To become a financial adviser, you must meet specific education requirements and be licensed under an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence.

NEW PROFESSIONAL STANDARDS FOR FINANCIAL ADVISERS

From 1 January 2019 a new entrant to financial planning must meet higher education requirements, complete a professional year (PY) of supervised experience and pass an exam.

These requirements are part of a new education, training and ethical standards regime for all financial advisers.

WHAT THIS MEANS

The training requirements set by ASIC in Regulatory Guide 146 Licensing: Training of financial product advisers will continue until the end of this year.

However, if you are currently studying diploma or advanced diploma level training towards meeting the current RG 146 training requirements, this study will not be recognised as a pathway to become a financial adviser from 1 January 2019.

This means you will need to complete your studies and be authorised as a financial adviser by the end of 2018, to be eligible to transition into the new framework as an existing financial adviser. If not, you will need to meet the higher education requirements from 1 January 2019.

Enrolments into the CPA Australia RG 146 Compliance Solution, which is diploma level study, are now closed. If you are currently enrolled in the program you must submit your final assessment by 31 October 2018, ahead of the program officially closing on 15 December 2018.

YOUR OPTIONS

If you are thinking of providing financial planning advice, but are yet to start your studies, you need to decide when you wish to move into this sector.

If you are not currently enrolled in RG 146 training, you can still complete your studies through a range of education providers to meet the current RG 146 requirements. Importantly, we recommend you check with prospective AFS licensees what RG 146 training they require before enrolling in any program to ensure you are completing the right training.

From 1 January 2019 the education and experience requirements to become a financial adviser will be set by the Financial Advisers Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA). FASEA are still consulting on the requirements to meet the new pathway requirements. However, it has published an interim list of FASEA approved existing degrees (PDF). It is important to note that currently the list does not include approved Graduate Diplomas of Financial Planning, which will likely become the postgraduate pathway for new entrants.

Comparison of the current and future requirements


CURRENT TRAINING REQUIREMENTS REQUIREMENTS FROM 1 JANUARY 2019

Complete RG 146 training, minimum Diploma level


Complete a FASEA approved Bachelor degree (or higher)

Undertake a professional year of experience

Complete an exam

If you do decide you wish to move into this sector before 1 January 2019, it is important to be aware the requirement to meet the Bachelor degree (or higher or equivalent) will also apply to existing financial advisers. However, you will have until 1 January 2024 to meet this requirement and new pathways will be developed.

LICENSING

Once you have successfully completed your training, you cannot provide financial planning advice until you are licensed. The term 'licensed' refers to AFS licensees and representatives or authorised representatives of AFS licensees.

As a new entrant you will need to operate under an existing AFS licensee as either an authorised representative or a representative.

TAX (FINANCIAL) ADVICE

A financial adviser who provides tax advice in relation to licensed financial services must also register with the Tax Practitioners Board as a tax (financial) adviser or a registered tax agent.

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.