Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning

Prepare yourself to work as an expert Financial Planner, with knowledge of the latest industry practices.

This nationally recognised qualification is delivered by industry experts, and is ideal for graduates looking to work in financial planning or professionals looking to upgrade their skills.

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At a glance

Study mode



Kaplan Professional – Financial Courses (RTO 90116)
Career Opportunities
  • Paraplanner
  • Financial Adviser
  • Investment Manager

Nationally recognised - meets Australian Qualifications Framework standards.

  • An undergraduate degree or graduate certificate; OR
  • A related advanced diploma or diploma; OR
  • An unrelated advanced diploma or diploma plus two years of related industry experience; OR
  • Academic and/or professional qualifications demonstrating the potential to undertake study at this level


Course length
Trimester-based delivery. Maximum time for course completion: 4 years
Study mode



Study from anywhere, when it suits you best and graduate with the identical qualification as an on-campus student.


Study part of the course online. Combine your online learning with classes or practical sessions on-campus at a college or university.


Attend classes on-campus at a university, TAFE or college and interact face-to-face with teachers and fellow students.

Assignments & exams
Start date

6 start dates per year.

Kaplan Professional – Financial Courses (RTO 90116)

Get the best possible start to a career in finance through Kaplan Professional, the preferred education partner of the Financial Services Institute of Australia (FINSIA).

With flexible start dates and study methods, Kaplan allows you start your course at a time that suits you so you can study as little or as much as you like.

Kaplan Education Pty Ltd (RTO 90116) trading as Kaplan Professional


The course price can vary depending on a few factors, including whether you are an Australian resident or your chosen payment option. To find out more, contact the course provider.


To qualify for this course, you must have one or more of the following:

  • An undergraduate degree or graduate certificate; OR
  • A related advanced diploma or diploma; OR
  • An unrelated advanced diploma or diploma plus two years of related industry experience; OR
  • Academic and/or professional qualifications demonstrating the potential to undertake study at this level

What you'll learn

Learn the latest concepts, techniques and skills used by today's leading financial institutions.

You'll gain ASIC RG146 compliance in the following areas:

Course structure

8 units

Core units

  1. FPC001 - Economic legal & ethical context for financial planning

    This core subject provides an overview of key economic concepts. It focuses on economic issues of current relevance and develops the ability to interpret basic economic information and understand the impact of current economic and market events.

    The subject also introduces students to the key drivers of law and regulation in the Australian financial services industry to enable them to appreciate the critical role that law, regulation and ethics play in wealth management and financial planning.

    There is no prescribed textbook for this subject.

    The following textbook is recommended as a resource to develop a strong foundation for the Master of Financial Planning course. It can be purchased through recommended bookshops listed on the library page.

    At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

    1. Explore the role of intermediaries in financial markets. 
    2. Explain the impact of current issues and key economic and financial indicators on the Australian and global financial markets. 
    3. Analyse the impact of government and monetary policy on the Australian financial markets. 
    4. Examine some of the major issues currently facing the financial planning industry in Australia 
    5. Explore the main sources of Law and the regulatory structure of Financial services law in Australia. 
    6. Explain the various obligations imposed on participants by financial services legislation. 
    7. Demonstrate an understanding of codes of practice applicable to the financial planning profession. 
    8. Apply ethical values and principles and relevant legislation to various scenarios.
  2. FPC002 - Applied financial planning

    This subject focuses on the realities faced by a financial adviser working in the Australian advice industry. Topics 1–8 will provide the foundation necessary for giving advice. Topics 9–12 build upon this basic knowledge and show its practical application in advice giving.

    Comprehensive coverage of the main asset classes and managed investments includes how these investment products are used in financial planning.

    The subject also covers basic practical and personal skills necessary to establish and maintain client relationships and examines the advice process in depth, including how to develop and implement a portfolio to suit a client’s investment objectives in light of risk–return trade-offs, other considerations such as tax issues and the legal and administrative frameworks supporting the industry and its products and services.

    Also included are a series of case studies and applications to help demonstrate the planning and development of investment strategies and client portfolios in line with a client’s stated objectives.

    An understanding of the economic, legal and ethical contexts of financial planning is recommended knowledge for this subject. It is therefore recommended that students complete Economic, Legal and Ethical context for Financial Planning (FPC001) prior to undertaking this subject.

    Note: A basic understanding of financial mathematics is assumed knowledge for this subject. Students may wish to familiarise themselves with some basic concepts outlined in the resource below before commencing the subject. At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

    1. Apply techniques to establish and develop client relationships. 
    2. Compare the key features and risks of each asset class and the products within that asset class. 
    3. Analyse various types of managed investments and administrative structures. 
    4. Conduct appropriate quantitative and qualitative research as part of the financial planning process. 
    5. Assess clients’ goals and financial position to form the basis of advice. 
    6. Design a suitable asset allocation and investment strategy for a client. 
    7. Present recommendations of suitable products and strategies that you have developed. 
    8. Apply the financial planning process to ensure clients’ objectives and needs are met.
  3. FPC003 - Superannuation & retirement advice

    Building on the fundamentals of financial planning undertaken in Applied Financial Planning (FPC002) or equivalent, this subject provides a comprehensive overview of issues relating to superannuation and retirement planning.

    The subject addresses the different aspects of superannuation including contributions, benefits and income streams, as well as how superannuation is treated in death, divorce and bankruptcy. Retirement savings accounts, retail funds, industry funds, self managed superannuation funds, aged care and equity release schemes are also covered.

    The subject covers the formulation of a statement of advice (SOA), concentrating on how to structure the various required elements and providing recommendations.

    Relevant legal and regulatory requirements are detailed, along with examples and strategies that financial advisers can use to benefit their clients.

    Prescribed text: There is no prescribed text for this subject. Students will be provided with key readings and access to Kaplan’s online data bases. Students are encouraged to research and read widely on the topic.

    At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

    1. Analyse superannuation structures and strategies for various client situations. 
    2. Explain the taxation implications of superannuation strategies for contribution, withdrawal and insurance at the fund level. 
    3. Analyse superannuation retirement income stream strategies according to their benefits, tax implications and social security treatment as they relate to different client situations. 
    4. Formulate strategies to maximise superannuation benefits and clients’ entitlements to social security benefits and aged care. 
    5. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of equity release schemes as a source of retirement income. 
    6. Design superannuation strategies in respect of divorce, bankruptcy and death benefits. 
    7. Develop a compliant statement of advice (SOA).
  4. FPC004 - Insurance Advice

    This subject focuses comprehensively on the personal and business risk insurance market in Australia. It examines the design and structure of a range of personal, business and general insurance products.

    The subject is designed to build advice capability in risk management strategies for retail clients and small businesses.

    This subject covers basic practical and personal skills necessary to establish and maintain client relationships.

    At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

    1. Identify, analyse and evaluate personal and small business risks 
    2. Describe and differentiate the features of the various types of personal and business insurance products, including related policy documentation and taxation issues 
    3. Develop and implement personal and small business risk management strategies using a range of general and life insurance policies 
    4. Undertake your duties giving consideration to ethics and the legal and regulatory responsibilities owed by you and your organisation to your clients and other stakeholders 
    5. Evaluate contemporary issues in insurance advice
  5. FPC005 - Estate & succession planning

    This subject provides students with a comprehensive overview of issues relating to succession and estate planning. It addresses estate and non-estate assets, complex estates, succession planning for businesses, trusts and other ownership structures. It also explores the tax implications on death of a member or owner of these arrangements.

    The subject examines role of the financial planner and the necessity to work with referral partners to incorporate estate planning into financial advice to provide effective and comprehensive client solutions.

    At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

    1. Explain the initial and ongoing financial planning advice you provide to clients regarding estate management issues. 
    2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how assets are treated upon death, incapacity, divorce or insolvency. 
    3. Analyse the initial and ongoing estate planning and succession risks faced by clients. 
    4. Propose a range of strategies and potential solutions to manage clients’ estate risks. 
    5. Propose a range of strategies and potential solutions related to business succession planning including rural circumstances. 
    6. Explain the implications of choosing various estate or succession planning strategies to clients.
  6. FPC006 - Tax & commercial law for financial planning

    The subject builds upon the basic tax knowledge introduced in FPC002. It provides students with a comprehensive overview of the Australian Tax system.

    This subject explores key principles from commercial and taxation law in the context of enabling tax for (financial) advisers to provide comprehensive financial advice to their clients about their personal and business tax affairs. In particular this course considers the application of the relevant law to commonly encountered taxation scenarios and financial planning techniques.

    At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

    1. Classify concepts of income and expenses as to their assessability and deductibility respectively (as required under taxation law). This includes tax treatment of income protection/replacement strategies. Determine whether an amount incurred is deductible under the general or specific provisions. Apply the taxation law as it relates to the treatment of credits, rebates and offsets in the calculation of tax payable. 
    2. Compare and contrast the tax treatment of individuals, partnerships, companies and trusts including treatment of capital distributions, imputation credits, deferred and tax free trust distributions. 
    3. Calculate and evaluate employee remuneration options including fringe benefits tax, salary packaging, termination payments and redundancy payments. 
    4. Calculate and explain the application of the capital gains tax (CGT) provisions. Define a CGT event and how the law applies to disposal of assets. 
    5. Differentiate between taxing superannuation fund contributions, fund earnings and benefits. 
    6. Recognise the situations which may lead to the application of various integrity measures, particularly the promoter penalty provisions and identify the circumstances triggering the administrative penalty provisions. 
    7. Understand the central role ethical and professional responsibilities play for tax (financial) advisers including obligations under the TASA and TASR. 
    8. Explain the goods and services tax (GST) mechanism for Input taxed, GST free and taxable supplies and their interaction with provision of financial advice. 
    9. Identify the stakeholders in the taxation system and explain the role of the Australian Tax Office (ATO), the Inspector General of Taxation (IGOT) and the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB) and demonstrate an understanding of tax administration including assessments, amendments and objections, but not preparation of returns or communications on behalf of clients with the Australian Taxation Office. 
    10. Recognise and evaluate the role contract law plays in the application of tax law provisions, particularly in the disposal of CGT assets. 
    11. Demonstrate an understanding of the fundamental legal concepts defining and differentiating sole traders, partnerships, corporations and trusts and the underlying regulation. 
    12. Recognise and evaluate the risk of exposure to the misleading and deceptive conduct provisions of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, and/or the negligence and negligent misstatement elements of the law of torts.
  7. FPC007 - Client Engagement Skills

    This subject explores the concepts of Behavioural Finance to understand why the decision heuristics (e.g. rules-of-thumb) and occasionally cause people to make mistakes in financial decision-making. People know better but get blindsided by biases. Hence, the discussion leverages theories of finance and economics to explain: how a logical and rational decision-maker occasionally succumbs to his or her irrationality; and how collective irrational exuberance can explain the economic ‘anomalies’ experienced periodically in financial markets.

    This subject departs from the rational and analytical discussions often taught in other finance and economics subjects. Instead, this subject discusses the emotions and emotional reactions that are part of a client’s decision to accept or reject financial advice. As well, discussion raises awareness of how a financial planner may inadvertently exacerbate their clients’ decision biases.

    At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

    1. Critically evaluate the explanations of market and investor behaviour according to Portfolio and Prospect theories 
    2. Extend the insights of behavioural finance to understand the nature of client relationships in the context of financial planning 
    3. Compare and contrast the effects of emotionally intelligent behaviours and critical thinking behaviours on the outcomes of client engagements in a financial services company or licensee 
    4. Critically examine the authenticity of communications from a financial adviser to a client with feedback from an assessment of communication styles 
    5. Evaluate a range of heuristics, biases and decision errors made by financial advisers and clients in a context of financial services 
    6. Build a professional development plan based on results and feedback from various sources
  8. FPC008 - Investment advice

    This subject highlights the need for a robust framework and a disciplined process in order to provide quality investment advice to retail investors. To this end, students will gain a deep understanding of the investment industry and the many factors that need to be considered when developing advice for a client.

    At the completion of this subject students should be able to:

    1. Evaluate investment advice processes and frameworks in the delivery of quality investment advice to retail investors 
    2. Reflect upon the role of portfolio theory and construction techniques in developing investment advice
    3. Critically analyse a client’s investment objectives and constraints 
    4. Apply knowledge of asset classes, investment markets and tax in providing expert investment advice 
    5. Critically analyse the different investment structures and fund managers available to retail investors 
    6. Conduct appropriate quantitative and qualitative research in recommending suitable investment strategies and products 
    7. Evaluate the performance of investment advice as it relates to a client’s needs and objectives

Support and delivery

Articulation & exit qualification

Upon completion of this course, you can proceed to the Master of Applied Finance course.

Alternatively, if you've completed 4 core subjects, and do not wish to continue studying, you may exit this course with the Graduate Certificate in Applied Finance qualification.

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