Professional Standards for Financial Advisers

... raising the bar on financial advice

The Professional Standards for Financial Advisers are a cornerstone of the Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017, which include guidance on the core areas of education, training and ethical standards for licensed financial advisers in Australia.

What are the Professional Standards?

  • New Entrants are required to hold an Approved Degree before they commence their Work and Training (Professional Year) requirement. 
  • New Entrants must pass the national ASIC Financial Adviser exam before commencing the 3rd quarter of their Professional Year, at which point they can use the term Provisional Financial Adviser or Provisional Financial Planner.
  • The annual requirement for 40 hours Continuous Professional Development. Provisional Financial Advisers will be required to undertake CPD after completion of their Professional Year. 
  • Existing Advisers have until 1 January 2026 to reach an education standard equivalent to an Approved Degree, or meet any other acceptable criteria as set out under the Corporations (Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard) Determination 2021 and Treasury Laws Amendment (2023 Measures No. 3) Bill 2023.
  • All Financial Advisers must adhere to the Financial Adviser Code of Ethics.

What does it mean by “Existing Adviser” and “New Entrant”?

An ‘Existing Adviser’ is defined under the Standards as a person that:

  • was ‘current’ on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Register (FAR) at any time between 1 January 2016 and 31st December 2018; and
  • were not prohibited from providing advice on 1 January 2019 (either through a banning/disqualification/ enforceable undertaking); or
  • at any time between 1 January 2016 and 31st December 2018, they provided personal advice in a foreign country to retail clients in relation to relevant financial products; and
  • are not prohibited under the law of the foreign country from providing such advice on 1 January 2019.

If a person is an ‘existing adviser’, they will need to meet the following requirements:

  1. Pass the Financial Adviser Exam.
  2. Complete an approved qualification by 1 January 2026, or meet ay other approved pathway or exemptions.
  3. Meet 40 hours per annum of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
  4. Comply with the FASEA Code of Ethics.

An ‘New Entrant’ is anyone wishing to commence a career in financial advice on or after 1st January 2019.  For New Entrants, they must:

  1. complete an approved degree;
  2. undertake a Professional Year; and
  3. pass the national Financial Adviser Exam.

New Entrants must complete an approved bachelor degree (AQF7), a post graduate diploma (AQF8) or masters degrees (AQF9).

A New Entrant must pass the Exam before commencing Quarter 3 and 4 of the Professional Year.