Two key changes to ASIC’s professional standards reforms

Alex Burke,  Senior Writer,  No More Practice Education

Yesterday, ASIC rolled out an updated schedule for the transition to its new adviser professional standards reforms - here's how this will make life easier for advisers and licensees.

Deadlines for existing providers

ASIC explained that advisers who are listed on the Financial Advisers Register (FAR) between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019 will be recognised as existing providers, and that if you are currently authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients on complex financial products, you should make sure you’re on the list.

Assuming you’re recognised as an existing provider, you will now have until 1 January 2021 to pass an exam and 1 January 2024 to complete an approved qualification, and you are permitted to continue working as an adviser in the interim.

If you aren’t recognised, though, you’ll have to pass the exam and complete the approved qualification by 1 January 2019 to continue working.

Changes to notification requirements

ASIC also said it was modifying the earliest notification requirements under the new reforms, with a view to simplifying licensees’ notification obligations and “[enabling] ASIC to implement the required systems changes more effectively.”

To wit, the regulator is pushing back the timing for licensees to notify of new advisers joining the industry for the first time after 1 January 2019. This means “provisional relevant providers” can be added to FAR from 15 November 2019.

Overall, ASIC said these changes will simplify licensees' disclosure obligations and clarify to the industry what constitutes an "existing provider,” giving advisers and licensees more time to implement the new professional standards regime.

For a detailed explanation of the existing professional standards regime and what it entails, refer back to this No More Practice interview with Financial Planning Association chief executive Dante De Gori.

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