We understand it may take time to review your business practices against the new Code requirements and to incorporate any necessary changes. Nevertheless, we expect these to be updated by 1 March 2017, particularly in the areas outlined below.
Changes to Code Standard 16 will not affect you as long as you have had no break in your AFA authorisation. You must also be able to demonstrate compliance with the CPD obligations under the Code over the course of your AFA authorisation.
Please note that Code Standard 14 continues to require you to have the competency, knowledge and skills to provide the relevant financial adviser service(s).
Ensure your professional development plan for 2017 and beyond incorporates any actions required due to the changes to Code Standard 16, taking into account the requirements under Code Standard 17(d), including identifying any areas for improvement or gaps in the your competence, knowledge and skills.
Because of the changes in Code Standards 8 and 9, your client engagement documentation may change.
When you next provide services to a client, align your processes with the revised Code Standards of client care and keep relevant records as required under Code Standard 12.
If you are planning to become an AFA, or are working towards it currently, we encourage you to:
Under the new Code, there is a transition provision for AFAs seeking to become authorised for the first time. It allows the old minimum standard (the National Certificate in Financial Services (Financial Advice) (Level 5)) to continue to be recognised for authorisations that come into effect before 1 January 2019. Please refer to Code Standard 16 and the Competence Alternatives Schedule for more details.
We want to ensure that the new Code supports the professionalism of financial advisers and helps you to deliver the best client outcomes.
We will continue to engage with AFAs and professional associations to make sure we are aware of any issues. If you have any issues or questions about the revised Code, we would welcome your feedback.
Please call us on 0800 434 567 or email us for more information.
The Code Committee developed the Code of Professional Conduct for Authorised Financial Advisers. It was established under the Financial Advisers Act 2008, and is responsible for reviewing the Code from time to time and recommending such changes as it thinks fit.
AFAs are required to meet the minimum standards of professional conduct set out in the Code and all applicable laws, whether or not referred to in the Code.