Current minimum requirements
The current minimum education requirement to become a financial planners is to hold a Diploma of Financial Planning, thereby meeting the ASIC requirement for RG 146 compliance. Whilst that might be the minimum set by the regulator, in selecting financial planners for this site, we have selected a benchmark that is significantly higher than the Diploma of Financial Planning.
All financial planners on our site are degree qualified, have more than ten years of experience and hold professional designations such as Certified Financial Planner or Fellow Chartered Financial Planner.
Proposed changes to education standards
The Government has released exposure draft legislation for consultation on measures to raise education, training and ethical standards for financial advisers. Under the proposed legislation new financial advisers will require a degree, undertake a professional year and pass an exam before being able to provide financial advice.
The Government will recognise an independent industry-established standard setting body, operational from 1 July 2016, that will develop and set education standards, professional year requirements, continuing professional development requirements and develop a comprehensive code of ethics for financial advisers.
Existing advisers will be provided a transition process and will be required to complete an appropriate degree equivalent (or have a recognised transition pathway determined by the independent standard setting body) and pass an exam. All advisers both new and existing will be required to undertake continuing professional development (CPD) and be party to a code of ethics.
The new education and training requirement will be effective from 1 July 2017, with the code of ethics requirements coming into force from 1 July 2019. The legislation has not yet been introduced.
Certified Financial Planner – CFP
The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is highest level qualification available for financial planners. It is awarded by the Financial Planners Association (FPA) to advisers who successfully complete their course. To be eligible to complete this course, advisers must first have completed and approved degree, a financial degree with a Diploma of Financial Planning, an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning and working towards a degree or have completed 8 subjects from an approved Masters (Graduate Diploma).
Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner – FChFP
The Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP) designation is a Masters-level qualification for Financial Planners. It is awarded by the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) to advisers who successful complete the formal, practical and peer-group learning requirements as set out in their course. To be eligible to complete this course, advisers must first have completed an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning and have 2 years practical experience.
Ongoing Professional Development
It is a mandatory requirement for financial planners to complete a certain amount of ongoing professional development each year (20 hours minimum). This can include attending professional development conferences, fund manager seminars, and online assessments and webinars.
For further information on education standards for financial planners you can refer to the following resources: