Last week the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) urged all existing financial advisers to make sure they are present and correct on the ASIC financial advisers register by December 31.

That’s the date the boom gates come down on the industry, and is the cut-off point for determining who is on the register and therefore an “existing provider”, and who is not on the register and is therefore a “new entrant”, as the industry embarks on adopting new education, professional and ethical standards.

Technically, anyone who is not classified as an existing provider on January 1 next year will be deemed to be a new entrant. Existing providers will have until January 1, 2024, to obtain the required qualifications; new entrants will be required to hold an approved degree as a condition of entry.

The body charged with implementing the new standards, the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) recently released updated and slightly simplified outlines of the pathways existing advisers can take from to comply with the new standards.

The pathway ahead for advisers over the next five years depends entirely on their starting point, and whether they have an approved degree, a relevant degree, a non-relevant (or “other”) degree, or no degree at all.