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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any questions regarding compliance and how it impacts you and your business, please select this link to email us Contact Us or phone on 1300 306 146.

If I give 'general advice' what prerequisite training is required?

General advice is the promotion and/or selling a product where no recommendation is made to the customer as to the suitability of that product. This means that a product adviser cannot 'select' from a group of potential products which might be more suitable for a particular client in relation to their personal needs, circumstances or objectives. The general or product adviser is selling specific products and acting for the product provider.

If you provide 'general advice' is mandatory to complete compulsory unit of Australian Industry Essentials (Generic Knowledge), which sets the foundation by teaching the integrity, ethics and legislative requirements of an adviser.

You should complete this prerequisite ...

... which includes these topics:

compulsory unit...

Australian Economy
Australian Financial Markets
Investment Funds

Australian Industry Essentials (AIE)

Corporations Act
Regulatory Environment
Licensees & Representatives
Legal Obligations of Representatives
Ethics in Practice

N.B. Learners seeking full RG 146 accreditation will need to complete at least one specialist RG 146 training course that relates to the type of financial product you intend to specialise.

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If I give 'personal advice' what prerequisite training is required?

Personal advice is the recommendation of a financial service or product to a customer where you have considered one or more of the customers objectives, financial situation and needs. The personal adviser is acting on behalf of the client and is making a recommendation in relation to suitable financial products.

If you provide 'personal advice', it is mandatory that you complete foundational knowledge of Australian Industry Essentials (AIE) and Financial Advice Fundamentals. These units set the foundation by teaching the financial advice planning process, that is reinforced in each of the subsequent RG 146 specialist subjects.

You should complete this prerequisite ...

... which includes these topics:

Australian Industry Essentials (AIE)
Part 1: Australian Economy
Part 2: Australian Financial Markets
Part 3: Investment Funds
Part 4: Regulatory Environment
Part 5: Corporations Act
Part 6: Licensees and Representatives
Part 7: Ethics in Practice

Financial Advice Fundamentals (FAF)
Part 1: Personal Taxation
Part 2: Social Security
Part 3: Wealth Creation Fundamentals
Part 4: Estate Planning Fundamentals
Part 5: Establish Client Relationship
Part 6: Identify Client Objectives and Financial Situation
Part 7: Analyse Client Objectives and Financial Situation
Part 8: Develop Strategies and Solutions
Part 9: Present Strategies and Negotiate Solutions
Part 10: Implement Agreed Plan
Part 11: Provide Ongoing Service

N.B. Learners seeking full RG 146 accreditation must complete at least one specialist RG 146 subject that relates to the type of financial product you intend to specialise.

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What specialist RG 146 training do I require?

In addition to the prerequisite subjects described via section 3 and 4, you must successfully complete a course listed on the training register of the corporate regulator that relate to the type of financial product you intend to specialise.

Specialist RG 146 courses include:

  • Superannuation
  • SMSF (you must have completed superannuation)
  • Investments
  • Securities
  • Derivatives
  • Foreign Exchange
  • Margin Lending
  • Property Investment
  • Life Insurance
  • General Insurance

You can undertake one or more of the specialist RG 146 training courses listed, which will grant you RG 146 competency to provide advice in the related areas.

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Can I just complete individual RG 146 courses?

Some Dealer Groups will permit their advisers to be qualified to provide limited advice in one specialist area.

For example, to be qualified to provide General Advice in relation to:

  • Life Insurance (general advice)
  • Superannuation (general advice)
  • SMSF general advice)
  • Managed Investments (general advice)
  • Securities (general advice)
  • Derivatives (general advice)
  • Foreign Exchange (general advice)
  • Margin Lending & Geared Investments (general advice)

For example, to be qualified to provide Personal Advice in relation to:

  • Life Insurance (personal advice)
  • Superannuation (personal advice)
  • SMSF (personal advice)
  • Managed Investments (personal advice)
  • Securities (personal advice)
  • Derivatives (personal advice)
  • Foreign Exchange (personal advice)
  • Margin Lending & Geared Investments (personal advice)
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When should I do the full Diploma of Financial Planning?

The Diploma of Financial Planning is the industry-standard qualification required for most careers in the financial services industry. Most Dealer Groups today require their advisers to have the full Diploma in order to be qualified to provide personal financial advice to retail clients.

Upon successful completion of the four subjects that comprise the DFP program, you will attain the Diploma of Financial Planning which is a nationally recognised qualification and grants you RG 146 competency to provide personal advice in the related areas under license. However, this Diploma offers more than just RG 146 compliance training. It is designed to engage and challenge participants so that they have the skills to apply knowledge gained in the workplace.

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Should I study by distance education?

Self-paced learning is ideal if you are remotely located, returning to the industry or have other commitments. Distance Education is also approximately half the cost of workshop courses, but you will need to allocate regular study times and be self-disciplined.

You will be assigned an experienced adviser and financial planner, who will be available by telephone and email to provide speedy assessment feedback and technical support by telephone from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday - Friday or by email.

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Can I choose to do one course by distance education and another by workshop?

Yes. Whether you do a course by Workshop or by Distance Education is your choice. You may even upgrade from Distance Education to a workshop session by registering your interest with your training adviser or by emailing learn@mentor.edu.au.

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How long does the workshop training take?

Individual workshop courses are 1 or 2 days in duration and are generally run from 8.30am to 4.30pm between Tuesday and Friday. You will also need to allow 2-3 weeks for pre-reading course material prior to the Workshop commencement date and time following to submit your assignments, case study and do your role-play. Some assessment tasks will be completed external of the workshop session(s).

Please consult our course schedule for the next workshop session in your region. All specialist adviser course enrolments are active for 6 months, and full qualification course enrolments are active for 12-months.

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How long does distance education take?

The time it takes to complete a distance education course varies by individual, but if you are currently working in the financial services industry you should allow at least 60 hours of study for each subject.

New entrants to the financial services industry should allow up to 150 hours of study for each subject.

All specialist adviser course enrolments are active for 6 months, and full qualification course enrolments are active for 12-months.

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Can I receive recognition of prior learning (RPL) or National Recognition (NR) for courses I have already done?

Mentor Education recognises all previously attained qualifications and/or statements of attainment that are current and relevant to the financial services (through National Recognition) completed with other TAFE's or registered training organisations.

Mentor Education recognises all previously attained qualifications that are current and relevant to the financial services sector. An assessment to determine eligibility for RPL is required.

For pre-enrolment National Recognition and RPL approval, please provide a copy of your previously attained qualifications and/or statements of attainment by:

fax to the RTO Manager on 1300 366 170 (Int: +61 3 9614 1877) or

email attaching a scanned copy as a PDF to learn@mentor.edu.au

If you apply for National Recognition or RPL as part of your enrolment, check the RPL tick box and course fees will be calculated subject to your RPL application approval. If, in the event that the Recognition/RPL application is not successful, you will be notified and arrangements made for your enrolment.

The corporate regulator requires advisers with foreign qualifications to undertake courses on the training register of the corporate regulator to become familiar with Australian regulatory requirements (RG 146.5 / RG 146.5).

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Can I upgrade from general to personal advice?

If you have successfully completed a unit that qualifies you to provide general advice (i.e. Australian Industry Essentials (Generic Knowledge), you can do the skills assessment (Financial Advice Fundamentals) to qualify you to provide personal advice in the specialist knowledge area that you are qualified in.

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Once I successfully complete the Diploma, what abbreviation can I use on my business cards?

Once you have been awarded the Diploma of Financial Planning, you can use a post nominal on your business card, resume and letter head to convey your qualifications. While there are no hard and fast rules about how you abbreviate this qualification, some examples include DFP, Diploma FP, Dip. Financial Planning or Dip. FP.

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I work in a stock broking firm. What course should I do?

To be qualified to work in a stock broking firm, you must be RG 146 compliant to provide advice on managed investments, Securities, Derivatives or Foreign Exchange. RG 146 courses that are suitable for a career in a stock broking, include general advice in:

Securities (general advice)

Further courses may be required by your employer, such as:

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Which courses can I do to provide advice on general insurance?

The General Insurance course is designed for individuals who are interested in a career selling General, Personal and Business Insurance products as covered by Regulatory Guideline 146 (RG146) as dictated by the corporate regulator.

For existing authorised representatives, successful completion of this course allows you to extend your advisory range into General Insurance products.

There are two streams of General Insurance courses available, depending on the product you wish to provide advice on:

  1. Tier 2 General Insurance relates to providing general advice in products such as insurance for cars, house and contents, landlord, caravan, boat and travel.
    Course Requirement:
    • Tier II General Insurance
  2. Tier 1 General Insurance relates to providing personal advice in Sickness and Accident insurance.
    Course Requirement:
    • Australian Industry Essentials
    • Tier I General Insurance (including Sickness and Accident supplement)
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What training do I need to advise on self-managed superannuation funds (SMSF)?

The SPAA accredited Self-Managed Superannuation Funds course is designed for advisers who need to know how to set-up, operate and comply with the regulatory requirements of operating a SMSF.

To obtain undertake the SMSF Course, it is recommended that you have successfully completed the Financial Advice and Superannuation subjects that form part of the Diploma of Financial Planning (FNS 506015) qualification or equivalent.


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I am an AFS licensee and advise and deal in derivatives. How does RG 146 apply to me?

The RG 146 training standards for generic knowledge and specialist knowledge in Derivatives must be satisfied at the Tier 1 educational level. To be qualified to provide advice and trade in derivatives, you will need to complete the following two subjects:

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Are 'product issuers' required to meet the training requirements under RG 146?

Product issuers when advertising their own products may be providing financial product advice. In addition, any advisers and customer service representatives must have the necessary competencies to perform their functions which include a thorough understanding of the limits of the financial product advice they are permitted to give.

Appropriate RG 146 training may include one of the following:

  • Insurance (general advice)
  • Superannuation (general advice)
  • Investment (general advice)
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How does RG 146 apply to paraplanners?

Para-Planners are representatives that perform functions such as collecting information from retail clients about their objectives, financial situation or needs, preparing draft Statements of Advice (SoA) and assisting in the explanation of financial product advice to retail clients.

The Diploma of Financial Planning Course is unique in that it contains the unit of competency 'FNSFPL508A: Conduct complex financial planning research' that is a requirement to qualify as a Para-Planner.

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How does RG 146 apply to trainees, office staff and adviser assistants?

Trainees, office staff and adviser assistants who support financial planners, advisers or insurance brokers require RG 146 training as it provides the specialist knowledge necessary to successfully perform their duties.

Support staff should consider one of the following registered RG 146 Courses:

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Is advice given by a tax agent financial product advice?

Advice given by a tax agent registered under the Part VIIA of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 is not financial product advice, if the advice is given in the ordinary course of activities.

However, if tax advice is intended to influence the client in decision-making about financial products, the tax advice may be financial product advice. Therefore, if you are a tax adviser you will need to consider whether you provide any financial services that may require you to hold an AFS license or become a representative of a licensee.

You may also wish to transition into the financial services industry, in which case is may be appropriate to complete the Diploma of Financial Planning Course.

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22.How does RG 146 apply to incidental advice provided by lawyers?

Advice given by a lawyer in their professional capacity about matters of law, legal interpretation or the application of law to the facts is not financial product advice. A person is also taken not to provide financial product advice if they only express an opinion or recommendation about the allocation of a person's funds among certain types of products and do not express an opinion or recommendation about a specific financial product or class of financial products.

Where lawyers wish to transition into the financial services industry, they tend to enrol in the Diploma of Financial Planning Course.

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Why do recognised accountants require RG 146 training and appropriate AFSL authorisation?

With the removal of the Accountants Exemption, Accountants must now meet RG 146 regulatory education requirement to continue to provide compliant advice in various financial services and products.

The best solution for accountants to quickly meet this legislative requirement is a unique tailored Fast-Track 6-day Diploma of Financial Planning & SMSF.

The specialist course has been rolled out to accountants aligned with major financial services groups includes combined assessments for Life Insurance, Superannuation, SMSF, Investments & Margin Lending, that provides:

  • Study Options - Workshop and Online options
  • Location Options - in-house or local venue training option for groups of 8 or more
  • Study credits given for existing knowledge or qualifications

Removal of Accountant's Exemption

You are not able to do the following things without RG 146 training and AFSL authorisation, even if you are a recognised accountant:

  1. You cannot give any advice that relates to the particular assets or investment strategy of the SMSF, including whether the trustee should acquire or dispose of certain financial products or classes of financial product.
  2. You cannot recommend that the client dispose of interests in another type of superannuation fund (such as an employer fund or public offer fund), or any other type of financial product, even if the recommendation is for the client to dispose of that product in order to establish or join a SMSF (for example, by rolling over funds from the other superannuation fund to the SMSF).
  3. You cannot recommend that the client change the investment strategies or contribution levels of another type of superannuation fund. That is, you cannot recommend that the client stop contributing to an existing superannuation fund and instead make contributions into a SMSF. You cannot give advice to switch between investment options.
  4. You cannot recommend that your client should not invest in other types of financial product.
  5. You cannot recommend that your client join an existing SMSF unless that recommendation is reasonably necessary to, and an integral part of, advice about the establishment, operation, structuring or valuation of the fund.

Move into Financial Planning - Expand Revenue Opportunities

Many accountants are establishing referral arrangements, joint ventures or financial planning divisions to their practice. To be transition into the financial services industry.

The Diploma of Financial Planning & SMSF supports either of these three options

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When should I do the Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning?

A large number of Dealer Groups today, also require their financial planners to have the nationally recognised Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning. This advanced level of qualification is to allow planners to provide personal financial advice to discerning clients in relation to Estate Planning, Taxation Planning, Investment Planning and Complex Financial Planning.

The Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning is an education pathway for advanced standing with peak financial services industry associations, including the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) Financial Planning Association (FPA) and the Independent Financial Advisers (IFA).

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I have been out of the industry for some time but have the old DFP. What do I need to do to meet new RG 146 requirements?

Given your previous industry experience, maintenance of continuous professional development and recognition of prior learning, you are able to undertake an accelerated GAP Assessment to save you time accelerate accreditation and support your online enrolment.

Start with the knowledge assessment to establish your level of knowledge. This will save you time and allow you to focusing your study only on the GAP that you identified to successfully complete the Diploma of Financial Planning

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What are industry competencies?

Mentor Education has structured its training to meet the required national standards for content and assessment methods as required by the Financial Services Training Package (FSTP), principles of Competency Based Training (CBT) and the Australian Vocational Education and Training (VET) policies.

A Training Package is a set of nationally endorsed standards and qualifications used to recognise and assess the skills and knowledge people needed to perform effectively in the workplace. Training Packages are developed by industry through national industry skills councils (ISCs) or by enterprises to meet the identified training needs of specific industries or industry sectors.

Competency-based training (CBT) was introduced in the late 1980s as part of wider economic policy measures to improve the skill levels of the Australian workforce, enable Australian industry to be more competitive in global markets and establish new career structures for the Australian workforce. In a traditional educational system, the unit of progression is time and it is teacher-centred. In a CBT system, the unit of progression is mastery of specific knowledge and skills.

Australian vocational education and training (VET) policy adopted by successive governments at federal, State and Territory levels requires the application of CBT to the relevant training package.

Mentor Education's courses meet the above standards of the financial services industry and are listed on the Training Register of the corporate regulator.

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What competencies do I get if I complete the Diploma of Financial Planning?

Visit the Diploma of Financial Planning (FNS50615) website page for the list of competencies you will receive when completing the Diploma.

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How are the courses assessed?

Assessment may include:

  • Examination
  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Short answer questions
  • Long Answer Questions
  • Case Study and Scenario's
  • Projects
  • Presentations
  • Research Tasks
  • Role Play

Examples of activities that can be allocated to students included in self-directed hours may be:

  • Set reading (textbook/workbook)
  • Instructed research
  • Self-directed research
  • Webinars
  • Forums

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What competencies do I get if I complete the Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning?

Visit the Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning (FNS50615) website page for the list of competencies you will receive when completing the Advanced Diploma.

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What competencies do I get if I complete the Life Insurance Adviser course?

Visit the Life Insurance short course website page for the list of competencies you will receive when completing this short course.

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What competencies do I get if I complete the Superannuation Adviser course?

Visit the Superannuation Adviser course website page for the list of competencies you will receive when completing this short course.

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What competencies do I get if I complete the Investment Adviser course?

Visit the Investment Adviser short course website page for the list of competencies you will receive when completing this short course.

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