Search
Close this search box.



AFSL Training Requirements

AFSL Holders must ensure they are maintaining their organisational competence to provide financial services. All Representatives, Responsible Managers and employees of an AFSL must complete specific training each year depending on the type of AFSL they work under. 

Under current legislation, AFSLs providing personal advice to retail clients, general advice to retail clients, wholesale clients, or limited AFSLs all have different training obligations. 

Personal Advice to Retail Clients

education standards

Advisers must undertake a Professional Year of work and training that meets the requirements set by the Treasury

Complete an approved qualification as listed in the legislative instrument

Pass the financial adviser exam administered by ASIC.

Undertake forty (40) hours of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) each year.

Professional Year

Since January 2019, all new advisors have been required to undertake a professional year of 1600 hours, including 100 hours of structured training. The professional year must be supervised by an adviser with at least 2 years' experience working as an adviser. The supervisor is responsible for ensuring appropriate supervision is provided and making various resources and opportunities available to the new advisor. Click the button below to read more about the professional year requirements.

Qualification

Existing financial advisers (any person who provided personal advice to retail clients between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019 and is not banned or disqualified by ASIC) are required to hold a bachelor's degree or approved equivalent by 1 January 2026. New financial advisers are required to either meet the minimum education requirement of an approved bachelor's degree, as listed in the legislative instrument, OR where they hold an appropriate qualification, complete an approved graduate diploma, comprising 8 subjects.

Exam

All new and existing financial advisers must pass an exam. The exam tests 3 competency areas: regulatory and legal requirements relevant to the provision of financial advice, including obligations under the Corporations Act 2001 and AML/CTF Act 2006, the construction of financial advice, and applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication. New advisers must ensure they pass the exam after completion of their approved degree, and before starting the 3rd quarter of their professional year.

Ongoing CPD

Since January 2019, financial advisers have been required to complete 40 hours of CPD per year to maintain and extend their knowledge and skills. 70% of these hours must be approved by the AFS licensee and there are mandated minimum hours of certain categories.

Code of Ethics

The Financial Planners and Advisers Code of Ethics 2019 was developed to ensure higher standards of behaviour and professionalism and includes 12 ethical standards for advisers to meet, including record keeping and acting with integrity.

Wholesale Clients and General Advice to Retail Clients

training

CPD Hours

Although ASIC does not specify a minimum requirement of CPD hours for Responsible Managers and representatives under an AFSL which doesn't provide personal advice, 20 hours is generally accepted as the industry standard.

Required Areas of Training

All Responsible Managers and representatives must participate in a professional development program in order to meet the competency requirements set out in RG 104. Representatives working on AFSLs dealing with retail clients should ensure they are also complying with RG 146. 

Each Responsible Manager and representative should have a training plan prepared annually for the following 12 month period. Training plans should address the following:

Maintain and develop knowledge and skills that are appropriate for their responsibilities.
Update their knowledge and skills, especially in areas where there is continual change (e.g. legislation, regulatory policies and standards, or economic and financial developments.
Set objectives to be met, such as the desired changes in knowledge, skills and/or performance at the end of the training year.

For more information, read our Training page for AFSLs not providing personal advice

Limited AFSLs

Similar to Wholesale AFSLs, twenty hours is generally accepted as the industry standard for Limited AFSLs. Responsible Managers and Representatives working under a Limited AFSL should maintain records of the training they have completed throughout the year. At a minimum their records should include:

Training Type

Training Area

Date and Duration

Name of Training Provider

Each Responsible Manager and Representative should ensure their training is conducted at an appropriately high level in order to meet the requirements set out in ASIC Regulatory Guide 104.

Important

If you work under a Limited AFSL that deals with retail clients, you must comply with ASIC Regulatory Guide 146.

Further Information