WSU leads the way for accelerated financial planning qualifications
Western Sydney University has become the first institution in the country to provide a fully accredited Graduate Diploma in financial planning – ensuring graduates will meet new Federal Government requirements set up by the regulating body FASEA. The Diploma has been accredited by the Financial Planning Education Council.
Associate Professor Sharon Taylor from the School of Business says this reflects the Institutions commitment to helping graduates, “get the qualifications they need, without having to pause their careers.”
“While we welcome the Federal Government changes and think they will be good for the industry, we also appreciate how difficult it is – especially for people currently working in the field – to drop everything and return to study. And we’ve considered this in developing our curriculum and structure of our Graduate Diploma course,” Associate Professor Taylor says.
One example of this consideration is the University’s unique ‘challenge exam’, which allows people with existing knowledge and experience to fast-track their path to the full qualifications now required. This process involves individuals using their industry and existing knowledge to undertake Challenge assessments on a quarterly basis, without having to complete a full unit of coursework. Students can apply for up to four of these exams upon enrolment in the Graduate Diploma. In addition, academic credit from previous study may also be recognised – this will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
These changes come on the back of legislation passed in early 2017 which requires financial advisers to hold a degree to practice. Under the legislation, new financial advisers will need a degree by 2019, while existing advisors will need qualifications by 2024.
While these dates may suggest practitioners have a long time to get ‘qualified’, Associate Professor Taylor says its best to start early.
“This course ensures graduates meet legislative requirements, it also aids in continuing professional development. We believe it’s time to start now, and if students take advantage of our ‘challenge exam’ format, they could gradate with the Graduate Diploma within one year.”
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