Professional standards for financial advisers

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Who is FASEA?
What are the Professional Standards?
Guidance on Education Pathways for all Advisers
What remains with ASIC
What is a financial adviser?
What is the Financial Advisers Register?
What about continuing professional development?

Who is FASEA?

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) was established in April 2017 to set the education, training and ethical standards of licensed financial advisers in Australia. In June 2017, FASEA was declared as the standards body under the Corporations Act 2001.

What are the Professional Standards?

The professional standards are the new adviser education guidelines being brought in by FASEA. The Professional Standards are in relation to personal advice on Tier 1 financial products (excluding general insurance and deposit products). Tier 2 financial products is not covered by the new standards. General advice only on Tier 1 products are not covered by the new standards.

Guidance on Education Pathways for all Advisers

Due to the new adviser education standards being imposed by FASEA, advisers were encouraged to have gained RG146 compliance and be recorded on the Financial Adviser Register (FAR) prior to or by 1 January 2019. This allowed advisers to be eligible for more favourable transition conditions. Now they are subject to new, more onerous education standards.

Existing advisers who were recorded on the Financial Advisers Register (FAR) by 1 January 2019 and are therefore recognised by FASEA as an ‘existing provider’ can continue to study and add additional RG 146 specialist knowledge areas to their credentials. However, they will need to keep in mind dates for important milestones that must eventually be met, i.e. having:

  • begun complying with the FASEA code of ethics from 1 January 2020
  • until 1 January 2021 to pass the FASEA exam
  • until 1 January 2021 to have completed at least 80 hours of FASEA CPD, including minimum hours for each prescribed category
  • until 1 January 2024 to complete an approved qualification.

If you complete study of an RG 146 specialist knowledge area in 2019, you must have attained Skills via previous study, otherwise you may only be qualified to give general advice in that area.

What remains with ASIC

General Insurance and Deposit Products (both Tier 1 and Tier 2)
Personal advice to wholesale clients
General advice only on Tier 1 products

What is a financial adviser?

A financial adviser is an individual authorised to provide personal advice in relation to relevant financial products to retail clients. Financial advisers are recorded on the Financial Advisers Register.

What is the Financial Advisers Register?

The Financial Advisers Register is a register of individuals who are authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients on investments, superannuation (including SMSFs) and life insurance (i.e. ‘relevant financial products’). It contains details of, for example, where the adviser has worked, their qualifications, training, memberships of professional bodies and what products they can advise on.

Note that it is up to your licensee to ensure that they update their records on the FAR to ensure that the advice statuses and credentials of you and other representatives are properly recorded at all times.

How do I know if I am on the FAR?

You can search the FAR via the dedicated page of ASIC’s MoneySmart website.

What about continuing professional development?

FASEA’s approach to CPD requires all providers to participate in development programs and activities that ensure they maintain and extend their professional capabilities, knowledge and skills, including keeping up to date with all regulatory, technical and other developments relevant to professional practice. You can refer to the Continuing Professional Development Standard page of FASEA’s website to view the prescribed CPD categories and minimum hours mandated for each, as well as record-keeping obligations.

Find out more

ASIC Professional standards for financial advisers – reforms
FASEA Guidance on Education Pathways for All Advisers
ASICs Financial Advisers Register

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