‘Career break’ should be last resort for exam takers

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) is not responsible for exam dates for 2022 and advisers should only consider taking the “career break” option as a last resort, the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) warns. 

Advisers who did not pass the exam by the 1 January, 2022, deadline   could avoid being classed as a new entrant  if they did pass the exam later. 

As FASEA’s responsibilities transition to Treasury and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), there was no certainty over when exams for 2022 would be held, as well as where and how much it would cost. 

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Ben Marshan, FPA head of policy, strategy and innovation, said: “If you want to take advantage of this career break option, you’re going to have to speak to your licensee and ask them to cease you on the [ASIC] Financial Adviser Register (FAR). 

“Either way, problem is you have to stop providing advice for a period of time until the next exam happens. 

“What technically needs to happen is that your licensee is going to have to terminate your authorisation and change you to ceased before 31 December, 2021. 

“If you are an existing provider and haven’t passed the exam and your licensee hasn’t recorded it on the register before the first of January, then you lose relevant provider status.” 

As of February, roughly 75% to 80% of FPA members had sat or passed the exam. 

“There was about 7% who said they wouldn’t sit the exam at all so they’ll probably leave and there’s a gap of 10% to 15% who said they’re still intending to sit or needed to pass,” Marshan said. 

“In saying that, we have been encouraging members to pass the exam, because if you pass the exam then you don’t need to worry about it.” 

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