Christine Cupitt

The Council of Australian Life Insurers has recommended to the government having a Certificate IV as the baseline education requirement for qualified advisers for life insurers.

The government announced, as part of its response to the Quality of Advice Review, that super funds along with other institutions would be permitted to give scoped advice via employed staff that didn’t have the same level of education as relevant providers currently on the ASIC Financial Adviser Register.

CALI believes a Certificate IV qualification will maintain the right consumer protections and will mean team members are adequately trained to provide advice, and has not suggested this apply to other sectors like the super funds which had been the centrepiece of the reform.

CALI chief executive Christine Cupitt says customers have been urging them for a more “comprehensive level of customer service” which allows them to get answers for simple questions.

“We thought deeply about what the right level of training would be to make sure that service can be provided with our customers at the centre of what we’re doing,” Cupitt tells Professional Planner.

“To that end, we think an Australian Qualification Framework level four is the right level.”

According to the Australian Qualifications Framework, Certificate IV (AQF4) sits below a Diploma (AQF5) and Bachelor’s Degree (AQF7).

Currently, a prospective adviser looking to join the profession as a holistic adviser would be required to hold an approved AQF7 qualification.

The minister has yet to announce what minimum level of competency will be required for qualified advisers, but many within the industry expected that it would be at least diploma level, or AQF Level 5.

However, Cupitt says a diploma would take longer for people to achieve and there is a dire unmet need for advice in the life insurance space with millions of Australians with life insurance needs who aren’t able to access advice.