From left Deborah Kent, Dean Thomas and Tara Ross

Plenty of concessions were already made when establishing the education standard for existing advisers making the experience pathway overkill, according to a panel discussion.

Then opposition financial services minister, Jane Hume, proposed the pathway in late 2021,which the Liberal government took to consultation at the start of 2022. It was followed by another consultation after Labor won the federal election later that year.

Speaking at the Professional Planner Advice Practitioner Summit, Integra Financial Services co-founder Deborah Kent said the profession previously landed in the right spot with education the education.

“[The standard included] eight subjects in the graduate diploma with prior learning recognised,” Kent said, alluding to the minimum standard for an adviser without a degree.

“A majority of advisers, if they only had to do ethics courses may have only had to do four subjects given that they’d have designations that were [recognised prior learning].”

Kent, a former FASEA board member, acknowledged the bias in her view, but said she believed the carve out is wrong course of action.

“A lot of us have already invested time, money, effort, and energy to do this education and have qualified themselves,” Kent said.

“If the government is going to allow this, there should still be some study required”.

Kent had professional designations and an advanced diploma, which meant she only had four subjects to do to fulfill the education standard – the three bridging courses and an elective subject.

“If I set the rules, [I] have to walk the talk; I did my four subjects over two years,” Kent said.

“I ran my business, had a major health issue in between and [family commitments]. It was hard because I lost weekends, I lost time with my family and there’s a [financial] cost to it.”

Kent said she does have sympathy for older advisers that do have to go through the process.

“Of which I’m one of them, but I feel sorry for those in that risk space,” Kent said. “There needs to be a minimum education standard.”

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