If you are an existing financial adviser providing personal advice to retail clients on relevant financial products, you will need to complete additional studies and an examination to meet the new education requirements set by Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) under the Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017

An existing financial adviser is defined as someone who:

  • had a status of 'current' on the financial advisers register at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019
  • was not banned, disqualified or subject to an enforceable undertaking (where they undertook to not provide financial product advice or financial services in any capacity) on 1 January 2019.

Education pathways and bridging courses

FASEA has issued four pathways for existing financial advisers (PDF) to complete to meet their education requirements under the new legislative framework.

Approved degree

If you have completed a FASEA approved qualification, you will need to complete one bridging unit:

  • Ethics and Professionalism, including the FASEA Code of Ethics and Code Monitoring Bodies.

Relevant degree pathway

If you have completed a relevant degree*, you will need to complete a maximum of four bridging units:

  • Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations
  • Ethics and Professionalism bridging course, including the FASEA Code of Ethics and Code Monitoring Bodies
  • Behavioural Finance: Client and Consumer Behaviour, Engagement and Decision-Making
  • FASEA approved unit – Financial Advice Capstone subject.

If you are an existing financial adviser and have completed a relevant degree and either approved study to attain a professional designation or Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning, you only need to complete:

  • FASEA Code of Ethics and Code Monitoring Bodies.

CPA Australia has lodged an application for the CPA Program to be accredited by FASEA as approved study to attain a professional designation.

*FASEA has defined a relevant degree as an AQF 7, 8 (Graduate Diploma) or 9 qualification in a related field of study that contains at least eight courses in one or more of the designated fields of study in any combination – financial planning (includes financial advice areas of superannuation, retirement, insurance, estate planning), investments (includes all types of investments (for example, shares, derivatives, foreign exchange, options)), accounting, taxation/tax law (as defined by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB)), finance law, finance, business law (as defined by the TPB), estate law, banking and economics.

Non-relevant/other degree pathway

If you have completed a non-relevant degree, you will need to complete studies in up to seven courses towards a Graduate Diploma:

  • Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations
  • Ethics and Professionalism, including the FASEA Code of Ethics and Code Monitoring Bodies
  • Behavioural Finance: Client and Consumer Behaviour, Engagement and Decision-Making
  • four related units from a FASEA approved list of electives.

Recognition of prior learning can be awarded for the completion of relevant study.

No degree

If you have not completed a Bachelor Degree or higher, you will need to complete a Graduate Diploma.

Recognition of prior learning can be awarded for the completion of relevant study.

FASEA exam

Existing advisers also need to complete the FASEA National Exam by 1 January 2021.

FASEA has released the exam standard, which states the exam will be three and a half hours, including at least 15 minutes reading time, and include at least 70 questions comprising:

  • at least 64 multiple choice questions
  • at least 6 written response requiring short answers or report writing.

The exam will be computer-based and provide access to statutory materials and materials published by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and other relevant regulators, as specified by FASEA.

Candidates will be notified only that they have passed or failed the exam, which will be marked to an overall credit level.

Questions

If you would like to talk about your personal circumstances, contact finplan@cpaaustralia.com.au to arrange a time for a specialist to call you.