How to apply to become an
Authorised Financial Adviser (AFA)

Not all financial advisers need to be authorised by the FMA.

To become an AFA one need to meet eligibility requirements, including minimum competence requirements and good character.

Before applying to become authorised, one need to:

Apply for FSC registration identification number
Join a dispute resolution scheme (DRS)
Select the financial adviser services (FAS scope) one wish to be authorised to provide.
Register with FSPR.
Get FMA approval

FSC registration identification number

When you apply for authorisation you will be asked for your FSC registration identification number. This number is also required when you book competence assessments and exams through Skills.

Determine the scope of Financial Adviser Services

Before you apply for authorisation you need to decide which service(s) you wish to be authorised to provide.

Financial advice
Financial advice and investment planning services
Personalised discretionary investment management services
Financial advice and personalised discretionary investment management services
Financial advice, personalised discretionary investment management services and investment
planning services
Financial adviser services in relation to category 2 products only
Financial adviser services to wholesale clients and provision of class services

Registration and authorisation at the FSP Register

When you have successfully completed all of the required competence assessments and examinations, you can apply for both registration and authorisation at the FSP Register.

The Financial Service Providers (Registration and Dispute Resolution) Act requires all financial service providers operating in New Zealand, including financial advisers, to be registered.

Registration is a prerequisite to authorisation. The FSP Register is public so anyone can search it to check if you are registered and authorised.

You will need to register before applying to be authorised.

FMA approval

The FMA must be satisfied that you are of good character before we grant your authorisation. Assessment of good character is an important tool for preserving public confidence in the professionalism and integrity of financial advisers.

To enable FMA to assess your character, you will need to declare anything that may have a negative impact on our view of your character, including details of any criminal convictions. This includes any drink–drive or other serious driving convictions. You will also need to provide written testimonials and complete a good character declaration form provided by the FMA.

Proof of competence
New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services Level 5 (NZ Certificate)

To be authorised you must meet the minimum standards of competence, knowledge and skills specified in the Code. The Code establishes the components of the New Zealand Certificate in Financial Services Level 5 (NZ Certificate) as the minimum standard of competence for AFAs. It sets out the educational requirements and alternative paths available to advisers that are relevant to the financial adviser services (FAS scope) to meet this minimum standard.