The experience pathway will offer a better transition to professionalism, with the Labor party “100 per cent committed” to enacting changes to the education standard if it scores an election win this month.

Speaking at a webcast hosted by the Financial Planning Association, Jones said the experience pathway proposal is not intended to interrupt the “journey” to professionalism.

“We called for [professionalism] some 10 years ago and are 100 per cent committed to it,” Jones said.

Over 10,000 advisers have left in the industry in the past few years; Jones believes the path to professionalism hasn’t been handled well and a better transition plan is needed.

“There is a need to put in place a transition arrangement to halt the large-scale exit of advisers who are otherwise competent and have a capacity to perform a job that is needed to be done,” he said.

Jones also wanted to clear any ambiguity about the education carve-out being a “rolling 10-year” period, with a specific date chosen from where the 10-year exception period commences.

“10 years seem to be a good rule of thumb for a length of time in the industry,” he said. “We didn’t want to reward bad behaviour so if you have problems on your scorecard then that doesn’t include you.”

Specialisations

Jones also said he was open to recognition of specialisations, noting it was always intended there would be multiple professional verticals in the industry.

“There’s more than one stream in the industry to date and there should be more than one stream in terms of qualifications.”

Jones noted the FPA pushed the issue heavily with him, as well as associations representing stockbrokers and risk advisers.

“There are some obvious areas we can look at for specialisation and recognition of appropriate qualifications. There is a broad base of knowledge that is needed across all the qualifications. That would be the core, but there are specialisations within.”

The FPA has long argued for recognition of specialisations and in its submission on the education standard in February recommended having a framework of specific license authorisations that granted recognition of specialisations through education or experience.

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