ASIC Advice to AFS Licensees About Upcoming Changes to Education and Training Requirements

ASICFrom 1 January 2019, new professional standards requirements for financial advisers will progressively replace training standards in Regulatory Guide 146 Licensing: Training of financial product advisers(RG 146).

The professional standards reforms were introduced in March 2017 to raise the education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers providing personal advice to retail clients on more complex financial products (referred to as relevant providers).

RG 146 sets out the minimum training standards for financial advisers. Training standards vary depending on whether the adviser provides general or personal advice and on the complexity of the financial products. It also provides guidance on how advisers can meet these training standards.

RG 146 will not apply to new entrants to the industry seeking to become a relevant provider from 1 January 2019. They will need to meet the new professional standards requirements.

RG 146 will continue to apply to financial advisers who are authorised by their Australian financial services (AFS) licensee as an ‘existing provider’ until the new requirements apply to them. Generally, existing providers are those who have a status of ‘current’ on the Financial Advisers Register (FAR), and not prohibited from providing advice on 1 January 2019. For more information, refer 18-355MR.

RG 146 will also continue to apply to advisers who are not ‘relevant providers’ – that is, those who only provide general advice, those who provide advice about Tier 2 or less complex financial products and those who only give advice in relation to a time-sharing scheme. ASIC will review and update our guidance for advisers who are not relevant providers.

There are inconsistencies between the licence conditions and the new training requirements in the professional standards reforms. ASIC has issued a no-action position for AFS licensees who are affected by the changes. For more information, see No action position for licence conditions.

For more information on the new reforms, visit Professional standards reforms.