Parliament has passed legislation paving the way for “experienced” financial advisers to remain in the profession without having to meet additional qualifications criteria.
Under the new law advisers with 10 years’ experience, a clean record and already having passed the financial advisers’ exam will not have to complete an approved qualification course by January 1 2026. The 10 years’ experience applies between January 2007 and the end of 2021.
Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones says the new legislation provides a “pathway” to retain experienced advisers as the profession grapples with a shortage of advisers.
“Without these measures, thousands of advisers would be forced to leave the industry,” Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones said.
“The new legislation will recognise the experience of financial advisers who have passed the financial advisers’ exam and have 10 years’ experience and a clean record, without requiring further qualifications.
“By better recognising the experience of long‑serving financial advisers, the Government is providing a pathway for experienced advisers to remain in the industry.”
More than 10,000 advisers have left the profession since 2019 because of education requirements and rising operating costs.
The Financial Advice Association Australia (FAAA) has welcomed the legislative changes.
“It is good that the experience pathway issue has been resolved. It has been subject to debate since late 2021, leaving many advisers unsure of their future in the profession,” FAAA CEO Sarah Abood said.
She says the legislation includes some improvements in the currently “extremely prescriptive” rules that control what courses new entrants to the profession are required to complete.
“Students will now have the ability to have their studies reviewed and potentially approved via Treasury if their units do not exactly match the determination,” Ms Abood said.
“This is a critically important concession; we need many more advisers entering our profession, and we don’t want to be putting artificial barriers in the way.
“Students should no longer need to repeat courses, at great cost in time and money, if they have effectively mastered the content already.”
Under the old regime new entrants to the profession must complete an approved qualification, including meeting all the conditions prescribed for that approved qualification, as determined by the Government in the Approved Qualifications Determination.