Questions raised over new training regime

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After first announcing its intention to raise the training standards of RG 146 in 2009, ASIC has finally released proposed amendments in Consultation Paper 212 (CP 212).

ASIC will introduce two further regimes of additional training in 2015 and 2019, retaining RG 146 as ‘base level’ training standards. The new regimes, B and C, will apply to new advisers that ‘change their advice activities’ after they have completed their initial training. This could include adding a new area of specialisation, changing from general advice to personal advice, or changing from Tier 2 products to Tier 1 products.

Under Regime B, advisers will need an advanced diploma for Tier 1 products and Certificate IV for Tier 2 products. Regime C will require a Bachelor degree for Tier 1 products and a diploma for Tier 2.

FPA general manager of policy and conduct Dante De Gori says that there are three things the FPA will need to consider, in regards to practical application.

Understanding how existing advisers may get captured each time the new regime starts is of high priority for the FPA. “ASIC made it clear that the regime changes…Regimes B and C, are for new people. But they also did talk about how it can capture people that are already in the regime if there are any changes to their advice, so we just need to work out what that practically means and what changes they’re talking about,” says De Gori.

The association will also ask ASIC and the TPB how the new regimes will interact with TASA, to make sure any duplicate red tape is removed and new students will have a streamlined path to become a financial planner. Finally, De Gori says it is important to check with relevant universities that there is sufficient time for them to deliver the new requirements.

Kaplan Professional Education managing director Brian Knight said that Kaplan was supportive of lifting the standards and would easily adapt to the new regimes in the timeframe.

“One of our biggest concerns is that it doesn’t affect existing planners today. There’s a big market and there hasn’t been emphasis on how we create pathways for these planners and up-skill their knowledge.”

Kaplan has invited ASIC to discuss the proposals with them and work out how they can provide a clear path and life long journey for planners.