Swinburne has launched a new postgraduate course in financial planning to meet increased demand for higher education-qualified financial planners.
The Master of Financial Planning has been designed to meet new industry standards and regulations introduced as a result of findings during the Financial Services Royal Commission.
The course has been accredited by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), the regulatory body established to set education, training and ethical standards for licensed financial advisers in Australia.
Swinburne’s Finance Discipline Leader, Dr Reza Tajaddini, says the new regulations will have a significant impact on the industry.
“It is estimated that there are around 25,000 financial planners who will be affected by FASEA’s standards and may need to complete a degree,” says Dr Tajaddini.
“By raising the level of qualification required to practice as a financial planner, these new regulations enforce a higher standard of knowledge and ensure more expertly-trained professionals working in the industry.”
Going beyond meeting industry requirements
Commencing in Semester 1, the Master of Financial Planning will be targeted at those already working in financial services who wish to upskill and position themselves at the forefront of their industry.
The postgraduate course will teach graduates the fundamentals of financial planning such as investment, ethics, estate planning, insurance and superannuation.
Students will also learn about the emerging technologies that will influence the future of the financial services industry.
“In addition to people skills such as interpersonal communication, decision making and conflict management, this course provides students with the technical skills needed to provide tailored, professional financial advice whilst navigating complex financial matters and ever-changing industry regulations,” Dr Tajaddini says.
Preparing for Australians' financial futures
Dr Tajaddini says the demand for qualified financial planners will also continue to increase as a result of Australia’s ageing population.
“Financial planners are most often used by those approaching middle-age who are looking to invest and plan for their futures and retirement. As a large portion of Australia’s population moves into this stage of life, we can expect the need for qualified financial planners will also grow,” he says.
The postgraduate degree includes units on ethics and client management, with projects based around real-world case studies.
“We don’t just teach students the industry code of ethics, rather we encourage students to consider and evaluate real ethical scenarios, preparing them for the range of situations they may need to respond to in practice,” Dr Tajaddini says.
To further address these changing regulations and the shortage of qualified financial services professionals, Swinburne will also deliver a double Master of Professional Accounting / Master of Financial Planning.
Department of Accounting, Economics and Finance Department Chair, Associate Professor Mary Dunkley, says the double master will produce graduates prepared to meet the ever-changing landscape of the finance industry.
“This course will expose students to a broader range of skills in both accounting and financial planning areas, improving their employability and making them better financial advisers,” Associate Professor Dunkley says.
In addition to the FASEA and the Financial Planning of Australia (FPA) accreditations, the double master program has received accounting accreditations from Certified Practising Accountant (CPA) Australia and the Chartered Accountants Australia New Zealand (CAANZ).