Existing financial advisers will only need a degree-equivalent status, Assistant Treasurer Kelly O'Owyer announced today.
The announced came as the reforms to raise the education, training, and ethical standards of the industry has been revised in the draft legislation and accompanying explanatory memorandum.
The Government is also proposing to establish a standard setting body to administer the professional standards regime.
"Existing advisers will be required to reach degree equivalent status, which can be achieved via a number of flexible pathways, including by completing bridging courses approved by the new standards body," O'Dwyer said.
"We recognise that existing advisers will need to balance any further education requirements with the demands of continuing to provide high-quality financial advice to their clients. Existing advisers therefore need sufficient time to meet the new standards."
O'Dwyer noted that the Government is also proposing to extend the amount of time existing advisers will have to reach degree-equivalent status and to pass the new exam requirement.
"The education and exam requirements are proposed to commence on 1 January 2019 (revised from 1 July 2017). Existing advisers will have until 1 January 2024 (five years) to reach degree equivalent status and until 1 January 2021 (2 years) to pass the exam," she said.
The standard setting body will be responsible for developing and setting the industry exam, code of ethics, and determining the education requirements for both new and existing advisers.