10 years’ experience and a clear disciplinary record from the equivalent degree requirement – a move which has been criticised as watering down the education standards.

The association also took a red pen to several other aspects of the proposal, such as the requirement for the 10-year exemption to be met within a 12-year period.

“The 10 years full time out of the last 12 years requirement is potentially discriminatory to advisers who have had a period of paternity/maternity leave or who have worked part-time for an extended period,” the submission stated.

The AFA said the 10-year full-time experience requirement would impact advisers who had recent periods of absence from the profession, took on other roles or worked part-time.

Citing the “untested” single disciplinary body regime, the AFA said it did not support the clean record requirement for the experience pathway.

The AFA recommended existing advisers should be able to stick with the existing FASEA standard or pursue on of the pathways in the new proposed standards.

Funding PY entrants

Responding to advisers’ angst over the expense of taking on Professional Year entrants, the AFA proposed funding support to encourage employers.

“The problem has been compounded by many of these practice owners being caught up in their own education requirements and otherwise in a world of intense regulatory change, which has impacted their ability to focus upon the recruitment of new advisers,” the submission said.

It highlighted the point which had been made by others in the industry that businesses were struggling with the capacity to find adequate roles for new entrants.

“This has become a critical problem and one where we think that Government intervention may be required to give it a kickstart. It does not matter how many potential new entrants come through the university pathways, if businesses do not have the appetite or capacity to recruit them.”