Ross exempt from ‘most demanding’ AFA standard
David Ross didn’t have to sit what has been described as the most demanding part of the Authorised Financial Adviser qualification requirements because he is a chartered accountant.
Wednesday, December 5th 2012, 6:03AM 26 Comments
by Niko Kloeten
Chartered accountants were given an exemption from Standard Set C of the National Certificate in Financial Services Level 5, which advisers must complete to be eligible to become AFAs.
Standard Set C is the unit standard that focuses on professional practice and it requires advisers to submit a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate their current practice in aspects such as disclosure and documentation.
Chartered accountants were among a number of groups that weren’t required to complete the standard, including Certified Financial Planners, CFA Charterholders and Chartered Life Underwriters.
Code Committee chairman David Ireland said the decision to exempt chartered accountants was made after an “intense discussion” with the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants (NZICA).
“It was decided the combination of requirements chartered accountants had to satisfy was sufficient to reflect Standard Set C.”
However, Ireland noted the relief given to chartered accountant and other groups from the standard was provided under an “eligibility sunset” that is soon to expire: “After the end of this year the relief will no longer apply.”
Diversified director Norman Stacey said Standard Set C is the “most demanding” of the standards advisers have to complete and covered areas Ross appears to have been deficient in.
“It’s the most time-consuming; A, B and D were pretty quickly breezed through but there were no shortcuts with Standard Set C. It’s not remotely academically challenging but there is the tedium of having to go through the whole financial planning process.
“I think it’s a happy co-incidence the problems to date have been with those who were grandfathered in on the assumption they could do it rather than having to prove it.”
But Angus Dale-Jones, a consultant to the sector and former regulator, said it was unlikely the problems with Ross’s business practices would have been picked up if he’d had to do the standard.
“It’s not the role of Standard Set C to pick that up; it’s an educational standard.”
Niko Kloeten can be contacted at email@example.com
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