Determine client requirements and expectations for clients with complex needs

This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to determine a client's financial planning requirements and expectations when their situation and or objectives are complex and require high level questioning skills and in-depth financial knowledge.This unit is applicable to individuals working within enterprises and job roles subject to licensing, legislative, regulatory or certification requirements including legislation administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).


The unit has application to senior financial planners, senior para-planners and senior technical staff.

Elements and Performance Criteria



1. Discuss the financial planning process, services and options with the client

1.1. Financial planning process, the licensees and principals, services and capacity of the organisation and the representative are explained to the client to establish the relationship

1.2. Fees and charges are explained to the client and an assessment made of the client's understanding of the fees and charges before proceeding with delivery of service

1.3. Relationship to other financial services is explained to the client and clients with special needs are identified and appropriate action taken or referral made

1.4. Procedures for internal and external complaints handling and resolution are explained to the client

1.5. The client is encouraged to ask questions that are responded to accurately and appropriately

2. Establish the client's personal and family financial situation

2.1. The client's personal and family financial situation is determined

2.2. The client's expectations, requirements, priorities and objectives for their personal and family finances are established

2.3. Relevant facts and information including financial, personal and family histories are obtained, checked with the client, documented and managed confidentially in accordance with company policy and guidelines and relevant legislation and industry codes of practice

2.4. Summary analysis of client's personal and family financial position is developed based on extent of client disclosure

3. Establish the client's business financial situation

3.1. The client's business financial situation, expectations, requirements, priorities and objectives for their business finances are established and documented

3.2. Summary analysis of client's business financial position is developed based on extent of client disclosure

4. Identify and gather information on any complex taxation and/or estate issues the client may have

4.1. Taxation and or estate issues are identified and discussed with the client

4.2. The client's expectations, requirements, priorities and objectives for issues identified are established and documented

4.3. Summary analysis of client's taxation and estate financial position is developed based on extent of client disclosure

5. Establish a holistic picture of the client's requirements and expectations

5.1. Information gathered is combined to generate a comprehensive view of the client's financial situation

5.2. Interdependencies and implications are identified and discussed with the client with further questioning and information gathering as required

5.3. An initial summary of the client's financial position is developed and their expectations, priorities and requirements discussed with them and reviewed against the comprehensive position

6. Identify risks or unusual requirements

6.1. Risk issues and tolerance are explored comprehensively and ethically with the client with any unusual risks and or requirements assessed for viability

6.2. Risks to the client and or practice are assessed for their impact on financial planning services according to company policy and guidelines and relevant legislation

Required Skills

Required skills

Highly developed communication skills to:

determine and confirm complex client requirements, using questioning and active listening as required

liaise with others, share information, listen and understand

use language and concepts appropriate to cultural differences

well-developed research and analysis skills for:

accessing and managing comprehensive and complex information

interpreting complex documentation

coordinating multiple tasks

forming a holistic perspective of complex situations and identify implications

well-developed numeracy skills to accurately analyse, record and store data in accordance with organisational requirements

superior literacy skills for analysingcomplex information and products to ensure appropriateness to client needs, currency and accuracy

IT skills for accessing and using appropriate software such as spreadsheets and databases and using internet information

self-management skills for complying with ethical, legal and procedural requirements

learning skills to maintain knowledge of changes to compliance legislation and requirements

highly developedproblem solving skills to identify any issues that have the potential to impact on the planning process or outcome and to develop options to resolve these issues when they arise

organisational and time management skills to sequence tasks, meet timelines and arrange meetings

critical reasoning skills

Required knowledge

available information and research sources

business principles and law

complaints handling processes

economic climate and outlook

family structures and legal implications

financial product, features and benefits, service terms and conditions

indications and implications of risk and fraud

organisational policy, procedures and requirements

property structures and legal implications

relevant financial industry and related legislation and codes of practice

sales and marketing techniques appropriate to the financial services industry

sound knowledge of local and international financial markets and investments

Evidence Required

The Evidence Guide provides advice on assessment and must be read in conjunction with the performance criteria, required skills and knowledge, range statement and the Assessment Guidelines for the Training Package.

Overview of assessment

Critical aspects for assessment and evidence required to demonstrate competency in this unit

Evidence of the ability to:

comply with relevant industry codes of practice, legislation and regulations and organisational policies and procedures

discuss the financial planning process, services and options with clients and establish their personal, family and business financial situation

identify client strengths and liabilities in their financial management and information on any complex taxation and or estate issues they may have

establish a holistic picture of the clients' requirements and expectations to identify risks or unusual requirements and assess risk and fraud indicators

empathise and build rapport with clients by offering thorough and ongoing assistance with all enquiries and requests for service

maintain and use knowledge of, and communicate the features and benefits of products and services available

maintain and use thorough knowledge of legislation and financial implications affecting family and business structures

maintain and use thorough knowledge of taxation and property structures and financial implications.

Context of and specific resources for assessment

Assessment must ensure:

competency is demonstrated in the context of the financial services work environment and conditions specified in the range statement either in a relevant workplace or a closely simulated work environment

access to and the use of a range of common office equipment, technology, software and consumables.

Method of assessment

A range of assessment methods should be used to assess practical skills and knowledge. The following examples, in combination, are appropriate for this unit:

evaluating an integrated activity which combines the elements of competency for the unit or a cluster of related units of competency

observing processes and procedures in workplaces or role plays

verbal or written questioning on underpinning knowledge and skills which may include formal examinations

setting and reviewing workplace projects and business simulations/scenarios

evaluating samples of work

accessing and validating third party reports.

Guidance information for assessment

Range Statement

The range statement relates to the unit of competency as a whole. It allows for different work environments and situations that may affect performance. Bold italicised wording, if used in the performance criteria, is detailed below. Essential operating conditions that may be present with training and assessment (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) may also be included.

Clients may include:


companies and organisations


members of the public


Clients with special needs may include:

clients who are deficient in English

clients with a variety of products and services

clients with complex estate planning situations

clients with unbalanced financial situations

people with a disability

the needs of people from different cultural backgrounds

very young or older age groups.

Family financial situation may include:


financial arrangements involving siblings, parents or others

marital and/or primary relationship status

relationship history involving financial implications

other personal financial arrangements.

Relevant facts and information may include:


Capital Gains Tax (CGT) impact

contingent liabilities and assets

acting as a guarantor

current level of liquidity

current portfolio including:

family holdings

family structure and dependents

funds available for investment

home ownership

insurance and superannuation arrangements

interest in deceased estates

employer details

experience with investment in stock markets

extent to which the client is geared

level of debt

marginal tax rates


past, present and future employment prospects

personal income

previous financial history such as:


refusal of credit

related details such as stocks acquired prior to 20/09/1985.

Documentation may include:





contracts or policy statements

in-house publications

legal, government, professional or other documents

meeting notes


official, general and other correspondence

program recommendations




records of telephone conversations

reference to all evidence and information considered




ad hoc



written reasons for adopting or incorporating certain information in preference to other information.

Confidentiality includes:

any requirements under legislation such as

Consumer Affairs Act

Consumer Credit Code

industry codes of practice

Privacy Act

standards set out in company policies and procedures.

Company policy and guidelines may include:

advertising and marketing

clerical procedures

codes of practice

complaints and dispute resolution procedures

IT and administrative systems

policies and procedures in relation to client service

product or service development.

Relevant legislation and industry codes of practice may include:

Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) Act, policy and guidelines

analysis skills to form a holistic perspective of complex situations and identify implications

Consumer Affairs Act

Consumer Credit Code

contract law

Corporations Act

industry codes of practice

Insurance Act

Life Insurance Act

Privacy Act

social security regulations

State and Territory legislation

Taxation Acts

Trade Practices Act

trust law.

Business financial situation may include:

assets and liabilities

business interests and structures

history of bankruptcy.

Client expectations and requirements may include:

comprehensive financial planning

portfolio advice

product specific advice and/or service.


Unit sector

Financial planning

Employability Skills

This unit contains employability skills.

Licensing Information

Not applicable.