Financial Planning Courses Questions

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The financial advice sector has recently been reviewed by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA). New entrants to the industry are now required to complete a FASEA-approved bachelor degree or FASEA-approved Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning in order to practise.

Prior learning and experience may be taken into account for existing advisers looking to meet FASEA’s education requirements, but at the very least, you must still complete a FASEA bridging course (Ethics for Professional Advisers).

The deadline for meeting these new educational requirements is 1 January 2026. So, if you’re a new or existing financial adviser and you want to find out more, contact Kaplan Professional for a personalised consultation to discuss your options. We can help you create a tailored education pathway specifically designed with consideration of your own prior knowledge and experience.

Prior to 2017, the minimum compulsory education requirement for becoming a financial adviser in Australia was to have completed the RG 146 course.

However, the establishment of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) in April 2017 has changed things. FASEA was created to set the education, training and ethical standards for Australian financial advisers and is now responsible for determining and approving the educational requirements for new and existing advisers.

As of 1 January 2026, FASEA requires all existing financial advisers have a higher education qualification (or equivalent) in order to provide financial advice.

For new entrants to the industry, this will require you to have at least a bachelor degree consisting of 24 subjects. If you’re switching from another career in which you have some relevant previous education, a graduate diploma (AQF level 8) consisting of eight subjects will be required.

Existing advisers will need to complete at minimum, a FASEA bridging course (Ethics for Professional Advisers). The maximum requirement for existing advisers is completion of a FASEA-approved Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning comprising of eight subjects. The amount of education required is dependent on prior education.

To find out more about where you stand with your current qualifications and experience, get in touch with Kaplan Professional for a personalised consultation. 

Under the new legislation, by 1 January 2026, anyone practising as a financial adviser will be required to have completed an approved higher education qualification.

While a degree will be the minimum requirement for new entrants to the advice sector (a bachelor degree consisting of 24 subjects), a graduate diploma (AQF level 8) consisting of eight subjects will also be acceptable as a minimum requirement for career changers who have relevant experience from their previous careers.

For existing financial advisers, the minimum educational requirement will be up to eight subjects of a graduate diploma. This is dependent on previous education and any professional designations you may hold.

Existing financial advisers may also be required to complete any or all of the following bridging courses entitled ‘Financial Advice Regulatory & Legal Obligations’, ‘Client and Consumer Behaviour, Engagement and Decision Making’, and ‘Ethics for Professional Advisers’.

The new requirements follow a review of the financial planning industry by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA). This body was established in April 2017 and is now responsible for setting the education, training and ethical standards for Australian financial advisers.

In addition to compulsory education requirements, FASEA is in the process of introducing new supervision requirements for new advisers, a new code of ethics for the industry, an exam all financial advisers must sit, and a range of ongoing professional development requirements that must be met by financial advisers every year.

The new educational requirements must be met by 1 January 2026, so if you’re a new or existing financial adviser and need to find out more about your obligations, contact Kaplan Professional for a personal consultation. We can design a study pathway for you specifically tailored to your own circumstances, so get in touch with us to talk about your options.

Yes, there are a variety of financial planning courses that can be completed online, and Kaplan Professional are the online education specialists. Our vocational education courses include:

FNS50615 Diploma of Financial Planning

This course is ideal for individuals wanting to be paraplanners, those changing careers to become paraplanners, existing paraplanners wishing to gain knowledge to support their practical experience, support and administration staff wishing to broaden their knowledge, licensees, and training and compliance managers.

This program combines introductory specialist knowledge and skills to prepare you for entry into the financial advice industry. It also provides a pathway into our FASEA-approved Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning.

Each subject contains practice-based assessments to encourage progressive learning of technical, client engagement and interpersonal knowledge and skills as you move through the course.

FNS60415 Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning

This course is ideal for existing paraplanners looking for an education pathway into financial advice with the possibility of exemptions.

It’s also suitable for career changers wanting to become financial advisers, paraplanners who are keen to step up in their current role and expand their knowledge, support and administration staff looking to deepen their knowledge, those wanting to move into compliance and remediation roles, and individuals who’ve previously completed the FNS50615 Diploma of Financial Planning.

The program delivers a more advanced qualification that combines introductory specialist knowledge and financial planning skills to prepare you for entry into the financial planning industry.

Both the Diploma and FNS60415 Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning provide a pathway into the FASEA-approved Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning.

FASEA Bridging Courses

Existing financial advisers may be required to complete from one to three bridging courses to comply with FASEA’s educational requirements. These bridging courses include:

  • Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations
  • Ethics for Professional Advisers
  • Client and Consumer Behaviour, Engagement and Decision Making

Some existing financial advisers will be required to complete up to eight subjects from an approved Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning.

Postgraduate courses that can be studied online with Kaplan Professional include:

Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning

This is a four-subject qualification that can be used as a stepping stone into the FASEA-approved Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning or FASEA-approved Master of Financial Planning. 

Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning

An eight-subject FASEA approved qualification that consists of the first eight subjects of the FASEA-approved Master of Financial Planning.

Master of Financial Planning

A purpose-built degree that’s FASEA approved, and designed and developed in consultation with industry experts. It combines advanced technical rigour with practical performance-focused learning outcomes.

The Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning is a specialist financial planning qualification consisting of eight specialist subjects, including superannuation and retirement, estate planning, and the skills required for client engagement.

It focuses on the professional responsibilities of financial planners from an ethical and compliance standpoint, and it’s designed to enhance professional capabilities by teaching participants to apply advanced knowledge, devise recommendations, develop technical skills, and solve complex financial planning problems.

The course meets the requirements of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).

Kaplan Professional’s FASEA-approved Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning is a postgraduate qualification comprising of the first eight subjects of our FASEA-approved Master of Financial Planning.

The course has been curated in collaboration with leading industry experts to ensure it’s practical, relevant and teaches knowledge and skills immediately transferable to professional practice. It builds on the skills you’ve already developed and broadens your technical knowledge of investment, taxation, estate and succession planning, and client engagement.

As an Australian leader in the provision of quality online education, Kaplan Professional delivers learning solutions to more than 45,000 students each year; including over 1,500 corporate clients from the major banks and financial services sector.

We offer individuals online study experience incorporating the latest interactive learning technologies backed by an extensive support network, including a dedicated Student Advice team.

We have the reputation and resources to engage leading financial advisers and industry experts to design and deliver our courses. This ensures our students receive relevant, practical and performance-focused learning they can apply directly to their professional practice.

The other factor setting Kaplan Professional apart from other online education providers is our six study period calendar; a unique system offering individuals the option to study any subject at any time of the year through six different study periods.

If you’d like to find out more about our Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning, why not get in touch with us at Kaplan Professional and have a chat with a member of our Course Advice team.

The Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning is a four-subject postgraduate qualification covering the key skills in ethics and specialised areas of financial planning.

The course will not only extend your current knowledge of subjects such as applied financial planning, insurance and superannuation, but it will also provide you with the opportunity to work on simulated financial planning scenarios.

The Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning is also an ideal pathway towards gaining the minimum education level now required by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) for existing  financial advisers. Completing this course will allow you to then complete a further four subjects in the Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning.

Kaplan Professional’s Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning is our version of this postgraduate qualification, and it provides a pathway into both our FASEA-approved Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning and our FASEA-approved Master of Financial Planning.

The course is comprised of four core subjects:

  • FPC001B Economic and Legal Context for Financial Planning
  • FPC002B Ethics and Professionalism in Financial Advice
  • FPC003 Superannuation and Retirement Advice
  • FPC004 Insurance Advice

These subjects will teach you the foundations of creative and analytical thinking required to deal with complex financial planning issues.

Kaplan Professional is one of Australia’s leading online education providers, delivering quality learning solutions to more than 45,000 professionals every year. This includes 1,500 corporate clients from the major banks and the financial services sector.

We offer individuals a streamlined and user-friendly online study experience that takes advantage of all the latest digital learning technologies. We also provide you with an extensive support network while you study, which includes a dedicated Student Advice team, just a phone call or email away.

At Kaplan Professional, we’ve been able to secure some of the industry’s top experts and financial advisers to curate and deliver our courses. This enables individuals to learn practical, real-world and performance-focused skills they can use immediately in their own professional circumstances.

We also offer something totally unique in the form of a six study period calendar. This allows individuals to study any subject at any time of the year, with six study periods offered to cater for the busiest work schedule.

If you’re interested in learning more about our Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning, contact Kaplan Professional and have a chat with our Student Advice team.

The Master of Financial Planning is a comprehensive postgraduate qualification equipping individuals with advanced knowledge of the financial planning essentials, including finance, tax, risk and compliance.

Approved by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), this course is highly regarded, completely practical and meets FASEA’s educational requirements for financial advisers.

This is the penultimate course for financial advisers and is the pinnacle of achievement. It provides advanced technical knowledge of key financial planning concepts, including financial markets and products, investments, risk management, taxation law, compliance, and ethical and professional conduct.

Best of all, this course focuses on practical and relevant outcomes rather than just academic theory. You’ll learn analytical skills and how to apply them in professional contexts, and you’ll be required to integrate those skills into a research piece at the culmination of the course.

Kaplan Professional’s Master of Financial Planning has been designed and developed in consultation with leading industry experts and offers contemporary teachings in financial advice strategy and theory at the highest level.

As a leading provider of online education in Australia, Kaplan Professional delivers quality learning solutions to over 45,000 professionals a year, including 1,500 corporate clients from the banking and financial services sectors.

The online study experience we offer individuals is both streamlined and user-friendly, taking advantage of the latest digital learning technologies and backed by a comprehensive support network including a dedicated Student Advice team.

Our reputation and network allow us to engage the best industry experts and financial advisers to curate and deliver our content. This means individuals learn practical, contemporary and performance-based knowledge and skills immediately applied in their own workplace.

Another factor that puts us ahead of our competitors is our unique six study period calendar. This gives individuals the option of studying any subject at almost any time of the year, with six different study intakes to choose from.

If you want to find out more about our Master of Financial Planning, be sure to get in touch with us at Kaplan Professional and talk with someone from our Course Advice team.

This depends on whether you’re planning to study a higher education or a vocational education qualification.

Also called tertiary education, higher education is university-level education leading to an academic degree. On the other hand, vocational education teaches real-world knowledge and skills required in specific industries and employs competency-based assessment, unlike the graded assessments in higher education.

Kaplan Professional’s postgraduate courses include our Graduate Certificate in Financial Planning, Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning, and our Master of Financial Planning. Our vocational education courses include our FNS50615 Diploma of Financial Planning and our FNS60415 Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning.

If you intend to study a higher education course, you may be eligible for advanced standing. You can apply for advanced standing based on industry designations (qualifications) you may have from eligible associations. You can also apply for advanced standing on the basis of any relevant postgraduate study you may have completed at another institution.

If you’re planning to study a vocational education course with us, credit for previous experience is known as Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL). Credit is awarded if you’re able to demonstrate competencies relevant to the course you’re planning to study and you acquired previously through formal or informal learning.

As a current financial adviser, you may be looking at further study to broaden your knowledge and skills. However, you may also be investigating your study options as a result of the FASEA’s requirements, as they have revised the minimum level of education all financial advisers require. If so, being able to reduce the amount of study you must undertake thanks to Advanced Standing or RPL credits is certainly well worth looking into.

For details about advanced standing or RPL evidence requirements and costs, contact Kaplan Professional for more information specific to your experience and education.

Each Kaplan Professional financial planning postgraduate qualification has individual entry requirements. Please refer to the relevant course pages for specific entry requirements. Alternatively, you can view a list of postgraduate course minimum entry requirements here.

Our experienced and knowledgeable Course Advice team is available to answer all your questions, whether they’re about available qualifications, enrolment dates, completion pathways or just general study advice.

To get in touch, simply call 1300 135 798 > option 2 or email studentadvice@kaplan.edu.au.  

Once you’ve enrolled, our Student Advice team will be in regular contact with you throughout your studies. They’ll keep you up to date with important information and will be ready to help you with advice whenever you need it.

Kaplan Professional qualifications are delivered entirely online. Therefore, you must have access to technology that meet the minimum requirements to complete your course, such as a PC or laptop and internet access.

KapLearn is your dedicated online learning space where you can access all subject materials and activities, support resources and assessments. Please refer to your subject room to access course learning resources.

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