FASEA aiming to have exam ready by June

22 February 2019

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) will provide assistance to planners facing both the exam and Code of Ethics, but hasn’t confirmed how long before the body’s professionalisation regime kicks in in full force this help will come.

Speaking at the SMSF Association National Conference yesterday, the Authority’s chief executive, Stephen Glenfield, was characteristically tight-lipped on the details of when and what information would be released to advisers.

He said FASEA was “working hard” to get together practice exams and reading lists to assist planners sitting the new compulsory exam and was also “working to have the exam ready to sit by June this year”. The guidance materials would be available “well in advance” to allow adequate preparation time, but Glenfield did not reveal when that would be.

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The CEO, who received a lukewarm welcome from the room, also said that that similar guidance would be provided about the Code of Ethics component of the regime, which he characterised as “a code for the individual adviser to recognise the ethical world they should be operating within”.

The guidance would be released in the coming few weeks and would respond to many of the questions FASEA had received from stakeholder on the Code, relating them back to practical scenarios.

On the hotly-debated issue of recognition of prior learning, Glenfield reaffirmed that FASEA was currently working with education providers on accrediting existing or older courses.

He encouraged advisers to keep looking at the approved prior learning lists and contact FASEA if they felt some applicable study they had completed was missing however, as some had been missed as providers had not put them forward.

Finally, as the Authority seeks to “operationalise” its standards, Glenfield encouraged stakeholders to continue to provide considered feedback to the organisation as it enters the “implementation phase”.

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FASEA are 'currently working with education providers on accrediting existing or older courses'. What the hell is going on? FASEA has been in operation for more than a year and a half. If someone has a bachelor degree, grad dip or masters in financial planning, or a related degree with a major in financial planning commenced prior to the legislation, then it should be approved. Full stop. This is what the legislation intended. For an organisation with lots of tricky tasks, this should have been the easiest decision of all. Instead they are liaising with all the course providers and going through a process of retrospectively approving these courses. What a shocking waste of time. You have to wonder, are FASEA more interested in creating work for themselves than implementing good policy? Dare I say it, is there a conflict of interest? Are FASEA employees benefiting themselves by delaying the process and over-complicating things. I heard a rumour that FASEA are considering forcing ALL advisers (not just those with O/S quals) to submit certified copies of their transcripts to get them approved one-by-one. A process which is not supported by their legislative mandate, will create more work for FASEA and will leach more money out of advisers. I hope this is not true. But given what we have seen from FASEA to date, it would be true to form.

So if you have enrolled in the 8 units of study as required by FASEA by 2024. You had completed the examinable units also relevant to FASEA sudden death exam. Do you also then have to sit both or is passing either acceptable?
I suspect I know the answer is both. FASEA is a sick joke that is seeting in incompetance.

The answer is both. Illogical, I know.

I have always maintained this as a train wreck and nobody has been able to provide a definitive answer as to why a one off exam is required to be sat. My understanding is that this exam is to be sat once in one's lifetime. What is the point as legislative changes are perpetual? Having to study a FASEA bridging unit when one already has AQF9 status is farcical.. This is dragging its heals and the FASAEA committee is getting paid during the course of this period. I bet that the contents of the FASEA ethics unit is plagiarised from existing units provided by tertiary institutions.

I loved the irony of his opening comment. It was something like - Sorry I'm late, I got lost getting to the podium!

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