For Financial Advice Services
The Government has passed new legislation that changes how financial advice is regulated in New Zealand.
This legislation comes into effect on the 15th March 2021 and includes a new Code of Professional Conduct for Financial Advice Services.
Anyone providing financial advice to retail clients is subject to the new Code, which has two parts. Part 1 outlines the ethical behaviour, conduct and client care standards that need to be met, while Part 2 outlines the standards of competence, knowledge, and skill required.
The Code describes these Part 2 standards as being equivalent to the general outcomes of the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5) version 2, and provides several ways of demonstrating those standards, including:
- by reference to an individual’s experience and/or an alternative qualification
- by reference to a financial advice provider’s procedures, systems and expertise.
Alternative pathways to demonstrating competency
Skills partnered with subject matter experts to develop alternative pathways that give individuals and organisations the ability to demonstrate competence in an objective, measurable and independently verifiable manner.
Individuals seeking to demonstrate that they fulfill the competency requirements of the code will have two options:
Study further, which means:
- Undertake training with an approved provider to achieve the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5) version 2.
- If successful, be awarded the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5) version 2 from the approved provider.
- This option takes approximately 8 months to complete.
Proceed with Skills to complete the Alternative Pathway for Individuals, which means:
- Complete an online Skills Recognition Process, in which they will need to demonstrate achievement of other international or domestic qualifications and/or knowledge, skills and experience.
- If successful, receive a letter from Skills confirming that they have capabilities equivalent to the general qualification outcomes required by the Code. Note that this pathway will not result in the individual being awarded the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5) version 2 qualification.
- This option requires the collation of a portfolio of evidence from an individual’s work experience, which will be assessed by an independent Assessor. Individuals will also be required to participate in a Competency Discussion with the Assessor
- The Alternative Pathway for Individual’s process will take approximately 30 days from the time of application, providing all the required documents have been submitted.
For Financial Advice Providers
Training is just one component of procedures, systems and expertise.
For Financial Advice Providers (FAP), Skills offers an alignment process that can either fully or partially map the FAP’s own in-house training programmes with the outcomes of the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5) version 2.
Depending on the outcome of the alignment with the FAP, individuals who have completed the in-house training may be awarded the qualification, or a number of the unit standards that make up the qualification. Alternatively, the FAP may receive a report from Skills confirming that the in-house training programme is at the required level, which the FAP can use as part of demonstrating to the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) that they meet competency requirements through their procedures, systems and expertise.
The FMA is the government agency that licenses and supervises financial advice providers and will monitor compliance with the new Code when it comes into effect on the 15th March 2021.
For Tertiary Education Organisations
Tertiary education organisations who provide alternative training programmes will also be able to apply to have their training programmes aligned to the outcomes of the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5) version 2 by Skills. If successful, the education organisation will receive a letter from Skills confirming the details of each alternative training programme that is at the required level, which can be used to provide verification to their learners and the FMA.