Proposed code changes welcomed

A Code Committee move to recognise more adviser qualifications is being hailed as good news for those who have studied to higher levels.

Thursday, February 18th 2016, 6:00AM

by Susan Edmunds

The Code Committee recently released an exposure draft on planned changes to the Code of Conduct for AFAs.

It will make recommendations for final changes to the code next month, after reviewing submissions.

One of the proposed pages is that the two new Christchurch Polytechnic Institute of Technology qualifications and one Massey qualification in Personal Financial Planning are to be recognised as alternatives to the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services Level 5, the basic qualification required for AFAs.

IFA manager of member learning and development Andrew Gunn said this was good news for more qualified advisers.

"This effectively ‘unblocks’ the current qualification pathway for AFAs from the current sole pathway – that of the vocational qualification, the Level 5 Certificate,  opening it up to the academic path.

"The academic pathway wasn’t fully recognised as an alternative to the ‘minimum qualification’ but with the recent additional mapping - the two new CPIT qualifications in Personal Financial Planning – the Graduate Diploma in PFP and Bachelor of Applied Management major in PFP, and Massey University Graduate Diploma in PFP – all look set to be duly recognised,"  he said.

"That is great news for the IFA.  Those seeking a career in the profession and who are studying towards their degree or post graduate diploma in financial planning will meet the qualification requirements of an authorised financial adviser. 

"Qualification requirements for Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Life Underwriter (CLU) are internationally at level 7 and above.  It was frustrating for those studying at this level had then have to go back and complete parts of the old National Certificate!  Australia has recently made huge steps to encourage advisers to seek higher qualifications in the sector. New Zealand is lucky to have now multiple pathways – the vocational pathway through the NZ Certificate in Financial Services is wholly appropriate for work-based training and employees, but now the academic pathways have been duly recognised by the Code Committee."

Committee chairman David Ireland said the change was subject to expert third-party confirmation that the learning outcomes of the academic pathway adequately mapped the learning outcomes of the vocational qualification. 

"The Code Committee’s current expectation based on our own mapping is that full recognition will be offered, but a final call will not be made until next month once we have had opportunity to consider the outcome of the external mapping exercise and  submissions received on the exposure draft."

Submissions on the exposure draft close on February 23.

Tags: Code Committee

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