Timeline for the reforms

From 1 January 2019, professional standards apply to financial advisers. The Corporations Act 2001 sets the timeline for Australian financial
services (AFS) licensees and financial advisers to comply with these standards.

For an overview of how these standards apply to AFS licensees and existing and new financial advisers, see How the reforms affect you.

For more detailed information about the professional standards, see:

*Extension for exam and qualification

On 30 August 2019, the Minister announced that the Government intends to give existing financial advisers more time to meet the exam and degree requirements. Once legislated, existing advisers have until:

  • 1 January 2022 to pass the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam
  • 1 January 2026 to get an approved qualification.

For more information, see the Government's media release Reforms to professional standards for financial advisers.

Exemption for compliance scheme cover

In October 2019, the Government announced it will accelerate the establishment of a new disciplinary system and single disciplinary body for financial advisers, which will replace the role of compliance schemes.

ASIC has granted a three-year exemption to AFS licensees from the obligation under the Corporations Act 2001 to ensure that financial advisers are covered by an approved compliance scheme, and from the associated notification obligations, for this period.

For more information, see ASIC's media release ASIC relief from financial adviser compliance scheme obligations takes effect (19-309MR).

AFS licensees

As part of the professional standards, AFS licensees must give ASIC additional information about financial advisers they have authorised (including provisional financial advisers and time-share advisers). It is a breach of their obligations not to do so and penalties may apply.

This allows consumers to check that a financial adviser is authorised to provide financial advice, and improves ASIC's ability to monitor financial advisers' compliance with the professional standards.

AFS licensees can add this information to the Financial Advisers Register from 15 November 2019.

When Information to add to the Financial Advisers Register
From 15 November to 31 December 2019 for existing financial advisers
  • Principal place of business address
  • Email address
  • Adviser role type
  • Appoint financial advisers, including provisional financial advisers, authorised between 1 January and 14 November 2019
  • Continuing professional development (CPD) year start date (notify with Form FS 20)
From 15 November 2019 onwards for existing and new financial advisers
  • Principal place of business address
  • Email address
  • Adviser role type
  • CPD year start date
  • FASEA exam pass date*
  • Qualification details*
  • Failure to comply with the Code of Ethics or CPD requirements
  • Appoint financial advisers, including provisional financial advisers, within 30 days of authorisation

Note: The email address and CPD year start date are not displayed on the public Register.

To add this information to the Register, see Maintain (update) or correct a financial adviser's details. To appoint a financial adviser to the Register, see Appoint (add) a financial adviser.

For a full list of details that must be included on the Register, see Information on the Financial Advisers Register.

Existing financial advisers

To comply with the professional standards, existing financial advisers must:

When

What to do

From 1 January 2019

Comply with CPD requirements

From 1 January 2020

Comply with the Code of Ethics

By 1 January 2021*

Pass the FASEA exam*

By 1 January 2024*

Have an approved bachelor degree (AQF7 level) or above or equivalent*

For an overview of how these standards apply to existing financial advisers, see How the reforms affect you.

New financial adviser

To comply with the professional standards, new financial advisers must:

When

What to do

From 1 January 2019

  • Pass the FASEA exam
  • Have an approved bachelor degree (AQF7 level) or above or equivalent
  • Complete a professional year
  • Comply with CPD requirements (not in their professional year)

From 1 January 2020

  • Comply with the Code of Ethics

For an overview of how these standards apply to new financial advisers, see How the reforms affect you.

* See the top of this page for details about the extension for the exam and qualification requirements. This extension will apply once relevant legislation has been passed.

Related links

ASIC Corporations (Professional Standards—Transitional) Instrument 2018/894

Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA)

Regulatory Guide 175 Licensing: Financial product advisers – conduct and disclosure (RG 175)

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Last updated: 12/12/2019 02:46