Financial Adviser Certification

The Responsible Investment Certification Program provides an easily recognisable symbol of reaching the required Standard for responsible investing products and services in Australian and New Zealand.

 

Investor expectations around responsible investing are growing. 9 in 10 Australians believe it’s important their financial adviser provides responsible or ethical options, and 6 in 10 New Zealanders say it’s important their financial adviser is knowledgeable about responsible investment options.

 

Certified Financial Advisers and Financial Advisory Groups meet strict operational and disclosure requirements and make publicly available specific details of their services. They invite their clients and peers to hold them to account for their behaviours consistent with the Responsible Investment Certification Program Code of Conduct.

Code of Conduct

Being certified as an adviser or having a product or fund certified under the Responsible Investment Certification Program, demonstrates a commitment to growing and developing responsible investment across our region and staying in step with developments in performance of the responsible.

 

Consistent with RIAA’s purpose and goals, participants in the program commit to:

 

1. Doing responsible investment well – demonstrable commitment to superior ESG and ethical investment management and advice

2. Promotion success – an accessible narrative for the performance and impact of responsible investing

3. Clarity and transparency – offering clear, transparent and easily accessible information for consumers and others to understand and navigate the broad array of products and services.

Certification Categories

Certification is available for RIAA members to apply within the following categories:

 

  • Financial Adviser
  • Financial Advisory Group

 

Eligibility and Ongoing Requirements

Certified responsible investment financial advisers and financial advisory groups must:

 

1. Meet strict operational and disclosure requirements and make publicly available specific details of their services as laid out under the respective category of the Certification Standard

2. Invite their members, clients and peers to hold them to account for their behaviours consistent with the Program Code of Conduct

3. Be subjected to the Quality and Thresholds Test

4. Promote the Standard by incorporating the Certification Symbol into marketing and communications material in accordance with the Certification Symbol Licensee Agreement and the Licensee Marketing Kit and Style Guide

5. Agree to participate in good faith in the Program’s Concerns & Grievance Policy and Procedures with a view to protecting the reputation of responsible investment peers, individual investors and/or the responsible investment industry as a whole

6. Hold current membership with the Responsible Investment Association Australasia

7. Be operating/offered for investment in Australia and/or New Zealand

8. Be current and legally trading

9. Not be persistently subject to legal proceedings and/or regulator investigation

10. Commit to notify RIAA of material changes in product or service characteristics that may impact the suitability of the product remaining certified under the Program

Financial Adviser Standards

Certified RI Financial Advisers must:

 

1. Be legal and professional – hold a current Financial Services Licence Number, Financial Adviser Licence Number or Authorised Representative Number and are members of a professional body, such as the FPA, ACCA, CPA Australia or ICAA

2. Be trained and/or experienced – have completed the RI Essentials online course offered by the PRI Academy OR have at least two years’ relevant experience providing responsible investment advice and can demonstrate how they stay up to date on developments in responsible investing

3. Promote responsible investment services – undertake to promote responsible investment options to ALL of their clients by, as a minimum, including appropriate questions on responsible investing in their Fact Find (or equivalent) and are able to perform the interview process should clients express an interest in investing responsibly

4. Provide responsible investment products – can demonstrate that they ably research and offer responsible investment products, having RI products on their approved product list (or equivalent)

5. Promote the Program – incorporate the Certification Symbol into their marketing and communications material in accordance with the Certification Symbol Licensee Agreement and the Licensee Marketing Kit and Style Guide.

 

For the full detail of the Certification Standard across all categories please click here.

Financial Advisory Group Standards

Certified RI Financial Advisory Groups must:

 

1. Be legal – hold a current Australian Financial Services Licence

2. Be trained and/or experienced – have at a minimum 50% of their advisers certified as responsible investment financial advisers under the Program. To be certified, advisers must have completed the RI Essentials course offered by the PRI Academy OR have at least two years’ relevant experience providing responsible investment advice

3. Support their network – Financial Advisory Groups are committed to and enable the provision of specialist responsible investment training to their adviser network

4. Provide responsible investment products – include responsible investment products on their approved product list (or equivalent) including some that have been certified by RIAA

5. Promote responsible investment services – include appropriate questions on responsible investing in their Financial Advisory Group Fact Find (or equivalent) that is used by ALL their advisers to ALL clients

6. Promote the Program – incorporate the Certification Symbol into their marketing and communications material in accordance with the Certification Symbol Licensee Agreement and the Licensee Marketing Kit and Style Guide.

 

For the full detail of the Certification Standard across all categories please click here.

Certification Process

1. Contact RIAA to ensure eligibility

2. Submit an application form and any supporting documentation

3. Assessment carried out internally by RIAA staff

4. Assessment review and approval by the Certification Assessment Panel, a delegated sub-committee if the RIAA Board

5. Once approved, you will be required to sign a license agreement for the use of the Certification Symbol

 

Certification may take between 4 – 6 weeks from submitting your application to returning your license agreement to RIAA.

Certification Pricing

There is currently no fee for financial advisers or advisory groups to become certified.

How will your information be used?

Information collected in the application form will be used in your assessment with the following details also appearing on your member profile on the RIAA website once certified:

  • Services offered
  • ASFL details
  • Approved Product List (ESG/RI products only)

Contact RIAA to become certified.

Contact RIAA