Course Title: Conduct product research to support recommendations

Part B: Course Detail

Teaching Period: Term2 2017

Course Code: MKTG7921C

Course Title: Conduct product research to support recommendations

School: 650T Vocational Business Education

Campus: City Campus

Program: C5343 - Diploma of Financial Planning

Course Contact: Callie Harvey

Course Contact Phone: +61 3 9925 5772

Course Contact Email:

Name and Contact Details of All Other Relevant Staff

Sanjay D'Souza

Nominal Hours: 80

Regardless of the mode of delivery, represent a guide to the relative teaching time and student effort required to successfully achieve a particular competency/module. This may include not only scheduled classes or workplace visits but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Pre-requisites and Co-requisites


Course Description

This unit describes the skills and knowledge required to carry out research by interpreting available information, and analysing and reviewing research findings and activities to enable the determination of financial investment strategies and options.

It applies to individuals who work in a range of financial services job roles involving research functions.                                   

National Codes, Titles, Elements and Performance Criteria

National Element Code & Title:

FNSINC501 Conduct product research to support recommendations


1. Interpret available information and conduct research

Performance Criteria:

1.1 Establish timelines to meet research deadlines 1.2 Identify relevant sources of information accurately and consistently, and source and retrieve required information readily and promptly 1.3 Constantly review sources of research information and documentation to ensure currency and accuracy 1.4 Prepare research findings that logically flow from interpretation of information available in detailed, clear and accurate format, and in timely manner


2. Analyse and review research findings and activities

Performance Criteria:

2.1 Carry out research activities and outcomes in accordance with organisational policy and guidelines, confidentiality requirements, and relevant legislation or industry codes of practice 2.2 Analyse and review research findings and activities to ensure accuracy and thoroughness 2.3 Review statutory disclosures to maintain consistency and compliance 2.4 Seek feedback regularly to monitor effectiveness and appropriateness of research activities


3. Document research and distribute to relevant parties

Performance Criteria:

3.1 Check research to ensure compliance with organisational policy and guidelines, and with relevant legislation or industry codes of practice, and ensure it is authorised before release 3.2 Distribute research to all relevant parties as required in timely manner 3.3 Obtain confirmation of receipt of research information where relevant to complete organisational records of compliance

Learning Outcomes

Details of Learning Activities

A range of learning activities are planned for this course including self paced and collaborative classroom based activities.

The self-paced activities will be delivered thought various technology platforms and include your contribution to activities, discussion threads, reflective journals on industry updates, presentations, quizzes and interactive sessions.

The collaborative classroom based activities will include role plays, group discussion, group problem solving activities and opportunities to practice your skills in a simulated/real workplace environment.

You are expected to participate and contribute in all scheduled learning activities



Teaching Schedule

Induction Session

Prior to training commencement a program level induction session will be conducted that comprises the following:

  • Program overview and requirements
  • MyRMIT/Blackboard
  • Overview of assessment requirements
  • Pre-Training Review including:
    • Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfers
    • Assessment of current skills and knowledge
  • Competency/Grading Criteria
  • Plagiarism
  • Appeals
  • Extensions
  • Feedback
  • Privacy
  • Submission requirements
  • Resubmission policy
  • Where to get support
  • Student responsibilities 

The Teaching Schedule for this course is attached to this document (Part B) but please note that it is subject to change

The nominal hours associated with this are a guide only and represent the total teaching time and student effort required to successfully complete the course. This may include not only scheduled classes but also the amount of effort required to undertake, evaluate and complete all assessment requirements, including any non-classroom activities.

Learning Resources

Prescribed Texts


Other Resources

Online learning materials can be accessed by going into the RMIT web sites Online Learning Hub.

The online learning materials listed include:

  • Course outlines
  • Client files
  • Power point Presentations
  • Course Workbooks
  • Supporting Reading material
  • Industry relevant articles
  • Activities


Overview of Assessment

In order to achieve competency in this unit, you must provide:

Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to:

  • establish and meet required research deadlines
  • accurately interpret and comply with relevant legislative requirements
  • access and interpret available information accurately and comprehensively
  • comply with statutory disclosure requirements
  • document research findings concisely and clearly for distribution purposes.

Knowledge Evidence

To complete the unit requirements safely and effectively, you must:

  • identify sources and parties that provide relevant information for research on financial products
  • describe the current economic climate and forecasted outlook for relevant financial products
  • explain financial forecasting techniques and tools to be used to assess the market for financial products
  • identify and outline local and international financial markets and investment outlook for financial products
  • describe organisational policy, procedures and requirements relevant to products and research
  • identify and describe key features of industry legislation and codes of practice relevant to product research, and protocols to be followed
  • describe techniques and tools for evaluation and interpretation of research data. 

Assessment conditions

Assessment must be conducted in a safe environment where evidence gathered demonstrates consistent performance of typical activities experienced in the industry capability field and include access to:

  • common office equipment, technology, software and consumables
  • financial services product information.

You are advised that you are likely to be asked to personally demonstrate your assessment work to your teacher to ensure that the relevant competency standards are being met.


Feedback will be provided throughout the semester in class and/or online discussions. You are encouraged to ask and answer questions during class time and online sessions so that you can obtain feedback on your understanding of the concepts and issues being discussed. Finally, you can email or arrange an appointment with your teacher to gain more feedback on your progress.

You should take note of all feedback received and use this information to improve your learning outcomes and final performance in the course.

Assessment Tasks

This course is comprised of three competencies that are co-delivered and co-assessed (delivered and assessed together).

FNSFPL502 Conduct financial planning analysis and research

FNSINC501 Conduct product research to support recommendations

FNSASICU503 Provide advice in superannuation

You will demonstrate competency by undertaking three assessments, a research and application assignment, workplace simulated project and supervised assessment. The assessments for this course have been designed to allow you to apply your learning to particular workplace scenarios and demonstrate your competence in a variety of ways. The assessments focus in enhancing your skills in conducting financial planning, research and analysis in superannuation and self-managed superfunds.

Critical Aspects of assessment are described above in the performance evidence for this course.


Task 1 - ​ Research and Application Assignment ​ (Week 8)

This assessment has been designed for you to further develop your knowledge and skills in the foundation areas of superannuation.

You are required to demonstrate your knowledge by completing a series of theory and problem solving questions that involve research and the application of concepts relevant to superannuation and retirement planning.

The purpose of this assignment is to enhance your understanding and ability to apply the knowledge to practice in the following areas of superannuation and retirement planning.

  1. superannuation tax policy
  2. regulatory framework for the superannuation system
  3. regulatory bodies codes of practice in superannuation
  4. role of professional associations and their influence to the superannuation industry
  5. impact of superannuation on the Australian economy
  6. impact of international and local markets on the superannuation fund holders in Australia
  7. key documents that a superannuation advisor needs to explain to the client in the initial presentation meeting
  8. operation of superannuation as a tax structure


Task 2 - Workplace Simulated Project – Prepare and Deliver Financial Advice in Superannuation (Week 12)

For this assessment task you are required to complete Part 1 and Part 2.

Part 1 -– requires you to prepare a financial plan in superannuation for a simulated client of the Swanston Banking Group (Practice Firm).

Part 2 – requires you to conduct to deliver financial advice as prepared in Part 1 to the client.

The workplace simulated project is linked to a simulated workplace environment “the practice firm”, referred as Swanston Banking Group Ltd. The practice firm has a physical presence in Building 80, level 6, room 7. The Swanston Banking Group Ltd. has been set up as a simulated publicly listed company in the Financial Services (Banking) industry offering a retail banking and customer service experience of the highest level not offered or matched by its competitors. 

The products and services offered to its personal customers (simulated clients) include banking and investment products and financial services such as bank accounts and debit cards, savings and investment accounts, credit cards, travel money cards, overseas and local money transfers, foreign exchange, superannuation, home and personal loans and insurance. 

The Swanston Banking Group has a website for prospective clients and an employee portal via the Learning Management System (Learning Hub).

For this project you will assume the role of a financial planner at the Swanston Banking Group Ltd (Practice Firm) and follow the company policies and procedures as if you were a real employee of the bank.  You will need to access a specific simulated client file which will include client details, background of their particular circumstances, assets and liabilities statement, a bank statement, pay slips and a superannuation statement. You will be required to analyze all of these documents in order to prepare relevant documents for the initial meeting with the client. 


You will use “Advice Tools” stored in the employee portal throughout this course. The tools mirror those used in industry and will prepare you to adapt to industry practice and link your studies to the workplace. The tools include industry specific calculators and documents used in every day financial services practices including Authority to Access Information (AAI), Best Interest Duty file note (BID), client checklist, client acknowledgement form, fact find and style guide. 


The purpose of the assessment is to enable you to demonstrate a breadth of understanding across the course material from weeks 1 - 11. It assesses the knowledge you have obtained through undertaking the topics, your communication skills in presenting that knowledge and your problem-solving skills in answering the questions posed in meeting with a simulated client in the “Practice Firm”.


The Workplace Simulated Project requires you to complete two parts: Part 1 and Part 2. 

For the first part of the project you will assume the role of the financial planner at the Swanston Banking Group Ltd and you will prepare a financial plan for superannuation and related advice. The financial plan that you will prepare must demonstrate that the level of risk matches their risk profile and demonstrate how the needs of the client have been met.

Once you have successfully completed Part 1, for Part 2 you will be expected to pair with a peer to presentation meeting the part of the client. You are to assume the role of the adviser while presenting the advice to the client. You will need to continue building a good rapport with the client from your previous meeting in Cluster 2 and present the financial plan that you drafted to them.

You will need to ensure that the client understands all the information provided particularly the concepts in reference to superannuation and retirement planning. The main aim of the second part is for you is to be able to explain all the relevant terms in the financial plan, answer the questions that the client may have and to negotiate the contents of the financial plan.  

The main aim of the second part is for you to demonstrate your communication skills in delivering all the required information and present the plan you prepared in Part 1 to illustrate how it meets the particular financial needs of the client.

You need to record the presentation meeting using your smart phone or MP4 player and upload the video to Google drive and share it with your teacher. For your recording you are required to wear business attire and assume the role of a financial planner conducting a meeting with a client.  You will be provided with time (Week 9-11) in the practice firm, “Swanston Banking Group Ltd. to record your presentation meeting with your peers.


The purpose of the assessment is to enable you to demonstrate a breadth of understanding across all of the course material at an independent level. It assesses the knowledge you have obtained through undertaking the concepts of superannuation, your communication skills in presenting that knowledge and your problem-solving skills in answering the questions posed in presentation meeting with the simulated client.  The main purpose of the assessment is for you to clearly demonstrate analysis of the client’s objectives, needs, financial situation and risk profile and develop appropriate strategies and solutions in the financial advice prepared and presented to the client.


A number of Learning Audit Dates have been scheduled and you are expected to progress as per the set targets throughout their studies. 


Task 3 – Supervised Assessment (week 14)

For this Assessment Task you are required to demonstrate your knowledge of all the topics covered in throughout the semester from weeks 1 – 13 by completing an open book in class supervised assessment. The assessment is comprised of a series of theoretical and practical questions including: short answer and mini case studies. You will only be permitted to bring a hard copy of the relevant workbook(s) and a calculator to the assessment.

The purpose of this task is to assess your understanding of the concepts and issues included in the topics covered throughout the semester with a focus on the requirements of RG146 specialist are in superannuation.  This assessment will take place during your normal scheduled class time.

You must successfully complete all assessments, Task 1 – Research and Application Assignment Task 2 - Workplace Simulated Project and Task 3 - Supervised Assessment to be deemed competent.

Grading will be applied once you have been deemed competent for this competency.


Assessment Matrix

Other Information

Submission Requirements

You should:

• Ensure that you submit assessments on or before the due date.
• Always retain a copy of your assessment tasks. (hard copy and soft copy)
• When you submit work for assessment at RMIT University you need to use a cover sheet that includes a declaration and statement of authorship. You must complete, sign and submit a cover sheet with all work you submit for assessment, whether individual or group work. On the cover sheet you declare that the work you are presenting for assessment is your own work. An assignment cover sheet for submission of each assessment task is available on blackboard.
• Each page of your assessment should include footer with your name, student number, the title of the assessment, unit code and title and page numbers. For example, Callie Harvey, 324567, Task 2, OHS2345C Ensure safe workplace, Page 1 of 10.

Late Submission Procedures

You are required to submit assessment items and/or ensure performance based assessment is completed by the due dates.

If you are prevented from submitting an assessment item on time, by circumstances outside your control, you may apply in advance to your teacher for an extension to the due date of up to seven calendar days. <check links are still current>

More Information:

Form to use:

Where an extension of greater than seven days is needed, you must apply for special consideration. Applications for special consideration must be submitted no later than two working days after the assessment task deadline or scheduled examination. <check links are still current>

More Information:;ID=g43abm17hc9w

Form to use:

Resubmissions (VET Programs):

If you are found to be unsuccessful in a particular Course Assessment Task (or you do not submit/attend) you will be allowed one resubmission.  Your teacher will provide feedback regarding what you need to do to improve and will set a new deadline for the resubmission. 

If you are still not meeting the assessment requirements you must apply to your Program Manager in writing outlining the steps you will take to demonstrate competence in your course. Your submission will be considered by the Program Team and you will be advised of the outcome as soon as possible.

Grading & re-submissions

Re-submissions do not contribute to your overall grade for the course.

Adjustments to Assessment

In certain circumstances students may be eligible for an assessment adjustment. For more information about the circumstances under which the assessment arrangements might be granted please access the following website: <check link is still current>
More Information:;ID=7usdbki1fjf31

Marking Guide (Competency):

You must demonstrate that you have all the required skills/knowledge/elements in the unit of competency you are studying.

You will receive feedback on each assessment task that will inform you about your progress and how well you are performing.

Marking Guide (Grading)

After achieving competency we then grade your performance in the unit and you will achieve one of the following grades:

Final Grades table:

CHD Competent with High Distinction
CDI Competent with Distinction
CC Competent with Credit
CAG Competency Achieved – Graded
NYC Not Yet Competent
DNS Did Not Submit for assessment

Further information regarding the application of the grading criteria will be provided by your teacher.

Course Overview: Access Course Overview