This qualification reflects the role of financial counsellors working in the following two contexts.
- Generalist financial counsellors who work in a variety of agencies that meet the requirements for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) exemption from a financial services or credit licence under ASIC class order 10/1063. Financial counsellors work across a variety of metropolitan, rural and remote settings.
- Rural financial counsellors who undertake specialised financial counselling work that assists primary producers and rural small business owners in debt, and are employed in agencies funded for this purpose. These agencies meet the requirements for the ASIC exemption from a financial services/credit licence by meeting the conditions of ASIC class order 11/926.
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.