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Putting practice into theory for seasoned financial planners

One of a kind degree recognises professional experience in the financial planning industry.

Deakin Business School (DBS) academics say that the financial planning industry could lose advisers with decades of experience when the Federal Government enacts legislation designed to raise the sector’s professional standards.

The legislation, which was announced by Assistant Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer in December last year, would set stricter educational requirements for members of the industry.

However, a DBS survey of 1500 financial advisers across the country revealed that the idea of undertaking study would ‘deter’ many experienced professionals.  

In response, DBS has created a Master of Professional Practice (Financial Planning) that recognises experience in the work environment with a formal qualification.

Ground-breaking degree

The ground-breaking degree is the only one of its kind in the financial planning industry and was designed in response to research revealing that only 25 per cent of those providing financial advice in Australia have a relevant university degree.

Advisers without the required qualifications will have until 1 January 2024 to reach degree-equivalent status and until 1 January 2021 to pass the new exam requirement.

‘There are definitely a lot of high-quality people that have been in the industry for 20 to 30 years,’’ DBS financial planning degrees course director Dr Adrian Raftery says. ‘Our degree recognises the “university of life” and what advisers have already learnt in the workplace, but formalises it with a qualification.’

Working with Industry

The Master of Professional Practice (Financial Planning) can be completed in one year of full-time study. Students must complete two core units (two credit points), a capstone research project (two credit points) and 10 professional practice credentials (via DeakinDigital).

The proposed legislative changes will mean organisations must keep a track-record of all individual advisers.

‘Having one education provider would make it a lot simpler for employers in terms of compliance requirements,’ Dr Raftery says. ‘They have greater control on how their students are progressing through their studies and we can tailor things for particular advisers.’

Who should do a Master of Professional Practice (Financial Planning)

Only advisers who already have a substantial experience in the financial planning industry are suited to the course. Those new to the game have other options.

‘Our Bachelor of Commerce with a major in financial planning, Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning or the traditional Master of Financial Planning will be the more appropriate solution for those new to the industry,’ says Dr Raftery.

Limited scope advisers, such as those who only provide life insurance advice, will also not be able to undertake the new Master of Professional Practice (Financial Planning).

Why Deakin Business School?

DBS has received accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) International, the longest serving accrediting body for business schools in the world. Only five per cent of business programs worldwide are AACSB accredited.

Flexible educational delivery offers students a choice of the time, pace, place, content, learning style, assessment and collaborative opportunities of study experience. A range of student support and retention services are provided to ensure a successful study experience.

DBS has also introduced Start Anytime – a study mode that provide even greater flexibility for students.

Building confidence in the profession

The Master of Professional Practice (Financial Planning), which had its first intake of students in July 2016, will put practice into theory to encourage experienced advisers to stay in the industry.

It will formalise the knowledge that financial planners have, and help build trust with those seeking financial advice.

‘We want to help professionalise the financial planning industry and give our students a formal qualification that will provide more confidence to the public,’ Dr Raftery says.

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