Proposed changes to Education standard

AFA News 20 January 2022. In late December 2021, the Government released a policy paper inviting feedback on a proposal to amend the education and training standard for financial advisers.

The proposed amendments include the introduction of the following:

  • Experience pathway: Advisers with 10 or more years of full-time experience in the last 12 years (as of 1 January 2026), will only need to complete one tertiary unit of study on the Code of Ethics by 1 January 2026.
  • Qualification pathway: Individuals who do not meet the experience pathway, will need to complete a bachelor’s degree (AQF7 level) or higher qualification with at least 8 units in a related field of study at either a Bachelors, Graduate Diploma or Masters level. Units can be completed in a single qualification or across multiple qualifications. Existing advisers have until 1 January 2026 to complete any required units.

To view the Education Standards for Financial Advisers Policy Paper Click here. This is a proposal only at this stage, and subject to consultation, with submissions closing on 1 February 2022.

Most of the attention has been on the Experience pathway, which is not surprising, as it is likely that at least three-quarters of existing advisers would qualify for this.  The Qualification pathway is also important for not just the remainder of the existing advisers, but also for new advisers entering the profession in the future.  Whilst the greater flexibility, in terms of the eligibility of courses undertaken, will be beneficial, it will impact the level of support for the FASEA approved undergraduate degrees.  We are also concerned that someone could complete study as proposed by this pathway, without having done any specific financial planning subjects, which could make it much more difficult to employ them in an advice practice.  All of these issues need to be considered as part of this consultation process.

The pathway available for new advisers is particularly important in ensuring that there is a steady flow of new entrants into the profession, and we can rebuild after the recent loss of so many experienced advisers. We need to consider both supply and demand factors.

We have sought member feedback on the Policy Paper via a survey to assist in our response to the consultation. To date we have received a strong response, however, we are very keen for you to express your views, and this is the last reminder to provide your response. The survey must close on Friday 21 January 2022.

Click here to have your say.

You are also welcome to provide feedback by email to

Issued 20.01.2022. AFA Policy & Education Update