The Cavendish and International Centre for Financial Services (ICFS) Specialist SMSF course is a joint initiative between Cavendish and the University of Adelaide. It is designed to be the most up-to-date and practical SMSF accreditation course available. The content of the course is constantly updated to reflect current legislation.

The course facilitators, Philip La Greca and David Busoli, have expert experience in designing and implementing SMSF strategies with financial advisers and trustees on a daily basis. They are committed to not only ensuring that attendees achieve a successful academic outcome, but that they also achieve a level of practical and commercial capability.


Who should attend?

  • Those wanting to expand their superannuation knowledge into all areas of self managed superannuation funds
  • Those qualifying to become accredited as a self managed superannuation adviser
  • Those wanting to successfully complete the SMSF Association Specialist Accreditation Examination to achieve the SMSF Association’s Specialist Adviser qualification.  The course material is designed for use in the SMSF Association open book exam. This exam must be arranged separately with the SMSF Association
  • Those wanting to be able to commercially tackle real SMSF issues
  • Those wanting a detailed, technical and knowledge rich and intensive course, with practical discussion and real life examples.
Enjoy working with highly experienced facilitators who are SMSF specialists wanting to freely share their practical knowledge.

What you will learn

You will gain knowledge and skills in:

  • General introduction to SMSFs
  • What is a SMSF?
  • Benefits of SMSFs
  • Establishing a SMSF
  • Who can be a member of a SMSF?
  • Who can give advice in relation to SMSFs?
  • Ongoing administration requirements of trustees
  • Trustee responsibilities
  • Drafting Investment objectives and strategy for a SMSF
  • Principles of the sole purpose test and investment standards
  • Practicalities of Limited Recourse Borrowing Arrangements (LRBA)
  • Investment restrictions
  • Who and what entities are associates - related parties
  • Interaction of the various investment restrictions in specific circumstances
  • Transitional provisions to prescribed arrangements
  • Role and responsibilities of auditors
  • The distinction between financial and compliance reports
  • Circumstances when an auditor must report breaches to trustees and regulators
  • Review of taxation of SMSFs
  • Assessable income of SMSFs in the accumulation phase
  • Non arm's length income
  • Deductions - insurance premiums, Anti detriment payments and future liability to pay benefits
  • Opportunities in the small business CGT concessions
  • Sole purpose test - determination of benefit entitlements
  • Pension definitions
  • Commencing a pension - steps to be taken
  • Specific tax issues relating to pensions
  • Segregated vs un-segregated
  • Use of reserves in pension environment
  • Continuing pension liability problems
  • Estate Planning - dealing with the new environment
  • Estate Planning - detailed analysis of who is a dependant and what are their entitlements
  • Winding up an SMSF - what you need to do.

Important information about the University of Adelaide assessment

  • On successful completion of the assessment, participants will receive a certificate from the University of Adelaide
  • The assessment is open book for 2 hours and 10 minutes, and contains 120 questions
  • The pass mark is 65% 
  • There is no additional assignment required
  • It must be taken within 2 weeks of the course 
  • Failure to undertake the exam in the 2-week period will require a resit
  • One re-sit of the exam is allowed at a cost of $165 inc GST
  • Additional resits will also cost $165 inc GST and will be at the discretion of the course co-ordinator
  • Extensions to complete the exam will only be granted subject to provision of medical certificates
  • Certificate of attendance and CPD will not be issued until after the closure of the exam period
  • There are no University post-nominals associated with the course.

Format and cost

  • Duration: Intensive 3-day presentation, consecutive days, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm.
  • Format: Delivered face-to-face by experienced course facilitators
  • Assessment: Online and open book
  • Refreshments: Morning or afternoon tea and lunch are provided
  • Cost: Various options – see registration page.

For AMP aligned advisers - New accreditation program available

AMP SMSF in conjunction with the SMSF Association now offers AMP aligned advisers and their staff a new SMSF education and accreditation program.

This program enables AMP aligned advisers and their staff to attend the Cavendish SMSF Specialist face-to-face course and complete the SMSF Specialist Advisor (SSA) accreditation exam instead of the Cavendish exam. Course attendees who successfully complete the SMSF Association’s SSA accreditation exam will be awarded the SMSF Association’s SSA designation. This is an industry recognised independent certification of your SMSF advice competencies. The SSA designation, along with current SMSF Association membership, is recognised by the AMP licensee in providing an ability to advise in SMSFs. 

Attending the Cavendish course does not guarantee the passing of the SMSF Association exam.


To be eligible for this assessment option you must be an AMP aligned adviser, or an employee of an AMP aligned adviser, and be eligible and agree to become a member of the SMSF Association. Eligible participants who attend the course and who choose the option of the SMSF Association’s SSA accreditation exam, will be entitled to a special packaged price of $2,210 (GST inclusive) for the combined cost of the course and the SMSF Association SSA accreditation exam.

Additional Cost

The cost of annual SMSF Association membership is in addition to this.

If you wish to take advantage of this offer, register for the 'SMSF Specialist Course plus SMSFA SSA Accreditation Exam' above. Please ensure you complete your registration for this offer by applying for SMSF Association membership if you are NOT already a member. You must also notify the SMSF Association of your interest in this offer by completing the SSA Express Program for AMP aligned advisers online form

Course Awards

The course awards SMSF Association's SMSF Specialist Advisor (SSA) designation (upon successful completion of SMSFA SSA accreditation) and provides the following CPD points:
  • 62 SMSF Association CPD points (with successful completion of SMSFA SSA accreditation) 
  • 24 FPA CPD points
It is also certified by ASIC as satisfying RG146 specialist knowledge in self managed superannuation funds.

Have a question?

Please email us, or call our education co-coordinator on 1800 808 354.

See our SMSF Masterclass

2016 course dates:

10-12 February - Sydney

1-3 March - Brisbane

1-3 March - Adelaide

8-10 March - Perth

15-17 March - Sydney

15-17 March - Melbourne




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