Steering the Professional Year

Steering the Professional Year

Posted by Kate Whiteley on Dec 14, 2018 11:54:53 AM
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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes
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Topics: Adviser CPD cpdevolve

The new sheriff in town’s policing is tough! But with some planning, and the right learning partner’s support, your practice’s compliance with Professional Year requirements can be managed.

As we’ve covered in our previous blog, Navigating the CPD Frontier, about FASEA’s CPD requirements, the new financial adviser regulator provided advice licensees with quite a task list next year. One of them is to have a Work and Training requirement (aka Professional Year) plan for new advisers.

The Professional Year plan must observe a quarterly activity framework aimed at developing one the following competencies each quarter:

  1. Technical competence
  2. Client care and practice
  3. Regulatory compliance and consumer protection; and
  4. Professionalism and ethics.


The 1600 hours of Professional Year requirements that Provisional Financial Advisers must undertake comprises 100 hours of structured training and 1500 hours of work.

Provisional Financial Advisers must be supervised and the person tasked with this must be an existing provider (adviser) with a minimum of 2 years’ experience.

Bringing your Professional Year plans to life

What is of particular interest to Financial Education Professionals is that Professional Year competencies are the same as those that FASEA requires existing advisers to cover in the CPD designed to maintain and extend their professional capabilities.

At FEP, we believe there would be benefits to leveraging CPD for Professional Year purposes. So, how would such a solution work in practice?

CPD could be used twice – firstly to satisfy FASEA CPD requirements for existing advisers, and secondly as formal training for new advisers, with supplementary activities and reporting.

As competencies are common across both standards, it is entirely feasible that adding more rigorous assessment activities to CPD would provide the deeper and broader knowledge and skills demanded for Professional Year adviser purposes. Tasks could include an adviser undertaking research and written reflections, with completion forms and check lists being signed by their supervisor.

This would ease the burden on licensees to furnish the 100 hours of structured training themselves and to meet record keeping requirements for both new and existing providers. Licensees would be assured that both provisional and existing advisers would be covering the same body of knowledge and reporting could be housed in the same place.

Note that CPD topics would need to be chosen carefully.  They must be relevant to existing advisers and crucial to a new adviser. 

The road ahead

Generally, Professional Year requirements will likely not need to be in place until at least July 2019. This is because there will be few new advisers who have completed approved degrees in the next 6 months. 

Our tips for getting ready in the meantime would be:

  • Examine what curriculum/topics would add value to new advisers in your organisation under each category. Remember FASEA recommends a quarterly approach so each quarter an adviser would be looking to gain competency in one of the four FASEA areas

  • Evaluate realistically whether your organisation can create Professional Year content or if you will need to outsource. Perhaps, you’ll end up with a bit of both

  • Determine who will be responsible for supervising new advisers. They must have effective coaching skills and would probably welcome some training themselves in this area. They will certainly be looking for some direction from their licensee as to how to approach this important new role.

Via thoughtful consideration with a qualified and supportive learning partner, licensees can be comforted that they have ensured uniformity of content and reporting, and ultimately the desired competency across their entire advising team.

In essence, an appropriate CPD and Professional Year strategy will see you enlightening and delighting both your advisers and your clients.

Since you’re here, you’re welcome to check out our CPD and financial training courses

Useful links:

FASEA's Standards Summary

ASIC’s Professional standards for financial advisers – reforms

Bringing your Professional Year plans to life!

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