Time for administrative flexibility around FASEA exam

It will have escaped no-one’s attention in the financial planning industry that the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam process is reaching its crescendo – that unless advisers sit the exam in the next six months they will quite simply have missed out.

And, by missing out, those advisers will be obliged to cease practicing and, very likely, feel the need to exit the industry. Quite simply, existing advisers are required to pass the exam before 1 January, next year, and there are now extremely limited opportunities to do so.

According to the FASEA exam timetable there are now just three sittings left, after those currently being held in May – July, September and November. After that, legislation dictates the door is closed.

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All of the above explains why the May sittings have been amongst the most heavily booked and why the heavy bookings seem likely to continue through July, September and November as financial advisers rush to meet what represents one of the key requirements under the FASEA regime.

It is in these circumstances, and the reality that exam failures will accelerate the already disturbing exit of advisers from the financial planning industry that the Minister for Superannuation, Financial Services and the Digital Economy, Senator Jane Hume, would be well-advised to urge those running the exam to inject some flexibility and exercise a little more discretion.

The injection of that flexibility and discretion would seem necessary in circumstances where the current rules preclude someone failing the July sittings of the exam resitting within three months, meaning that they probably only have one shot left before the processes closes for good. It also means that those sitting in September may be squeezed out entirely.

Financial advisers and licensees who have closely monitored the data around adviser exits have frequently told Money Management that exam results from the September sittings will represent the start of what is likely to be the most significant outflow of advisers which will then be magnified in the wake of the November exam results.

On past experience, around 70% of advisers will pass those exams meaning around 30% will fail but the impact on exits between September and December may be more significant given the number of advisers who have actually booked to sit or resit the exam.

That is why some pragmatic flexibility needs to be exhibited by both the Government and those remaining in FASEA to oversee the delivery of the exam.

While there were sound enough administrative reasons behind the three-month rule, it is now obvious that it is going to act as a significant inhibitor to slowing the already worrying rate of exit by experienced financial advisers. In those circumstances, consideration needs to be given to waiving the three-month rule to maximise the opportunities for advisers to succeed.

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Stop talking sense will you!!

This is FARSEA you are talking about. I’m sure they have dozens of internal reports commending themselves on their achievements.

I’m sure decimating a profession for decades is not among the commentary though.

I don’t understand why the rules need to be relaxed for those who leave things to the very last minute.
They have had 2 years to sit the exam, the rules have been the same and very clear from the start, why do the rules need to be changed for the procrastinators?

The Sep and Nov exams will be sittings 14 & 15. It seems a bit odd to be asking for a rule change for those who have not passed within the 13 previous opportunities over the preceding two years (which included a one year extension due to COVID). Anyone who hasn't passed by sitting 14 or 15 would seem to be lacking ability or commitment. They are not deserving of further rule changes.

I can give you a scenario: my colleague was booked into the Sept2019 sitting, got flu but too late to pull out due to medical reasons. So she dosed up and sat it anyway, knowing she would fail but to get an idea of the room / exam process / venue (remember none of us have had to sit uni exam conditions for over 20 years!). She then enrolled and passed her ethics module while sitting out the 3 month limitation. THEN covid hit! And as she has poor internet, and failing eyesight, she held off resitting hoping that she could make it into a physical classroom again. in the end she had to get a medical exemption to be able to use a big screen to sit the exam remotely, and had to buy a brand new laptop to meet all the ridiculous tech requirements to sit the exam. The remote exam conditions are very stressful to say the least. Now she's nervously awaiting the results to see if she has to resit again in July (she can't do May for the reasons Mike has laid out above). Honestly, we're professional financial advisers with years of knowledge and expertise under our belts - I agree Mike, its time to stop treating us like little kids!

hello friend, and colleague,

unfortunately, no one thinks financial planners are professional and have any knowledge. many practicing financial planners themselves, to my dismay are the loudest voices of all chiming in denigrating the profession sadly about our low level of qualifications apparently.

unfortunately, it appears many non-degree qualified financial planners who are some of the most ethical and knowledgeable ( i should know I was trained by one such person) are on their way out, to be replaced by a younger cohort who have all the degrees in the world and a mantra that is about their ego, screaming and beating their chests denigrating others.

so sad for the financial planning profession, I am sad I have to remain but hopefully not for much longer.

cfp, I am right in the middle of the 'experienced non-degree financial planners' and the 'younger cohort with all the degrees in the world and ego'.

All I observe is the two groups (experienced yet perhaps not formally qualified versus younger with less experience with more formal education) berating each other saying one is better than the other.

What the industry really needs to do is just stop attacking each other and get on with it.

If she fails the one she's waiting on results for, and then fails again in July, then she can sit again in November. If she fails that one she's out. In spite of all the unusual circumstances you have outlined, she will have had 4 attempts. Should we really be changing the rules for people who fail 4 times?

And what if she gets sick again? She's really only had one attempt, and for those who follow the actual exam format this time around they asked a completely new set of questions. If she goes back into an exam room situation her stress levels will go back up, which as you all know slows down your ability to think. I'm not even sure why we are all being sent back to school in the first place, especially when we're specialists in our field (she's a risk advisor and a bloody good one). But if we're going to go back to school, at least make it relevant to what we do. The shame is the more we whinge about it, the more it looks like we're trying to hide something :(

If this person really is as prone to illness and stress as you say, and has difficulty mastering straightforward regulatory material, I don't think I'd want her as my adviser. Perhaps early retirement, or a career change to an admin role is what's needed.

what these people need, is some empathy, and sexual healing, no more extensions.

Jan 2022 Kaboom! another 4 k drop down to 16 babies, then 11, then 5, by 2026.


hi lyle,

when are you going to finish your m.fin plan and cfp, your website states in 2021, you better hurry as you don't have that many more months to go.

why not spend time finishing your m.fin plan and cfp, as i have done before posting on your website you are going to finish it in 2021.

you shouldn't be taking credit for things you will do. i will be waiting for 1 Jan 2022 to see an update on the fasea register and also on your work website that you have indeed completed both as you promised by 2021.

cfp. m.finplan

Many more months? I have just finalised my last assignment for my research project and I am enrolling for my last CFP subject in June.
There will be no dramas at all having it completed by September. You don’t need to worry about my study plan as it is going 100% to plan :)

no one is worried about you Kyle. no one even knows who you are or will ever do.

so why don't you keep to yourself and not post stupid stuff on this forum.


cfp m fin plan you are clearly a moron, get off our forum

hi Lyle, or kyle or nobody (that is you are a nobody),

have you thought about the men's hair club, to get a hair transplant?

being bald is cool? NOT

Hi Troll 1,
OMG, a little troll who is too scared to use their own name, is publicly trying to ridicule the way I look.
You need to take a serious look in the mirror, sad and pathetic.
If you have issues with my comments then refute the comments otherwise stop being a smelly little troll and actually do something with your life.

Mike - isn't these comments meant to be screened? I though outright personal attacks are not meant to be posted?

Lyle is a well respected member of the FP community, and has an extremely ethical approach.

I find it extremely distasteful and unprofessional both the comments made and also the fact they were allowed onto the Money Management forum.

Hey cfp.mastersfp it’s ironic that you say that no one knows who Lyle is when clearly you have gone to the effort to find out who he is and literally no one knows you you are.

I also went to the effort to find out who Lyle is - not achieved much if anything as far as I could tell. Am I missing something JS?

So post your name up gutless w*nker, if you're wanting to sledge someone for 'not achieved much' let's see how good you are.

You will remember the name now though, won’t you

You sir, are an idiot and should confine your comments to your garbled drunken stammering at the idiot box of an evening.

it's misleading and deceptive conduct, trying to induce people into a contract. Kyle, please read below.

1. you must act in accordance with all applicable laws, you should not mislead or deceive or induce people into an agreement which is what the post on kyle's website is trying to do FASEA std 1

2. from the Dover case as well as from decided cases it does not need to be demonstrated that it is misleading but likely to mislead

see http://www5.austlii.edu.au/au/legis/cth/consol_act/asaica2001529/s12da.html

3. breaches FPA code of ethics Principle 5: Professionalism, act in a manner that demonstrates exemplary professional conduct as well as Principle 8: Diligence

4. also breaches FPA's seven practice standard PS7 Professional Obligations 7.3 fair and honest service promotion, "the member must undertake fair and honest communication of it's services to the public

4.1 "any communication, including advertising is fair and hones in any representation of service"
4.2 it's unprofessional conduct for the member to make unsubstantiated comparisons of its services against another financial services provider

the intent of kyle's web page is to try and induce the public into an agreement using unsubstantiated claims about his qualifications that have not been earned (e.g. Sam Henderson RC hello?) I am acting in the spirit of FASEA code 12.

the real CFP

P.S. making a complaint to his licensee and also FPA to sanction

Hi Troll 2,

Making a factual claim that I am currently studying and will have it finished this year is not the same as making a claim that it has already been attained, it is factual information I am currently enrolled, I am nearly finished, I have the plan to have it all done in 2021, none of that is misleading no where do I advertise that I have the designation or masters and at no point would I advertise that I have anything before I do.
Now stop being a little troll and get a life!

Lyle, I agree with you, reviewing your website statements, there is nothing wrong with your information and definitely nothing misleading or unethical.

I also agree that certain other commentators on this forum appear to just want to stir with churlish and derogatory comments with no constructive desires. Not brave or professional to attack others anonymously, perhaps this is a great example of having the appropriate qualifications and completed the FASEA exam, but having no underlying personal ethics, morals or professionalism themselves.

I agree with Lyle. Anyone who hasn't already done it but has been in the profession all this time has procrastinated.

There is minimal excuse. In the last couple of years i have not only completed the FASEA exam (and I am well over 50 years old, so not young) and in that time also had to:
*Change licensees to our own AFSL
*Merged businesses with another planning firm as part of a longer succession planning arrangement
*Changed our entire planning software
*Changed platform provider across the business for client best interests and ongoing benefits
*Transitioned to a MDA service offering for our clients
*Relocated offices
*Had staff retire/hired new staff
*Studied and completed 3 of the 5 'mandatory' education requirements subjects (yes, my CFP was completed 3 months before the arbitrary 'cut off date')
*Endured major severe weather issues that later were declared natural disasters
*Actively deal with more than 10 accounting and legal firms with mutual clients & referrals
*Maintained a work life balance, play sport, get reasonable exercise, still married and raised 2 intelligent, well adjusted kids
*Had a family member with prolonged grave illness pass away
*Fought a legal battle and won
*And still manage to travel away and play up with too much drinking etc on occasion!

Short of suffering a major illness themselves, any planner who hasn't already done it- and particularly if they were scared they would fail (which means needing a resit or several)- really is no bona fide 'planner' themselves.

And for anyone 'trolling' Lyle Filer for his comments, grow up and get a life you idiot or put your name to your comments so we all can compare between you two.

Basically, the FASEA system seem very much like a communist re-education camp designed by Treasury /ASIC for what are view as Conflicted, Unethical and profit driven Financial Planners who are just not seeing the light of outperformance and cheap fees and social justice offered by the Industry Super movement and not recommending Industry Super (see Treasury's Statements to RC).
I do not believe ASIC and Treasury want all Financial Planners to pass as Treasury and ASIC seem to already have passed judgement on us.
Funny thing is, there does not seem to be many qualified in the profession of Financial Planning within Treasury or ASIC so I am not sure why they believe the high ethical ground is theirs?

there is a lot of professional jealousy. we do what they cannot. a lot of the people stuck in treasury and the dealer groups are book smart.

they couldn't tie their shoelaces in public, run a business, create something of value and sell it for a profit. and then they see a lot of us, who might not -in their eyes- (as we are actually smarter than them), not as smart as them making double their salary with independence and freedom.

so much of the pain inflicted on financial planners in large part is due to professional jealousy.

just make sure you hide your Rolex and Gucci loafers when the dealer group come into your office.


You are spot on. ASIC is full of failed lawyers and failed financial planners (ie. Less than 3 years experience, or never made it past paraplanning or compliance). We are in private practice, giving advice to clients who value and respect our service. We are living the life they dreamed of, and they hate us for it. That is why they continually dream up the most ridiculous, far-fetched interpretations of legislation which are designed to inflict the maximum amount of damage on us. The latest example is disallowing us to bring an annual consent forward if we meet with a client for a review any earlier than 365 days. It is bloody mindedness. Consumers are the ultimate casualties of their hatred.

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