The FASEA education requirements for financial planners might look daunting, but there's a big upside for those who choose the right path to compliance.
If you work in Australia’s financial planning sector, chances are you are feeling unsettled. The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has released further details of new educational requirements for financial advisers, and many in the industry – even those with much experience under their belt – will need to complete further study in the form of bridging units or a postgraduate degree in order to comply.
Professionals who are well-advanced in their careers, as well as those just entering the profession, are understandably scratching their heads. It is a time of recalibration, adjustment and decision-making. What do I need to study? What is the most suitable course for me? How will I fit in postgraduate study when work and family are already battling it out in my diary? Can I afford study and what impact will it have on my future career earnings?
Working out the right choices for your career, lifestyle and ambitions is important, but the pressure to understand the new requirements doesn’t have to add to your stress levels.
Step one, take a deep breath. Deakin University, which has a long track-record of providing world-class financial planning education, offers an array of support services to help those navigating this new landscape.
Deakin is committed to helping experienced, novice and aspiring advisers understand and steer their way through the regulation and educational maze. Unsure what your path to compliance looks like? Take advantage of our helpful Adviser Education Pathways Tool.
Resources such as UniStart and Preparing to Succeed are also valuable for new or prospective students,” says Marc Olynyk, Program Director for Financial Planning.
“So, if you are feeling apprehensive, don’t worry. We make it all as simple as possible for our students, who are often juggling study and full-time work.”
Mr Olynyk also advises current financial planners to embrace the opportunities that arise out of the new FASEA requirements.
“Those who see it as a door to professional and personal growth, rather than a box-ticking exercise, will fare best. Don’t think ‘these are hoops I need to jump through to comply’, think ‘this is an opportunity to invigorate and bolster my career’.”
Deakin University Deputy Vice Chancellor (Education) provides some broader insight about return to study for established professionals, ‘Don’t underestimate the value of broadening your learning and exploring your field in greater depth,’ Prof. Johnson says. ‘It really does make a difference to how you see yourself as a professional.’
“While it can be intimidating to go back to study, many find it stimulating and refreshing. Mature-age students established in their careers often find they re-connect with the original passion that propelled them into the field.”
As well as future-proofing your expertise and career, postgraduate study is a chance to re-align your skills and knowledge to your areas of interest, according to Professor Johnson,
“On-the-job professional development can be more narrowly focused on your current position rather than future opportunities, so you can be limiting in picking up those new skills. Studying for a degree will give you more,’ Professor Johnson says.
By undertaking a course like Deakin’s Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning, current financial advisers can refresh their knowledge – ensuring it is relevant and comprehensive – as well as supercharge their professional confidence (and their CV, too).
Although the study required to become FASEA-compliant has costs, keep in mind that it is an investment in future earning capacity and career potential. For this reason, it’s worth looking at institutional options with a lens on quality, industry connections, reputation, and student support services, not just fees.
For those concerned about fitting postgraduate study around the demands of full-time work and personal responsibilities, Marc Olynyk suggests taking full advantage of flexible study options and online offerings, such as Deakin’s highly regarded Cloud Campus. Deakin will also offer four-day intensive courses covering the bridging units towards the end of 2019, minimising the time commitment for many advisors.
Current Financial Planning Graduate Diploma student Andrew Lane said getting familiar with Deakin online, and the wealth of help and resources at his fingertips, was the key to him successfully combining study, work and family.
“I was struggling with a lot of commitments in my life... But the beautiful thing about Cloud Deakin is you can look at lectures when you get time to look at them; I was sometimes studying late at night or in the mornings, but I tried to get into a routine.
“The University also enables you to get free access to a whole lot of things – plenty of software I have found invaluable, and access to newspapers and libraries.”
Andrew, who received some credit for prior learning, will graduate in early February next year with a Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning, says the return to study has been a more positive experience than he ever imagined.
“Studying online with Deakin was the best of both worlds, for me. I didn’t waste precious time travelling in the car to and from campus, but at the same time I was able to feel connected with fellow students and get support when I needed it from my lecturers.”
For more information about how Deakin can help you achieve FASEA compliance and manage study, visit our Financial Planning Professional’s Guide.