Financial Planning Courses (FASEA Standards)

Financial Planning Courses (FASEA Standards)2019-02-08T11:18:02+00:00
  • Do you want a career with a generous starting salary?
  • Do you value work/life balance?
  • Do you want an industry which encourages flexible work arrangements?
  • Do you want a career where you can helps others?

     A career as a Financial Adviser / Financial Planner will provide you with this and so much more!

fasea, fasea approved courses, fasea education pathways

How do I become a Financial Adviser / Financial Planner?

As of 1st January 2019, the education entry requirements to become a Financial Adviser / Financial Planner in Australia have changed and are now based on the FASEA Standards as overseen by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).

What is the difference between a “Financial Adviser” and a “Financial Planner”?  Nothing – they mean the same thing and the terms are used interchangeably.

What is FASEA?

Pronounced ‘fa-seea’ or ‘faseea’.

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) was established by the Federal Government in April 2017 to set the education, training and ethical standards of licensed Financial Advisers/Planners in Australia.  FASEA was declared as the standards body under amendments to the Corporations Act 2001.

The amendment makes changes to the Corporations Act 2001 which legislation sets out seven components for this professional standards framework to:

  1. raise the education, increasing training and ethical standards of financial advisers by requiring relevant providers to hold a degree or higher or equivalent qualification,
  2. pass an exam,
  3. undertake a professional year,
  4. undertake continuous professional development and
  5. comply with a Code of Ethics.

FASEA implements and manages these responsibilities through the relevant Legislative Instruments it issues.

These Standards came in to force on 1st January 2019.  Transitional arrangements exist for existing advisers until 31st December 2023.

Who is a ‘New Adviser’?

A ‘New Adviser’ is anyone who does not meet the definition of an ‘Existing Adviser’ as set out under the Corporations Act 2001.  For ease of reference, An Existing Adviser (under the FASEA Standards) is anyone who was registered on the ASIC Financial Advisers Register at anytime between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2018.

How do I become a Financial Planner if I DO NOT hold a Degree, & little or no industry experience?

If you are new to the financial planning industry, or have less than 2 years’ professional industry experience, then your education pathway to become a Financial Adviser / Financial Planner is the “New Adviser Education Program” (NAEP).   

New Adviser Education Pathway (NAEP)

The NAEP Program is designed for anyone interested in a career in Financial Planning but has little or no industry experience.

The NEAP is a 3 STEP program which includes:

  1. Completion of the Diploma of Financial Planning (DFP),
  2. Completion of the Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning (ADFP),
  3. Admission in to a FASEA Approved (AQF 7) Bachelor Degree (from the list of Approved Degrees).

The Diploma and Advanced Diploma steps can provide you with upto 50% CREDITS towards a FASEA Approved Degree when you complete Integrity’s New Adviser Education Program (NAEP).

Why should I enrol in the New Adviser Education Program?

If you are new to the financial planning industry, then you must complete an (AQF 7) FASEA Approved Bachelor Degree to work as a Financial Adviser / Financial Planner.  A Degree qualification contains 24 courses offered over a three year period of full time study, or 6 years of part-time study.

If you complete the Diploma and Advanced Diploma steps prior to your admission to the Degree, you can SAVE up to:

  • $15,000 (approx.) course fees,
  • 3 years of part-time study, &
  • start working in the financial planning industry as a Paraplanner or Client Services Officer (CSO).

SAVE TIME, MONEY and BUILD YOUR CAREER all at the same time!

——————————————————-

How do I become a Financial Planner if I DO hold a Degree, or have 3 years or more industry experience?

If you hold a Degree or have extensive industry experience, then you may be eligible for direct entry in to the (AQF8 Postgraduate level) Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning (GDFP).   This is sometimes referred to as the “Career Changer” pathway.

Career Changer/Builder Pathway Program

Tthe postgraduate pathway is designed for those with tertiary qualifications in another field and/or substantial work experience (minimum 3 years) in a related field at the discretion of the University’s Admissions Policy (the career changer pathway).

The course New Advisers must complete is the Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning (GDFP).  This is typically consists of 8 courses offered by a University (or Higher Education Provider) and contains the FASEA Financial Adviser Curriculum as a core part of the program.   FASEA also approves Masters (AQF 9) programs for the purposes of this pathway and they will need to contain the FASEA Financial Adviser Curriculum as a core part of that program.

Integrity Education offers consulting services to help individuals and AFSL Managers choose the most appropriate education pathway.  You can find out more about our Consulting Services here.

Who is an ‘Existing Adviser’?

An Existing Adviser (under the FASEA Standards) is anyone who was registered on the ASIC Financial Advisers Register at anytime between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2018.

If you are an Existing Advisers, you have a range of options available to meet the new FASEA Education requirements. The amount of education a relevant provider (Financial Adviser) will be required to undertake will depend on the amount of education you already have.  Some key information:

  • The maximum requirements for an Existing Adviser will be a Graduate Diploma of 8 subjects.
  • The minimum requirements for an Existing Adviser will be 1 subject being FASEA’s Bridging Course – The FASEA Code of Ethics and Code Monitoring Bodies.

Recognition of prior learning and the number of subjects required will vary by pathway for each individual.

Existing Adviser Education Pathways

The FASEA Approved Degree (Education) Pathways specify the range of programs and courses that Existing Advisers can undertake to meet this requirement. The FOUR pathways depend on where you start in terms of current, completed education levels:

1. Hold no Degree (& hold the Diploma of Financial Planning or partial RG146)
2. Hold an Approved Degree
3. Hold a Relevant Degree
4. Hold a Non-Relevant Degree

How do I develop my own Personal Education Plan (PEP)?

Existing Advisers should develop individual Personal Education Plans (PEP) so they can map out the optimal education pathway which will meet the FASEA Standards requirements whilst at the same time:

  • Maximising STUDY CREDITS
  • Minimising STUDY WORKLOAD
  • Saving TIME
  • Saving MONEY – in some cases this could amount to up to $7,000 in courses fees if incorrect decisions are made during the planning process

Integrity Education can help you develop your own, tailored Personal Education Plans (PEP).  If you would like to find out more information, please simply tell us a little bit about yourself below and we can arrange an initial 5-10 minute chat to explore where you are now, what you are trying to achieve, any existing challenges, and identify strategies tailored to your situation and needs.

What is the (Financial Adviser) Industry Exam?

One of the requirements for both Existing Advisers and New Advisers is the requirement to pass the Adviser Exam.   The main difference is that New Advisers must pass the Exam before they can become a Financial Advisers, whilst Existing Advisers have until 31st December 2020 to pass the Exam.

————————————————-

FASEA Exam Preparation Course

This course is designed to help improve your chances of successfully completing the Exam on the first go. We offer the Prep Courses online or in a Face-to-Face Workshop (1 Day).  To find out more please call 1300 400 346 or email info@integrity.edu.au

————————————————-

The FASEA Examination Policy (FPS006) and other draft legislation documents provide the following information about the Exam:

1. The first exam will be available from mid 2019, and it will be 3 hours in duration with additional 30 minutes reading time.

2. The exam allows candidates to demonstrate professional reasoning and apply knowledge acquired to financial advice scenarios at AQF7 level of reasoning. It will cover three domains of knowledge:

  • i. Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations
  • ii. Applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication
  • iii. Financial Advice Construction

3. The exam will be constructed as at least 70 questions in the examination, split between at least sixty-four (64) selected response style (multiple choice) and at least six (6) written response style (case study style). The questions will be equally split across the tested areas.

4. A candidate who has failed an exam will be able to apply for a review of the marking one time and only of the written response style questions of the exam as contemplated by the terms of registration for the exam.

5. Examinations will be scheduled quarterly from mid 2019 and bi-monthly in 2020.

6. FASEA will publish a recommended reading list & practice questions.

7. Financial (Existing) advisers that are registered on ASIC’s Register of Relevant Providers, between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019, will be required to pass the exam before 1 January 2021.

8. From 1 January 2019, individuals that are new entrants are required to pass the exam during their Professional Year. New entrants are required to pass the examination during their Professional Year before they move to indirect supervision (quarters 3 and 4, approximately 6 months into the Professional Year) as required in the Work and Training (Professional Year) Determination 2018 and FPS003 Work & Training (Professional Year) Policy.

HOWEVER, when read with point 9 (below) it suggests that a person can sit the exam ANYTIME (even outside of a Professional Year) if they “intend(s) to be registered as a ‘Provisional Relevant Provider’ after 1 January 2019.”

9. A person is eligible to sit the exam if (amongst other criteria) if … “(they have) completed an approved qualification as described in FPS001 Education Pathways Policy and intends to be registered as a ‘Provisional Relevant Provider’ after 1 January 2019.”

10. Exam resits – Individuals will be able to sit the exam multiple times. A person is eligible to sit the exam if (amongst other criteria) if … (they have) a candidate has not sat an exam within 3 months before registering for the exam.

What does all this mean in practice?

Some important things to understand and consider NOW are:

  • Start planning now for when YOU will take the exam. You will only have 2 chances in 2019, and then 6 more chances in 2020.
  • Start preparing NOW. FASEA will not be running any exam preparation courses. Integrity Education WILL be RUNNING EXAM PREPARATION COURSES – watch this space!
  • You will have multiple resits, which could be read to mean unlimited resits. This may chance in the future depending on exam results so get in early and take the exam so you have access to multiple resits just in case FASEA changes its mind.
  • You can sit the exam at any time after you have completed an approved qualification as described in FPS001 Education Pathways Policy and INTEND to be registered as a ‘Provisional Relevant Provider’.
  • You DO NOT have to wait until you are engaged in a Professional Year Program. The Professional Year reference to the exam is simply the minimum stipulation of when the exam must at least be completed.

Plan out YOUR OWN FASEA Personal Education Plan (PEP). This is time critical (see “It’s all about the timing” post) and you need to factor in all the variables as you develop your own, tailored PEP.

What are the CPD requirements?

Continuing Professional Development, or CPD, is mandatory under the FASEA Standards with a minimum of 40 hours to be completed over a one year period by a Financial Advisers.

The CPD areas expected to be covered include:

  • Technical competence: acting as a technically proficient professional
  • Client care and practice: acting as a client centric practitioner
  • Regulatory compliance and consumer protection: acting as a legally compliant practitioner
  • Professionalism and Ethics: acting as an ethical professional

What obligations does an AFSL have to its Financial Advisers?

A responsible Financial Services Licensee is required to support its authorised representatives, employees and relevant providers in their undertaking of CPD to maintain competence at a level appropriate for the professional services (including financial product advice) that the relevant provider provides.

A responsible licensee must maintain and publish a CPD policy which is accessible to its Financial Advisers.

————————————————-

FASEA Standards – AFSL Consulting Services

Integrity Education Consulting offers Licensees a review of its internal capabilities to meet ALL the requirements of the new FASEA STANDARDS which took effect on 1st JANUARY 2019. Services offered can be taken as a package, or used separately, and include:

  • Detailed information to understand AFSL and Adviser obligations under the new FASEA Standards.
  • Gap training analysis to meet FASEA Education Standard – organisational level review of Existing Advisers to develop individual “Personal Education Plans” (PEP) to complete FASEA Approved course.
  • Strategy to maximize STUDY CREDITS to minimise study workload, save time, and save money in reduced course fees.
  • Development of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Policy, CPD qualifying activity approval process, & Adviser CPD Plans.
  • Strategy to prepare for the mandatory National Industry Exam
  • Implement Adviser Growth Strategy through development of a Professional Year to meet the FASEA Standards.

To find out more information please call Joel on 1300 400 346, or email info@integrity.edu.au

————————————————-

How do Financial Advisers meet their CPD obligations?

As a Financial Adviser, you must develop and maintain a Continuing Professional Development (CDP) Plan on a continuing basis.  You must also maintain a continuous, up-to-date and accurate record of their CPD activities (through a CPD Activity Report), including evidence of completion of any CPD activity that is intended to be relied on to meet this Standard and keep records for 7 years from the end of each CPD year.

How does an AFSL approve ‘qualifying CPD activity?

A Licensee must self-assess CPD accreditation, underpinned by a published Licensee policy.  FASEA does not propose that it will accredit/approve CPD activities or providers for CPD. However, it will provide a principles guide to enable consistency within the industry in the Licensee self-assessment approach.

In assessing CPD, licensees are required to consider the following:

1. The level of expertise of the CPD provider
2. Expertise of facilitators and/or those delivering the CPD
3. The level of learning undertaken
4. The stated learning outcomes for the CPD activity
5. Volume of time in undertaking the CPD activity
6. The approach for verification of learning outcomes achieved

FASEA expects as a mandatory requirement that 70% of CPD is approved by licensees in accordance with the licensee’s CPD Policy and based on FASEA guidelines.

What is the Professional Year?

The Work and Training requirement (Professional Year) requires 1600 hours during a 12 month period (equivalent FTE), which is comprised of 15o0 of work activity and 100 hours of structured training activities.

The Professional Year must be completed by New Advisers.  Existing Adviser are not required to complete it.

A Provisional Financial Adviser/Provisional Financial Adviser will be required to have a Professional Year Plan that is agreed with their supervisor and licensee and meets a quarterly activity framework aimed at developing the following competencies:

1. Technical Competence;
2. Client Care and Practice;
3. Regulatory Compliance and Consumer Protection; and
4. Professionalism and Ethics

More information about the requirements of the Professional Year will follow once FASEA has released further supporting documentation.

What is an ‘Approved Degree’?

The term ‘Degree’ when used in relation to the FASEA Approved Degree Standards relate to qualifications at AQF7, AQF8, and AQF9 (see more information about the Australian Qualifications Framework AQF).  In simple terms, this means:

  • AQF7 = Bachelor Degree
  • AQF8 = Graduate Certificate or Graduate Diploma
  • AQF9 = Masters Degree

Such programs are offered by Universities and non-University Higher Education Providers (HEPs) that are accredited by the Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (TEQSA).

FASEA Approved Degrees & Courses

The Corporations Act 2001 (the Act) requires anyone who wants to be a Financial Adviser)/Planner to meet the education and training standards in accordance with subsection 921B(2) of the Corporations Act, which identifies the first standard requiring individual to complete a FASEA Approved Degree or higher degree, or equivalent qualification course.

FASEA maintains the list of (Approved) Degrees, Qualifications and Courses which it updates periodically and the list can be found HERE.

What is the difference between an APPROVED DEGREE and a RELEVANT DEGREE?

An Approved Degree is a qualification that meets all of the financial planning curriculum requirements as determined by FASEA to meet the requirements under the FASEA Education Standards.

If you complete, or have completed a FASEA Approved Degree, you may not need to complete any further Higher Education requirements.  All ADVISERS – EXISTING & NEW will need to complete a FASEA Approved Degree.  The main difference will be the education pathway options individuals have to meet this requirement.  It is important that you prepare a Personal Education Plan (PEP) to ensure you do not make incorrect decisions about course selection which could end up costing your TIME & MONEY (thousands of dollars!)

A RELEVANT DEGREE is defined as:

“an AQF 7, 8 (Graduate Diploma) or 9 qualification in a related field of study that contains at least 8 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 (eg shares, derivatives, foreign exchange, options etc.)), 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.”

A Relevant Degree does not itself meet the FASEA Approved Degree requirements.  The Relevant Degree may be used to ATTAIN CREDITS TOWARDS a FASEA Approved Degree.

Is RG146 Dead?

The simple answer is “No”.   It is still very much relevant for certain roles in the Financial Planning industry.

It still applies to anyone providing GENERAL ADVICE in relation to financial products/services.

Some key quotes from a recent ASIC media release are…

“RG 146 will not apply to new entrants to the industry seeking to become a relevant provider from 1 January 2019. They will need to meet the new professional standards requirements.” “RG 146 will continue to apply to financial advisers who are authorised by their Australian financial services (AFS) licensee as an ‘existing provider’ until the new requirements apply to them.”

“RG 146 will also continue to apply to advisers who are not ‘relevant providers’ – that is, those who only provide general advice, those who provide advice about Tier 2 or less complex financial products and those who only give advice in relation to a time-sharing scheme.”

———————————————————–

QUESTIONDoes RG146 still apply for Client Service Officers (CSO) / Paraplanners?

ANSWER: It may be mandated by an Employer, although ASIC is not necessarily mandating it. RG146 has never technically applied to CSO or Paraplanners – it has been an industry mandated approach.

———————————————————–

QUESTION: What (will) happen(s) to RG146 and the Diploma of Financial Planning (DFP) going forward based on the fact it is no longer the minimum qualification to be employed as a Financial Adviser?

ANSWERIntegrity Education Group offers a FASEA compliant education pathway for NEW ADVISERS (NAs) in 2019, with the DFP being the core, foundational element of the pathway.   The DFP has tremendous value in 2019 and beyond as it provides the fundamental knowledge of financial planning as well creating the platform for CREDITS towards FASEA compliant Higher Education qualifications.  When combined with the Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning (ADFP) the DFP plus ADFP will provide UPTO 12 CREDITS towards a FASEA Approved University Degree.  That will:

  • SAVE years in study time
  • SAVE thousands of dollars in course fees

———————————————————–

QUESTION: Will these credits count for New Advisers (NAs), or only Existing Advisers (EAs)?

ANSWER: An Existing Adviser, by definition and in most cases, will already hold the DFP.   From there individual EAs may hold other qualifications.  The simple answer is DFP will provide credits for NAs and/or EAs towards Undergraduate Degrees. The amount of credits will vary across Universities. The DFP does not provide direct credits towards (AQF8) Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning (GDFP), although the Diploma of Financial Planning (DFP) provides a pathway in to the ADFP which may PROVIDE CREDITS towards GDFP.

For Existing Advisers with DFP and who are eligible to enter GDFP, their best pathway may be the ADFP (by RPL or courseload) to receive TWO CREDITS BEFORE entering GDFP. This may save around $4-4.5k in course fees, reduce workload by not having to complete two AQF level 8 subjects, and save time in most cases.

FASEA Standards – AFSL Consulting Services

Integrity Education Consulting offers Licensees a review of its internal capabilities to meet ALL the requirements of the new FASEA STANDARDS which took effect on 1st JANUARY 2019.

Services offered can be taken as a package, or separately, and include:

  • Detailed information to understand AFSL and Adviser obligations under the new FASEA Standards.
  • Advice to Responsible Managers about their obligations under the FASEA Standards.
  • Keynote presentations at Professional Development (PD) Days, Adviser conferences, etc
  • Analysis of Existing Advisers to identify ‘gap training’ requirements to meet FASEA Education Standard – organisational level review of Existing Advisers to develop individual “Personal Education Plans” (PEP) to complete FASEA Approved course.
  • Strategy to maximize STUDY CREDITS to minimise study workload, save time, and save money in reduced course fees.
  • Development of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Policy, CPD qualifying activity approval process, & Adviser CPD Plans.
  • Strategy to prepare for the mandatory National Adviser Exam
  • Implement Adviser Growth Strategy through development of a Professional Year to meet the FASEA Standards.

For an initial complimentary and obligation-free discussion to better understand how the FASEA Standards may impact on your AFSL, or to find our more information, please call Joel on 1300 400 346, or email info@integrity.edu.au