Our Self-Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF) program is designed to provide you with a fundamental knowledge of the establishment, operation and management of an SMSF. It specifically covers issues related to taxation and estate planning, the steps involved in setting up a pension from an SMSF and the different strategies available for specific client situations.

Earn FPA and SPAA accredited CPD points. Find out how.


Who should enrol

This program is an introduction to the fundamentals of providing advice on SMSF and is relevant to:

  • planners/advisers
  • administrators
  • auditors
  • trustees
  • accountants
  • professionals seeking to specialise in SMSF

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Entry requirements

To advise on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) you must be currently RG146 compliant to provide personal advice in superannuation. The Self-Managed Superannuation Funds course has the following prerequisites:

Generic Knowledge
Superannuation and Retirement Planning

A Statement of Attainment will not be issued upon completion of SMSF unless you provide evidence that you have completed the above (or equivalent) within the last 5 years. You may need to show evidence of your current competency in Superannuation via an exemption, if you are in doubt please refer to the Diploma of Financial Planning - Level 1 Exemption Application Kit relating to Superannuation and Retirement Planning. 

If you are not eligible for an exemption refer to Kaplan's Diploma of Financial Planning for further information on enrolling into the prerequisite subjects.

Program outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, you should be able to:

  • Explain the key legislative, regulatory and administrative requirements of SMSF
  • Explain the importance of trust deeds
  • Explain the responsibilities of trustees
  • Explain the estate planning characteristics of SMSFs
  • Explain how pensions can be paid from complying superannuation funds
  • Discuss the taxation issues relevant to SMSF
  • Identify and apply appropriate strategies available to SMSF trustees

Industry recognition^

Financial Planning Association (FPA)

Accreditation for up to 54 points credit of continuing professional development for students who successfully complete this program from 28 May 2010 onwards:

  • Self-study: 22.25 CPD points (Professional Dimensions: Capability & Critical Thinking)
  • Workshop component: 31.75 points (Professional Dimensions: Capability & Critical Thinking)
  • Combined: 54 points (Professional Dimensions: Capability & Critical Thinking)

SMSF Professionals' Association of Australia (SPAA)

Recognition for continuing professional development points towards SPAA membership:

  • Self-study: 56 points

Recognition & exemptions

You may be entitled to gain an exemption into this qualification based on your previous study, work experience or a combination of both. To do this you need to submit evidence that demonstrates you have already met the requirements of the subject through other means, including:

 Refer to the Recognition Policy for further information.

Program structure

The program is made up of eight modules, including:

  1. Introduction to SMSFs
  2. Trustee responsibilities
  3. Investment restrictions
  4. Taxation issues
  5. Estate planning
  6. Paying pension benefits from an SMSF
  7. Member accounts
  8. Strategies and financial planning opportunities

 Download learning outcomes


This program is delivered via self-study with optional workshops if you prefer a face-to-face learning environment. You will also have access to My Kaplan, an online learning centre, for the duration of your studies.

This program self-contained with all the materials and resources needed to complete the program easily by self-study. The program can be commenced in the self-study mode at any time.


To complete the program, you must successfully complete the:

  • Project, and
  • Exam

If you are unsuccessful in an assessment (Not yet competent), you will have the opportunity to:

  • Resit the exam (twice)
  • Resubmit the project (once), please see the Assessment Policy for further details

Duration & Timeframes

A typical study commitment is 60 hours depending on your capacity for study.

Projects and first-sit exams must be completed no later than 12 weeks from enrolment. Should you be deemed ‘Not yet competent’ you will be given an additional 4 weeks to resubmit your project or resit your exam. 

If you are not able to complete your studies within this time period you may extend your studies by 6 weeks (fees apply).


  • Self-study - $585

 Refer to fees document for additional study related fees.

Further information & enrolment

 Call 1300 662 203    
 Enrol online
 View policies
 Back to Financial Planning home

^ Not available to students who are awarded this program via the RPL process.
* No GST is applicable.  Fees valid until 31 December 2014.

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