This qualification reflects the role of financial counsellors working in the following two contexts:
- Generalist financial counsellors who work in agencies that meet the requirements for exemptions from holding both an Australian Financial Services Licence (ASIC legislative instrument 2017/792 and Regulation 7.1.04CAA(5)(9) of the Corporations Regulations 2001) and an Australian Credit Licence (ASIC legislative instrument 2017/793). Financial counsellors work across a variety of metropolitan, regional and remote settings. Generalist financial counsellors can assist both individuals and small businesses.
- Rural financial counsellors who undertake specialised financial counselling work that assists primary producers and rural small businesses, and are employed in agencies funded for this purpose. These agencies meet the requirements for an exemption from holding an Australian Credit Licence (ASIC legislative instrument 2017/793).
All financial counsellors have specialist knowledge of legal remedies and options to manage debt and financial difficulty and are advocates who work in a model of social justice and client empowerment.
This qualification is NOT related to the work performed by financial planners or financial advisers whose role is to provide clients with strategies to address their investment options and require a financial services licence for their work under the National Consumer Credit Protection Act 2010. This qualification is also not appropriate for financial capability workers.
This qualification does NOT refer to therapeutic counselling. Psychological issues, which affect individuals, families and groups such as gambling, substance abuse, child abuse and mental or physical health problems require referral to a professionally qualified practitioner However, a recognition of, and an ability to work within, a counselling framework and the way in which other issues may interact with financial issues is highly relevant to financial counselling practice.
To achieve this qualification, the candidate must have completed 220 hours of work as detailed in the Assessment Requirements of units of competency.