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Updated Educational Standards for Financial Advisers

Article By Adam Hurwood | | Financial Planning

Gone are the days of the two-week RG146 course to become a qualified financial adviser in Australia. Financial planners and advisers nationwide will be subject to higher education standards than ever before, as well as ongoing professional development and an enforceable code of ethics, similar to that of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CAANZ) and Certified Practising Accounts (CPA).

The Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Bill 2016 has established new educational standards and a professional standards framework for the financial planning profession. These changes, outlined below, are a major step forward in recognising Financial Planners as professionals alongside our Accounting and Law peers and most importantly in the eyes of consumers.

– The term financial planner/adviser will be enshrined in law.
– An independent standards setting body will be established from 1 July 2017, to set the education standards, professional year framework and continuing professional development requirements, as well as developing a comprehensive code of ethics for financial planners.
– New financial planners from 1 January 2019 will require a degree, to undertake a professional year and pass an exam.
– All financial planners, both new and existing, will be required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (by 1 January 2019), be subject to a code of ethics (from 1 January 2020) and pass an exam (by 1 January 2021).
– Existing financial planners who need to undertake additional study to meet the new education requirements will have until 1 January 2024 to meet the new standard.
Arguably most notable, the addition of the terms financial planner and financial adviser into legislation will mean that those who are claiming to be either of those without the necessary qualifications will be breaking the law.

Altitude clients can rest easy knowing that Altitude goes above and beyond in ensuring that all of our financial advisers and planners, as a minimum, are tertiary qualified and take part in internal and external professional development to ensure our clients receive relevant and up-to-date advice.

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