Shadow minister for financial services Stephen Jones would support changes to the financial adviser exam so that Professional Year advisers could choose to sit an exam based on their discipline.
Appearing at a Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association (SIAA) webinar, Jones was asked by SIAA chief executive, Judith Fox, whether he would support changes to the financial adviser exam to align exam scenarios with a Professional Year adviser’s chosen speciality.
“You know what, we are starting to get into the weeds. Instinctively I'd say yes,” Jones said.
“But that's not a rock-solid promise.”
Jones stipulated an amended financial adviser exam should still include core aspects that would apply across all licenced professionals, such as ethics.
“There might be different contexts, but the things that you're examining would be the same,” he said.
Fox said SIAA had met with Treasury and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to make recommendations on ‘recalibrating’ the exam, suggesting exam questions be reviewed by people from different financial services disciplines prior to an exam and marked following an exam.
“One of the other issues that we have a bit of a concern about is some tailored feedback. So in every other sort of educational setting, you get some information about where you failed… as opposed to a general thing at the moment, which is ‘read chapter seven’,” she said.
“Even lawyers recoil from that.”
Earlier this year, Fox criticised the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam for taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach despite the financial services ecosystem being broad and multi-disciplined.
“Unfortunately, I think we've seen a one size fits all approach just doesn't work and that creates a challenge for Treasury. But I think we've all seen how a one size fits all approach is not helpful,” Fox said.