“Is the FASEA Degree List for Approved Degrees or Relevant Degrees?”

This is a common question.

FASEA recently released the final version of the FASEA Approved Degree (or Higher) and other courses list in a Legislative Instrument which reference F2018L01833.  The Legislative Instrument’s title list is “Corporations (Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard) Determination 2018”.  This list details all courses which meet the “Approved Degree (or Higher) Pathway” as mandated in the FASEA Standards and specified in the document “FPS001 Education Pathways Policy”.

Why is there confusion?

The confusion seems to stem from the reference to “Relevant Provider” in the document title.

Advisers and others in the industry are taking this to mean “Relevant Degree” .  It does not.

It may be better to call the Legislative Instrument the “List of FASEA Approved Degrees (or Higher), Qualifications, and Courses Standards for Financial Planners / Financial Advisers”

What is the definition of a “Relevant Provider” under FASEA?

Section 910A defines a “relevant provider” as: a person is a relevant provider if the person:

(a)  is an individual; and (b) is:

(i)  a financial services licensee; or

(ii)  an authorised representative of a financial services licensee; or

(iii)  an employee or director of a financial services licensee; or

(iv)  an employee or director of a related body corporate of a financial services licensee; and

(c)  is authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients, as the licensee or on behalf of the licensee, in relation to relevant financial products.

Note:          For rules about when relevant providers can use the expressions “financial adviser” and “financial planner”, see section 923C.

That is, a ‘relevant provider’ is a human being (individual).  It is not a relevant degree.

Where can I find the “Relevant Degrees” list?

Simple answer:  You can’t!

There no such list.  For a Degree, any Degree, to be deemed a “Relevant Degree” it must meet the following criteria:

  • be at the AQF 7, 8 (Graduate Diploma) or 9 qualification level in a related field of study,
  • contain at least 8 courses in one or more of the designated fields of study in any combination :
    • financial planning (includes financial advice areas of superannuation, retirement, insurance, estate planning),
    • investments (includes all types of investments (eg shares, derivatives, foreign exchange, options etc.)),
    • accounting,
    • taxation/tax law (as defined by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB)),
    • finance law,
    • finance,
    • business law (as defined by the TPB),
    • estate law,
    • banking and
    • economics.

How can I determine if I have a ‘Relevant Degree”?

For anyone wanting to know if they hold a “Relevant Degree” it appears presently that can only be confirmed (formally) during the application process for admission to a Higher Education qualification (Degree, Graduate Diploma or Masters).

FASEA does not (at the time of writing this article) have a mechanism for individuals to ‘self assess’ or even have FASEA assess a Degree’s ‘status’ on an individual basis.

Can I self-assess my ‘Relevant Degree” status?

Yes.  If you are satisfied that you meet the “contains at least 8 courses in one or more of the designated fields of study” rule then at least you have an idea of the status of your Degree.

Why is any of this important?

If you hold a “Relevant Degree” you are eligible for 4 CREDITS toward a FASEA Approved qualification such as the Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning.

If you hold an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning (in addition) to the Degree, you are eligible for 7 CREDITS.

This means if you are an Existing Adviser with a RELEVANT DEGREE plus ADFP, you only need to complete ONE SUBJECT to attain a FASEA Approved qualification.

This will SAVE you TIME & MONEY.    In fact you could:

  • save approx, $7,000 in course fees, &
  • save upto 6 -11 months in study time.

Call one of our FASEA Consultants on 03 8535 3170 to find out more or visit here