As the U.S. Department of Labor proposes another delay to mull its fiduciary rule ahead of enforcement, unprepared advisors may be temporarily off the hook.

That’s a good thing, according to recent research from Boston-based wealth management consultants Practical Perspectives, as most advisors in a recent survey feel less-than prepared for the rule’s onset.

According to “Financial Advisors and Implementation of the DOL Fiduciary Rule – 2017,” a recent Practical Perspectives research report, fewer than half of advisors feel like they’re well prepared to handle the implementation of the fiduciary rule, according to the report.

“Many advisors are looking to their home offices and other key sources for more support related to implementing the DOL Fiduciary Rule and to enhance their preparedness,” said Howard Schneider, president of Practical Perspectives and author of the report, in released comments. “While most advisors have some degree of preparedness for the fiduciary rule, fewer than one in two advisors feel well prepared. This suggests many advisors need additional help and support.”

Practical Perspectives found that advisors’ expectations and preparations for the onset of the fiduciary rule differs depending on their channel, with broker-dealers anticipating more of an overall impact on their practices.

Nevertheless, nearly one-in-three advisors believe that they will not have to make any changes whatsoever due to the DOL rule. Nearly two-thirds of RIAs do not expect to make any changes to comply with the rule, while only one-in-seven broker-dealer advisors said the same.

While most RIAs already acting as fiduciaries feel like they are in a “high” state of preparation, according to the report, broker-dealers are anticipating that they will have to make “more dramatic” changes as the rule is implemented.

Across channels, advisors want more support in preparing for and adjusting to the DOL rule. Among advisors in the broker-dealer channel, new products, services and solutions are needed to use with clients.

Broker-dealer advisors are most likely to consider their home office as the primary source of support for implementation of the DOL rule. RIAs are more likely to look to third-party legal or compliance firms, custodians, and their peers and colleagues.

Advisors are also looking for innovations in technology and practices that will help them compliantly serve their clients while minimizing disruptions from regulations.

Regardless of what happens as the DOL rule’s implementation is delayed once more, and as the rule itself faces potential revision, certain trends will remain present, according to Practical Perspectives. The industry’s movement away from commissions and towards fee-based or advisory platforms will continue. Similarly, advisors are likely to permanently change the way they handle 401(k) rollovers.

In addition, advisors are likely to progressively engage less with smaller clients who may not be feasible in fee-based environments.

The Practical Perspective findings were based on a survey of approximately 300 advisors during August 2017.