Lisa Armstrong

With regulatory anxiety at an all-time high, the launch of a technical support platform from Diverger’s education brand Knowledge Shop adds a hands-on service to help advisers solve technical issues.

In addition to the support platform, the education service has also launched a managed, accredited continuing professional development (CPD) content so practices and licensees can track and measure their CPD at an individual adviser and organisation wide level.

Adviser membership also provides planners with a professional technical help desk covering compliance, ethics, tax, and superannuation.

Knowledge Shop managing director Lisa Armstrong tells Professional Planner the technical support platform is set up to help advisers for any technical issue whether its Statement of Advice or Record of Advice creation or if an adviser has an ethical dilemma, for example.

“We have a full complement of staff with deep technical expertise that can assist with that,” Armstrong says. “A lot of it is checking thinking and making sure it’s on the right track.”

With the outcomes of the Quality of Advice Review far from certain – and a “considerable fear of non-compliance as review lead Michelle Levy described the industry – Knowledge Shop’s platform provides essential support for smaller advice practices that don’t have sufficient compliance resources.

“Regulation and legislation change a lot and it changes quickly. It really protects that risk of change and gives the professionals certainty,” Armstrong says.

Previously available only to accountants, Knowledge Shop has been used by over 1,000 advisers to prepare for the adviser exam.

Arrested development

With a lot of the focus on replacing adviser numbers, Armstrong says there is still an important issue of upskilling the professionals in the industry.

“The problem with the profession at the moment and the feedback we have is that CPD is not particularly meaningful,” Armstrong says.

“It’s not upskilling their staff and not making a difference to them as a professional. This is what we’re trying to address.”

Advice professionals are required to complete 40 hours of CPD per year.

“We saw there was room in the market to help make people better professionals by giving them that backup support – that wingman support – somebody in the background that can help upskill them and somebody that can managed those day-to-day issues and questions they have coming through,” Armstrong says.