People with foreign qualifications who want to practice as financial advisers will need to subject themselves to a gap assessment, under the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA’s) Foreign Qualification Standard.
FASEA published the policy for its Foreign Qualification Standard after reviewing industry submissions which it acknowledged had included recommendations for the gap assessment of FASEA knowledge areas and/or Australian regulatory and legal obligations of financial advisers.
It has also allowed scope for those with foreign qualifications to request a review of an adverse FASEA assessment, but for a fee.
FASEA will also develop a “precedent database” within which FASEA approved foreign qualifications will be published and made publicly available. If a foreign qualification is included on the data base, those with foreign qualifications will not have to be assessed by a Department of Education and Training approved body.
The starting point for those with foreign qualifications remains that they must have their qualification assessed by a Department of Education and Training approved body with FASEA warning that new entrants may then be required to complete additional qualifications. The FASEA policy document said that financial services and financial advice in Australia were wide and complex fields with legal, taxation, investment and market requirements, contexts and products that were unique to Australia.
“Thus, ensuring that qualification obtained includes the FASEA competencies and/or a good level of understanding of Australian regulatory and legal obligations for Financial Advisers are important factors to be considered under this Standard,” it said.
“FASEA may also specify one or more courses the person must undertake to satisfy the education standard in addition to a foreign qualification,” the policy document said. “Licensees are required to notify ASIC of the Relevant Providers’ compliance with the foreign qualification standard.”