AFA testimonial templates and guidelines

These are the templates for testimonials you must supply to help us assess your character. Ensure you use the correct template for each testimonial. Please refer to the testimonial guidelines that explain what you and your referees need to do. Please also see the Good Character and Criminal Convictions guidance note for full details of FMA's criteria and requirements for assessment of good character of AFA applicants.

As part of our assessment of your good character, you must provide testimonials in support of your application. Signed testimonials need to be scanned and uploaded as part of your online application. Each testimonial must be signed by the referee, include their contact telephone, email and address, and be dated no more than two months before the application date. We may contact your referees in person to discuss the content of their testimonial.

Testimonials must provide substantive information about you from your referee. Testimonials submitted with Yes/No responses to the questions in the template will not be accepted. We can reject a testimonial and require you to submit a replacement testimonial. Please ensure your referees understand the purpose and importance of the testimonials, and are in a position to provide full and correct information.

Standard testimonials

You are required to provide two standard testimonials in the template (available above) from the following sources:

  1. Your current manager
  2. Your immediate past manager.

Non–standard testimonials

Where your employment circumstances preclude you from providing the two standard testimonials from your current manager and immediate past manager, you may seek our prior consent to provide three non-standard testimonials instead. We recommend you email us at AFAapplications@fma.govt.nz to tell us why you cannot provide the two standard testimonials. An FMA adviser will contact you to discuss your circumstances and the alternative information you should submit.

The FMA has sole discretion to grant or withhold written consent to your request.

In general we expect non–standard testimonials to be provided by referees who have:

  • known you for a minimum period of 24 months but preferably longer, and 
  • have had the opportunity to observe your conduct first hand during that period. 

Testimonials must provide substantive information about you from your referee. We have the discretion to reject a testimonial and require you to submit a replacement.

Curriculum Vitae

You will be required to provide a curriculum vitae (CV) in support of your application. You will need to upload your CV together with the testimonials under the testimonials section of the online application form on the FSPR. Your CV should describe your employment history for the previous 15 years with details of your employers, the specific month and year of employment, the country where you were employed and the nature of your position at each place of employment.

False or misleading information

Your attention is drawn to Section 136 of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 which makes it an offence to provide false or misleading information in support of an application for authorisation. This includes any representation to FMA, or making use of any document knowing it to be false or misleading.

Overview

The financial adviser who has asked you to provide a testimonial has done so to support his/her application to become an Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA). The eligibility criteria to be authorised as an AFA are set out in the Financial Advisers Act 2008. One of those criteria is that the Financial Markets Authority must satisfy itself as to the "good character" of the applicant.

The purpose of the testimonial you have been asked to provide is to testify to the good character of the applicant.

Testimonial

The financial adviser should have provided you with a template of the testimonial in the form required by FMA. Please complete the testimonial form, sign and date it and return it to your financial adviser. It is the applicant's responsibility to send it to FMA.

The information you provide in the testimonial must be accurate and not misleading. Please note that any information provided in the testimonial which may be considered negative will not automatically mean that the applicant's application will be declined. FMA will form its view on the applicant's good character by considering all testimonials provided by the applicant, in conjunction with all of the other information it has for that purpose.

False or misleading information

Your attention is drawn to Section 136 of the Financial Advisers Act 2008 which makes it an offence to provide false or misleading information in support of an application for authorisation. This includes any representation to FMA, or making use of any document knowing it to be false or misleading.

Privacy

The information requested in the testimonial will be used for the purpose of the financial adviser authorisation application process and the performance of FMA's statutory functions. Your personal details will be collected and retained by FMA. You are under no legal obligation to provide a testimonial if you do not wish to do so.