Considering a career in financial planning? If you’re seeking to upskill or change career paths, Kaplan Professional’s postgraduate financial planning qualifications can be completed 100% online at your own pace. With the flexibility to study across six annual intakes to suit your personal and professional commitments, now may be the ideal time for you to commence an online financial planning qualification. Here’s what you need to know about the recent changes in the Australian financial planning industry, and what qualifications are available and suitable for your circumstances. Changes in the Australian financial planning industry There has been significant upheaval in Australia’s financial planning industry recently, following the introduction of the Financial Adviser Standards professional standards and education requirements that took effect from 1 January 2019. These professional standards and education requirements will differ depending on whether you’re an existing financial adviser or a new entrant to the industry. Existing financial advisers: To meet the FAS professional standards and education requirement, you’ll need to: Have an approved qualification that meets the new minimum education requirement.The maximum education requirement for an existing financial adviser is an approved graduate diploma (Australian Qualifications Framework level 8), which encompasses eight subjects. The minimum education requirement is one FAS bridging course (Ethics for Professional Advisers). Depending on your experience as an existing financial adviser, you’ll need to complete between one to eight subjects to meet the new requirement by 1 January 2026. Pass the Financial Adviser Examination before 1 January 2022. Complete 40 hours of per year. Comply with the Financial Planners and Advisers Code of Ethics. New entrants: To meet the FAS professional standards and education requirement, you’ll need to: Have an approved qualification. For new entrants to the industry, this includes a FAS-approved Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning (AQF level 8) or a bachelor degree (AQF level 7) consisting of 24 subjects. Pass the Financial Adviser Examination after you’ve completed an approved degree and before commencing quarter three in your professional year. Complete 40 hours of per year. Work and training (professional year) standard:New entrants will be required to undertake a full-time Professional Year comprising 1,600 hours. Of this, at least 100 hours is to be structured training. This supervised time includes activities such as client observations, providing support to an experienced financial adviser, supervised client engagement and advice preparation, and indirect supervision of client engagement and advice preparation. Comply with the Financial Planners and Advisers Code of Ethics. What financial planning courses are available in Australia? If you’re an existing financial adviser, career changer or new entrant, Kaplan Professional offers purpose-built FAS-approved qualifications and bridging courses. All of Kaplan Professional’s financial planning qualifications have been designed and developed in partnership with leading industry experts with a wealth of professional experience. 1. Master of Financial Planning Kaplan Professional’s FAS-approved Master of Financial Planning is set at AQF level 9 and encompasses 12 subjects. This 100% online and purpose-built qualification was developed in consultation with leading industry experts. It combines advanced technical rigour with practical and relevant performance-focused learning outcomes, offering financial advice strategy and theory at the highest level. The Master of Financial Planning is suitable for individuals who are looking to complete a FAS-approved qualification to meet the new education requirements, while expanding on existing knowledge and skills to stand out in a competitive industry. 2. Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning Kaplan Professional’s Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning is a FAS-approved qualification set at AQF level 8. The Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning may be suitable if you’re seeking to commence a FAS-approved qualification or looking to broaden existing knowledge in investment, taxation, estate and succession planning, and client engagement. On successful completion of this qualification, you’ll have the opportunity to progress and complete four (4) more subjects to obtain the Master of Financial Planning. 3. Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning Kaplan Professional’s Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning encompasses four subjects and is set at AQF level 8. It’s the ideal entry point for individuals without a relevant qualification seeking a pathway into the FAS-approved Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning and the FAS-approved Master of Financial Planning. This qualification may be suitable if you’re considering changing careers to become a financial adviser, in addition to those who aren’t financial advisers but require a deeper understanding of financial advice for their role. 4. FAS Bridging Courses Kaplan Professional’s FAS-approved bridging courses are designed for existing financial advisers seeking to meet the FAS education standard. If you’re an existing financial adviser, you may need to complete between one and three of the FAS bridging courses to meet the new education requirements. This generally depends on your prior learning experience and whether you currently hold a FAS-approved qualification. Our FAS bridging courses were developed in conjunction with Deloitte and Dr. Deen Sanders to provide an engaging, valuable and world-class learning experience. These courses cover the essential knowledge areas of ethics and professionalism in financial advice, economic and legal contexts for financial planning, and client engagement skills. Studying with Kaplan Professional Kaplan Professional is one of Australia’s leading providers of online education, providing learning solutions to over 45,000 industry professionals annually. As the education partner of choice for the majority of the country’s leading financial services organisations and major banks around the country, we’re committed to providing personalised education pathways to financial advisers and supporting them with the tools they need to succeed throughout their education journey. Throughout your studies with Kaplan Professional, you can expect to benefit from: 100% online study, including online proctored exams Early access to learning materials and assessments to start preparing early High-touch engagement and one-on-one tutor support throughout your studies Interactive learning delivered by industry experts Six intakes per year to plan your studies around your work and other commitments FEE-HELP and fixed subject fees for the duration of your qualification We’re here to help Regardless of where you’re at in your financial planning career journey, Kaplan Professional is here to support you every step of the way. Whether you’re studying your first qualification or hesitant about returning to study after many years in the workforce, we can tailor a personalised study plan to suit your individual circumstances and needs. Have questions about your next step? Our highly knowledgeable and experienced Course Advice team are available to answer your questions. Request a call now and a friendly and knowledgeable Course Adviser will be in touch shortly.