On first reading, Synchron cautiously supports the latest approach to Continuing Professional Development (CPD) put forward by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), which was recently released for consultation via a legislative instrument.

Synchron Director, John Prossor said, “While we have yet to examine it in detail, on face value it appears reasonable. The increase in CPD requirements, from the current 30 hours a year to 40, will seem an impost to some advisers, however the requirement has been a fact of life for many years for those who hold the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP) designation. We therefore think 40 hours for all advisers is probably reasonable.”

Mr Prossor said what is a little surprising is the proposal that only 70% of CPD hours need to be approved by the licensee. “As a licensee we have the legal responsibility of ensuring our authorised representatives keep up with their ongoing education in areas that are relevant to them,” he said.

“This responsibility also extends to setting a CPD plan for each authorised representative every year by knowledge area and recording everything they have done. Given these responsibilities, we can’t see how we can ensure our authorised representatives keep up with their CPD requirements and not need to approve the other 30 per cent. However what FASEA means by that proposal may become clearer on a closer reading of the instrument.”

Mr Prossor also welcomed the proposed transition arrangements. “Our training year is March to February, and obviously we would have had difficulty changing our regime midstream but we are happy to from 1 March 2019,” he said.