All AFAs must abide by the Code of Professional Conduct. The Code requires a financial adviser to acquire the competence, knowledge and skills to provide the relevant service. AFA applicants must show that they meet the required levels of competence when they apply.
The New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services (Level 5) (NZ Certificate) is prescribed in the Code as the minimum competence standard AFAs must meet for the financial adviser service they are providing. The NZ Certificate provides qualifications in the following components:
Covers professional practice, ethics, risk and compliance of the financial services industry, legislation and regulations, understanding the research and analysis processes, and understanding the economic environment and its interdependencies with financial markets.
Covers the application of the financial advice process and the fiduciary responsibilities, legislation and regulations relevant to professional client service and financial advice.
Covers investment concepts, legislation and regulations relevant to investment services, the relationship between investment products/services with individuals’ needs, and the principles of investment analysis to ensure appropriate solutions to investment needs.
These components are registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) on the National Qualifications Framework providing a nationally recognised and measurable standard across the financial adviser sector.
See The Skills Organisation’s website.
We will check that advisers applying for authorisation meet the required competence requirements that are relevant to the financial adviser services they wish to provide.
Those who want to be AFAs must provide evidence that they:
Advisers need to upload copies of qualification documents when they apply for authorisation online at the Financial Service Providers Register.
For more information see the Code of Professional Conduct for Authorised Financial Advisers and the AFA Authorisation Guide.
The Skills Organisation, the national standards setting body for the financial services industry, makes sure there is sufficient, appropriate training available and manages the competence assessment process for the authorisation of financial advisers. See the The Skills Organisation website for information about training and assessment.
For other information about alternative qualifications, designations and lapsed designations and application requirements read the AFA Authorisation Guide.
The Code does not include any foreign qualifications in the list of alternative qualifications or designations. If your qualification or designation is not currently recognised in New Zealand then you should apply to The Skills Organisation to be assessed and examined against individual unit standards (within the National Certificate in Financial Services (Financial Advice) (Level 5).
You can do this without undertaking any additional training; however, it would be wise to first check with The Skills Organisation whether assessment only options are appropriate for you.
FMA has limited powers to exempt any person, class of person or activities from complying with any section of the Financial Advisers Act, associated regulations or the Code. FMA will limit the use of its powers to cases that meet prescribed statutory criteria, and all exemptions will be based soundly on the policy of the law.
The Code Committee was appointed in July 2009 and developed the Code of Professional Conduct for Authorised Financial Advisers.