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Deakin has partnered with the SMSF Association to offer the Specialist Advisor designation to its Master of Financial Planning students.

The new agreement allows Master of Financial Planning students to be independently recognised for their self-managed superannuation fund expertise and knowledge. 

Peak body recognition

The SMSF Association is the peak body representing the self managed superannuation fund (SMSF) sector which is comprised of 1.1 million SMSF members and a diverse range of financial professionals servicing SMSFs.

The pathway to Specialist status is via completion of the SMSF Association unit, ‘SMSF Regulations and Taxation’. From October 2021, Deakin will now award credit for this unit, as an elective in its Master of Financial Planning degree.  Students will be provided with the opportunity to graduate with both an academic qualification and a specialist designation in self managed superannuation funds.

Director of Financial Planning at Deakin Business School, Marc Olynyk, says “This partnership demonstrates Deakin’s commitment to working closely with the profession to create additional opportunities for our students. The SMSF sector is one of the fastest growing sectors of the superannuation industry and having a recognised designation to provide professional and competent SMSF advice is becoming increasingly important for advisers. ”

This partnership will provide both existing and emerging financial planners with a significant point of differentiation with their career, he adds, “Whether you plan to specialise in SMSFs, or just want to add SMSFs to your existing areas of expertise, completing the SMSF Regulations and Taxation elective  as part of your Master of Financial Planning degree at Deakin will help you achieve this.”

SMSF Association CEO John Maroney says: “We are thrilled to partner with Deakin University to further enhance education standards and professionalism in the SMSF sector. We are dedicated to raising competency standards in our sector.”

“We have always maintained SMSF advice should be underpinned by specialist education and this new partnership offers a professional pathway for financial planning students wanting to obtain both Deakin’s Master of Financial Planning degree, and the SMSF Association’s SMSF Specialist Advisor (SSATM) designation.

How it works

The SMSF Regulations and Taxation  elective is offered online and students can start at any time and complete it within a 12 month period. 

Students enrolled in Deakin’s Master of Financial Planning who successfully complete the ‘Superannuation and Retirement Planning’ core unit, will be eligible  to enrol in this elective  via the SMSF Association. On successful completion of this elective, students will then be eligible to apply for a one unit credit towards their Master of Financial Planning degree with Deakin.

Students who enrol in this elective may also be eligible for 12 months complimentary membership with the SMSF Association. On successful completion of this elective, students, who are Specialist members of the SMSF Association, are permitted to use the coveted SMSF Specialist Advisor (SSATM) designation. 

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