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.

Subject to legislative change, existing financial advisers must meet FASEA's qualification requirements by 1 January 2026.

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.

FASEA RECOGNISES CPA PROGRAM FOR BRIDGING PATHWAYS

FASEA has approved the CPA Program (commenced in or after 1989) for recognition of prior learning (RPL) towards the bridging course requirements for members who are existing financial advisers.

An existing financial adviser who has completed the CPA Program including at least one of the following financial planning electives will be required to undertake one bridging unit, the Ethics for Professional Advisers Bodies bridging course.

FASEA has approved the following subjects as financial planning electives within the CPA Program:

  • Personal Financial Planning and Superannuation
  • Financial Planning Fundamentals
  • Superannuation and Retirement Planning
  • Investment Strategies
  • Risk Advice and Insurance
  • Financial Risk Management.

An existing financial adviser who has completed a FASEA relevant degree and the CPA Program, but not a financial planning elective, will be required to undertake two bridging units, being the Ethics for Professional Advisers Bodies bridging course and an additional bridging unit of their choice.

Currently, additional applications are being prepared for the CPA Program (pre-1989) to submit to FASEA for consideration as approved RPL for members who are existing financial advisers and completed the program.

CPA Australia is not accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), therefore not eligible to offer bridging units to our members.

However, CPA Australia is currently exploring options with approved FASEA education providers to see how best we can support our members undertaking the required bridging courses, as well support to complete the FASEA examination. 

If you have any questions about your pathway, email finplan@cpaaustralia.com.au.

**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 2022, subject to legislative change.

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.