While the Financial Planning Association (FPA) has welcomed the Government’s announcements on the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam extension it would have liked to have seen the measure extended to include compassionate grounds.
FPA head of policy, strategy and Innovation, Ben Marshan, said he would have liked for the extension to include planners who had experienced significant life or health events rather than just planners who had failed two times or more.
“We’ve got members who had significant health diagnosis or had experienced significant accidents and have been unable to practice or study, or sign up for the exam.
“They have through bad luck rather than bad planning have ended up in a situation where they can’t continue practicing next year.”
However, Marshan said there were some practical issues with the measure given that it was the individual advisers who had to register for the exam, and tell their results to their licensees. The licensees were then the ones that registered whether or not their advisers had passed the exam on the Financial Adviser Register. However, the licensee would not necessarily know if the adviser had failed two times or more.
Also welcoming the extension, the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) acting chief executive, Phil Anderson, said he was pleased the government had taken steps to recognise that there would be a significant number of advisers who despite their best efforts would not have passed by the end of the year.
“This will at least give them a solution going into next year for what otherwise what would have been a challenging and disturbing experience for them,” he said.
“…I’m not surprised they had some provisos that it wasn’t available to everyone. And of course, this has been done as part of the tabling of the Single Disciplinary Body legislation. The timing aligned with that.”
Anderson also said that advisers who were FASEA-qualified needed to be conscious that some of their colleagues were yet to pass the exam and not because they did not have the capability to do so but due to a range of other circumstances.
“We would ask advisers to recognise that this outcome is a good outcome for their colleagues they should support that,” he said.
“If that means that a number of advisers will now manage to stay in the profession and achieve standards that they need to a achieve then that’s good for all.”