Frequently asked questions

Relevant providers are financial advisers who are listed on the Financial Advisers Register. To be recognised as a relevant provider, a person must be:

  • an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licensee or its representative, and
  • authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients, as the licensee or on behalf of the licensee, on relevant financial products.

Under section 922D of the Corporations Act 2001, AFS licensees must notify ASIC when a person becomes a relevant provider. Under section 922Q, ASIC is required to add relevant providers to the Financial Advisers Register.

In general, an existing provider is an adviser that was listed on the Financial Advisers Register at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019. This means the person must have been:

  • authorised to provide personal advice on ‘relevant financial products’ between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019.
  • was not banned, disqualified or subject to a court enforceable undertaking on 1 January 2019

'Relevant financial products' are financial products other than basic banking products, general insurance products or consumer credit insurance: see section 910A of the Corporations Act 2001.

Until they have completed a specified level of work and training, a person in training to become a financial adviser is generally called a new entrant. Please also refer to the explanation on what is a provisional relevant provider.

A person who is in training to be a financial adviser and has also completed additional requirement is called a provisional relevant provider. The additional requirements include:

  • complete an approved degree or equivalent qualification,
  • complete quarter one and quarter two of the professional year,
  • pass the financial adviser exam, and
  • are authorised by their Australian Financial Services Licensee as a ‘provisional relevant provider’ on the Financial Advisers Register.
The expressions “provisional financial planner” and “provisional financial adviser” are specified to refer to a provisional relevant provider.

A person who is authorised as a relevant provider and has also completed additional study with an approved course provider to enable them to provide tax (financial) advice services, is generally called a qualified tax relevant provider. The additional study includes:

  • An approved course in Australian taxation law
  • An approved course in commercial law
  • Five hours of Continuing Professional Development relating to provision of tax (financial) advice each year

Approved bachelor and higher degrees and equivalent qualifications are listed in the Degree, Qualifications and Courses Legislative Instrument (LI) on the Federal Register of Legislation.

A simple list of approved courses can also be found under the approved course page.

Foreign qualifications need to be assessed to determine if they meet the financial adviser educational requirements, and if any additional courses will be required to meet the education standard.

Before submitting an application, an assessment by a Department of Education Skills and Employment (DESE) approved body must be obtained.

You can find more information about how to apply to have Foreign Qualifications assessed.

Yes. After obtaining an assessment from a DESE approved body, foreign qualifications need to be assessed to determine if they meet the financial adviser educational requirements, and if any additional courses will be required to meet the education standard.

You can find more information about how to apply to have Foreign Qualifications assessed.

Please check the requirements of your Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licensee in relation recording the professional year obligations.

The professional year standard requires the completion of 100 hours of structured training during the professional year.
Structured training may include formal study that is undertaken during the professional year for example if completing the Ethics for Professional Advisers bridging course.  Other relevant study options might include:

  • Education for the purposes of achieving a professional designation.
  • Education for the purposes of accreditation in specific forms of financial products relevant to licensing arrangements.
  • Education for the purposes of meeting more detailed requirements in specific financial advice provision (e.g. SMSF, stockbroking, aged care etc).
Structured training should be made up of education that is measurable, assessed and leads to further qualification (formal and informal) outcomes for participants.

An Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licensee may approve the acceleration of an individual undertaking quarter one or quarter two of the professional year if the supervisor is satisfied that the person:

  • has achieved the outcomes set out in the professional year plan for that quarter; and
  • is capable of satisfactorily completing the work activities and structured training for the next quarter.

Quarter three and quarter four are not able to be accelerated. Even with an accelerated pathway, the full 1600 hours of work and training over a 12-month period are required to complete the professional year.

Accelerating quarter one or quarter two, may allow a person training to become a financial adviser to sit the exam earlier than otherwise would be the case. If successful they may then be able to progress to the status of provisional relevant provider earlier (subject to meeting all other requirements and licensee approval).

It is allowable to have more than one supervisor throughout the professional year (PY). Each supervisor must meet the PY supervisor requirements. It is recommended that one of the supervisors acts as the ‘primary’ supervisor and is accountable for the PY plan and progress.

To obtain details about the 2022 Financial Adviser Exam Schedule, book to sit an exam, or for other information about the exam, go to ASIC’s Financial Advisers Hub.

Requests to remark the November 2021 exam were due by 31 December 2021. There are no extensions available for further re-mark requests.

Results from the re-mark of the November 2021 exam will be released by ACER in late January 2022.

Existing advisers who have completed an approved degree will need to complete the Ethics for Professional Advisers bridging course to be compliant with the new standards, unless otherwise specified in the Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Legislative Instrument.

Please check the requirements of your Australian Financial Services (AFS) Licensee in relation to CPD activity.