On-going education: It's vital for advisers

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It’s time advisers were recognised for the quality of advice they provide, and in order for that to happen consumers need to see that there is a minimum level of competency and on-going development involved, according to head of Asteron Life, Jordan Hawke.

Hawke expressed his passion for on-going education with the announcement that Asteron Life would sponsor the 2013 AFA Excellence in Education Award for the sixth year running. He says there is a need for advisers to lift the standards of the industry to ensure it gets the respect that it deserves.

Everyday processes require a level of improvement and education, but Hawke says those working with corporate clients need to be able to have strong financial literacy conversations.

“It’s making sure that you can actually identify and understand the balance sheets and where the liabilities and risks are and how to best structure the arrangement to ensure that the business and the principals are protected.”

He says a broad understanding of tax structures and advice around taxation is also necessary to add value to the advice process. “In our industry I think that you can never stop learning and it’s just important that we support and structure the industry to continuously develop its quality of advice and advisers.”

He would like to see the industry and associations drive the agenda rather than have it regulated, and says any cap on work-related educational expenses would be short-sighted. “If we’re trying to lift the standards of education across all industries, the Government should be actually support employers to get behind their employees and/or small business owners to advance their skills.”

The AFA is calling for nominations for its Excellence in Education Award, which recognises the commitment and excellence of advisers in three key areas:

  • Practice
  • The industry
  • Their local community

“The great thing about our advisers, as a community, is they’re very community-focused, and I think that the more advisers can demonstrate that there’s a great industry – and also the role they play in making a difference to the social fabric in the community – is absolutely critical,” says Hawke.

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