The Joint Associations Working Group has recommended to government a more flexible education standard for new entrants and career changers.

Under the JAWG proposal, the minimum requirement for new entrants would remain a tertiary degree. “Importantly, the existing approved programs would remain valid and available,” the group said in a media statement.

“This proposal gives new entrants and career changers greater flexibility by recognising more of their pre-existing degree courses, while maintaining appropriate qualification levels to ensure consumer protection.”

Core elements of the proposal included:

  • Five core knowledge areas with a further three elective knowledge areas to be chosen from a broad list that recognises different streams of financial advice. Examples of elective knowledge areas could include SMSF advice, portfolio management and aged care;
  • The ability to complete study units across multiple programs that can be supplemented by bridging units either contemporaneously or later if required; and
  • The curriculum is to be set and maintained by a broadly representative advisory group, including representatives from associations and academia.

JAWG members have met with Treasury to commence discussions on the proposal to refine in further detail.

JAWG is a coalition of 11 industry and professional bodies including the Financial Advice Association, the Financial Services Council, the SMSF Association and the Licensee Leadership Forum.