Date posted: 20/03/2018

New financial adviser education pathways and Code of Ethics released

Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority releases proposed education pathways and draft Code of Ethics for consultation

In brief

  • FASEA has released proposed education pathways and a draft Code of Ethics for consultation.
  • The proposed reforms will impact on all members who provide licensed financial advice in Australia.
  • Chartered Accountants ANZ will make submissions and we call on members to participate actively in the consultation.

On 20 March 2018, the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) released for consultation its updated guidance on all education pathways for financial advisers, including clarification on degree equivalence for existing advisers, and a draft Code of Ethics. 

The proposed reforms will apply to all licensed financial advisers and will impact on all of our members who hold or operate under an Australian Financial Services Licence. So we strongly encourage members to participate actively in the consultation process.

Proposed guidance on education pathways for financial advisers 

FASEA’s initial release of proposed education qualification pathways for existing financial advisers, in December 2017, caused a great deal of anxiety for members of professional associations.

Since this initial guidance was released, Chartered Accountants ANZ has been advocating strongly with FASEA on behalf of members, as well as consulting with members, education providers, other professional associations and industry stakeholders.

FASEA's updated guidance includes significantly more information than the initial guidance released in December 2017, and addresses some of the main concerns raised by us in our feedback to FASEA. 

The key takeaway for accountants is that the definition of ‘related degree’ has now been clarified to include a bachelor’s degree in ‘related disciplinary fields’ such as accounting, financial planning or advice, business, commerce, law or economics. 

The guidance proposes that those who hold a ‘related degree’ will still need to complete a bridging course of three study units to meet the new standards. This typically equates to less than a year of part-time study.

Advisers with a bachelor’s degree and a postgraduate qualification in a related field will only need to complete a one-unit bridging course covering the FASEA Code of Ethics. 

All advisers with these types of degrees will be eligible for the relevant bridging course option, regardless of when they obtained their degree.

How much additional study will members need to do? 

At this stage the guidance and bridging courses are a proposal only and are open for consultation. As such, it is not yet known exactly what the additional study requirements will be for members

Consultation on the proposed education standards closes on 29 June 2018.

We will make a submission which calls for appropriate recognition of the significant additional qualifications, experience and continuing professional development already undertaken by members in addition to completing their ‘related degree.’

FASEA's education pathways explained

Download infographic explaining FASEA’s proposed guidance on education pathways.

View here

Draft Code of Ethics

The draft Code of Ethics released by FASEA establishes a set of core values to guide ethical behaviour, client care, quality of process and professional commitment for advisers. It is designed to ensure that consumers have trust and confidence in the advice they receive. 

Members of Chartered Accountants ANZ must observe all applicable standards issued by the Accounting Professional and Ethical Standards Board, including APES 110 Code of Ethics for Professional Accountants. The underlying principles of our Code of Ethics are strongly aligned with FASEA’s draft Code of Ethics.

Consultation on the draft Code of Ethics closes on 1 June 2018 and we will make a submission.

FASEA's code of ethics explained

Download Infographic explaining FASEA’s draft Code of Ethics.

View here

Don’t miss your chance to have your say

We strongly encourage members to provide us with your feedback as early as possible prior to close of the consultation periods on the draft Code of Ethics on 1 June 2018 and the proposed guidance on education pathways on 29 June 2018.

Members can send feedback to us by email to our Financial Advisory Services team.

Feedback can also be provided to us through our national roadshow consultation on the proposed reforms during March to May 2018. Our roadshow commenced with a Sharing Knowledge Session for members in Melbourne on 20 March. Further information on the next sessions will continue to be provided to members through our newsletters and invitations from your state offices.

FASEA's draft Code of Ethics

Download FASEA's consultation paper on the draft Code of Ethics.

Read more

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