Financial services minister Stephen Jones

A clean record on ASIC’s Financial Adviser Register (FAR) will not be enough to be part of the experience pathway with the government also considering minor infractions.

The Government’s consultation on the education carve-out began on Tuesday which stated, relying on the FAR did not capture the full range of misconduct that should preclude someone from eligibility.

“Relying solely on the FAR is not appropriate as, prior to 2022, the only disciplinary actions available to ASIC against financial advisers were banning orders and enforceable undertakings, both of which have high conduct thresholds,” the submission stated.

Other sources for determining adviser misconduct could include CPD compliance, disciplinary action taken by associations, or whether conduct resulted in adviser findings being made against their licensees at AFCA.

The consult added that isolated incidences of minor misconduct will not be sufficient to disqualify an adviser from accessing the experienced pathway but multiple instances of minor misconduct should be.

Advisers who engage in misconduct in the future may be required to complete formal education “equivalent to the requirements for existing advisers”.

The government told Professional Planner in June it had directed Treasury to begin work on the consult.

The eligibility criteria will only be available until 1 January 2026 to “ensure consistency with the existing transitional arrangements” for existing advisers.

Advisers will be expected to self-assess their eligibility through their licensee, which the consult stated will consider a prescribed criteria and additional guidance that will be provided.

The 10 years of full-time equivalent experience will count from a 15-year period between 2004-2018 and doesn’t need to be consecutive.

Free reign for educators

The consultation also suggested the law would be amended so that rather than requiring degrees to be approved, education providers would provide a declaration that their course is teaching the core knowledge areas.

“The intention of this approach is to remove the current process of education providers seeking approval of the degrees they offer, which is time-consuming, highly prescriptive and does not eliminate risks of graduates not meeting the education requirements for technical reasons,” the proposal stated.

Instead of 11 core knowledge areas required in degrees, it would be reduced to five: taxation law, commercial law, financial advice regulatory and legal obligations, ethics and professionalism, and behavioural finance and client engagement.