With new educational standards introduced after the Financial Services Royal Commission, financial planners are being urged to enrol to study.
RMIT offers three programs designed to not only bring financial planning professionals up to date with the new requirements, but to equip them with valuable real-world experience and industry connections.
RMIT’s Master of Financial Planning, Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning and Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning have been developed with both new and practising professionals in mind. Offered in flexible study formats, RMIT students can even complete their studies in financial planning while continuing to work.
All three programs have been developed in accordance with standards set by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).
Reforms to the Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017 were introduced after the Royal Commission revealed misconduct in the financial services industry. The reforms aim to lift the education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers providing personal advice to retail clients.
From 1 January, 2019, new advisers must hold a relevant degree before they are eligible to commence their supervision year and sit the FASEA exam. Recognising that many existing advisors will juggle study with their workloads, they will have two years, until 1 January, 2021, to pass the exam and five years, until 1 January 2024, to reach a standard equivalent to a degree.
Financial Advice Regulatory & Legal Obligations bridging course, which can be completed online or face-to-face
Ethics for Professional Advisers bridging course
Behavioural Finance: Client and Consumer Behaviour, Engagement and Decision Making bridging course
FASEA-approved unit (Financial Advice Capstone subject)
Existing advisers who hold a non-relevant degree will be required to complete seven courses towards a FASEA-approved Graduate Diploma. Those without a degree must complete a FASEA-approved Graduate Diploma.
Despite the unflattering headlines that emerged during the Royal Commission, financial planning is a growing industry. As of February 2019, there were more than 28,500 financial advisors in Australia - up more than 40 per cent since 2009.
With rules around superannuation and taxation shifting, consumers rely on planners to guide their decisions around investments, cash flow and retirement planning. Add to this the changes wrought by increased regulation, evolving technologies and new specialist areas such as aged care, SMSF and even divorce, and it’s easy to see why financial planners are in demand.
Now more than ever, financial planners need to sharpen their expertise so they can rise to the challenges of the future.
RMIT’s Master of Financial Planning has been designed to meet the new standards set by FASEA, while equipping students with the skills and knowledge to tackle complex client situations and financial products.
RMIT has an enviable list of advantages for professionals looking to update their qualifications while simultaneously defining themselves as industry leaders.
RMIT prides itself on providing real-world experiences for students. Financial planning students can look forward to simulated stock exchange experiences at RMIT’s Trading Facility (RTF). With a live market data feed from Thomson Reuters and a range of financial analysis tools, classes at the RTF are popular with students, said Associate Professor Gillian Vesty.
“It teaches them about the sharemarket, how to buy and sell shares, and they even have a big bell on the floor,” she said.
“Because it’s software-linked, students can see all their shares, their turnover and trades being displayed on the screen.”
RMIT has a long history of teaching and learning shaped by industry input. This is evident through the membership of our Industry Advisory Board, which includes executives from the Financial Planning Association of Australia, Deloitte, KPMG, AMP and alumni graduates from large financial planning firms.
“They help us with curriculum preparation as well as industry activities,” said Orhan Azizoglu, RMIT Industry Fellow, Wealth Management.
“They allow us to capture the majority of the industry players when we do any activity involving our students and this is an advantage we have over other competitors.”
Work Integrated Learning (WIL) is embedded within the Master of Financial Planning, giving students the opportunity to put what they have learned in the classroom into practice. WIL occurs through internships or projects tailored for an industry partner. These placements and projects are tied to courses within the program and are formally assessed for credit.
The Master of Financial Planning features flexible study options for the modern learner. This gives students the ability to cater their learning around other commitments. Weekend ‘intensives’ will also be available to students who either want to speed up their learning or aren’t available during the week.
“Because the lectures are recorded, students have the ability to watch them online and participate in online collaboration through our learning management system,” Associate Professor Vesty said.
“We’ve got some great staff members who are flexible and willing to be agile and adapt, as well as a really good cohort of teachers who have helped manage the online courses and have been doing that for a long time."
Acknowledgement of country
RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business. - Artwork created by Louisa Bloomer