Following on from the promise to promote greater flexibility for tertiary education requirements, the government is canvassing feedback on draft legislation giving the Minister for Financial Services discretionary powers for qualification approvals.
The Corporations (Relevant Providers Degrees, Education and Training Standards) Determination Act 2021 would be amended to allow advisers to demonstrate they satisfy the conditions of an approved degree with an academic transcript issued by the provider of the qualification.
Alternatively, a statement issued by the provider of the approved degree confirming it has been completed will also be accepted.
The modification was introduced during the experience pathway consultation with the aim of giving advisers the ability to apply to have their degree recognised by the Minister for Financial Services to help mitigate instances where potential advisers are turned away for technical or clerical reasons.
The now-defunct education authority FASEA had the power to approve current and existing qualifications, powers which have since been passed onto Treasury.
The legislation will give the minister discretion to approve degrees, but the minister “must be satisfied that doing so is necessary or desirable to ensure relevant providers are adequately trained and competent to provide personal advice to retail clients”, the exploratory memorandum said.
The draft legislation will also change the transitional arrangements for tax (financial) advisers so that an adviser has fulfilled the education requirements to be a qualified tax relevant provider if they were registered with the Tax Practitioners Board, or had a registration application pending, before 1 January 2021 regardless of whether they were authorised as an adviser on that day.
“The minister has assessed that these amendments are necessary and desirable to ensure that relevant providers are adequately trained and competent to provide personal advice to retail clients in relation to relevant financial products,” the exploratory memorandum said.
The degree qualification makes up the first of the four standards required in the Corporations Act, along with the adviser exam, professional year, and continuing professional development.