Experienced Financial Adviser Registration Pathway
The passage of the Treasury Laws Amendment (2023 Measures No. 3) Bill 2023 has introduced changes to the regulations governing financial advisers in Australia. Specifically, it has created a pathway for experienced financial advisers that recognizes their extensive industry experience and allows them to continue practicing without the need for additional tertiary education qualifications. Here are the key points regarding the Experienced Financial Adviser Registration Pathway:
- Eligibility Criteria:
- Financial advisers must have a minimum of 10 years of experience providing personal advice to retail clients.
- They must also maintain a clean disciplinary record.
- Qualifications Standard:
- Under the traditional qualifications standard, financial advisers were required to hold a bachelor’s degree or higher in a related field or an equivalent qualification.
- The amendment now allows experienced financial advisers who meet the eligibility criteria to bypass this qualification requirement.
- Exam Requirement:
- All financial advisers, including those on the experienced provider pathway, are still required to pass the financial advisers’ exam. This exam assesses their knowledge and competence in providing financial advice.
- Continuing Professional Development:
- Financial advisers, regardless of their pathway, are obligated to comply with continuing professional development (CPD) requirements. This ensures that they stay up-to-date with industry developments and maintain their skills.
- Tax Agents:
- Financial advisers who are also registered tax agents are exempt from meeting additional education requirements related to being a qualified tax relevant provider.
- Transitional Arrangements:
- Existing financial advisers who do not qualify as “experienced providers” according to the specified criteria will need to undertake further study to meet the traditional qualifications standard by January 1, 2026. This transitional arrangement provides them with a timeline to acquire the necessary qualifications.
In summary, the amendment to the Corporations Act introduces a pathway for experienced financial advisers to continue their practice without the need for additional tertiary education qualifications, provided they meet the experience and clean disciplinary record requirements. However, they are still required to pass the financial advisers’ exam and stay current through continuing professional development. Other financial advisers who do not meet the “experienced provider” criteria must work towards meeting the traditional qualifications standard within the specified transitional period.