FASEA exam extension legislation hits another snag

12 May 2020

The minister last week signalled to a Financial Planning Association (FPA) forum that the long-awaited legislation extending the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam timetable would pass the Parliament this week but that guarantee no longer exists.

Both the FPA and the Association of Financial Advisers (AFA) are bracing for the passage of the legislation to be further delayed because the FASEA extension, while generally supported by both the Government and the Labor Opposition, is not a stand-alone piece of legislation.

AFA chief executive, Phil Kewin said that because the necessary legislation was part of an omnibus bill which also included arrangements around listed investment companies (LICs) it was likely to be the subject of debate around Labor amendments.

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Those same amendments had been pursued by the Opposition when the bill passed the House of Representatives and it had been signalled they would be pursued when the legislation was up for debate in the Senate this week.

It is a matter for the Government whether the legislation remains on the Senate notice paper for this week or is deferred to a later date but there is an expectation that a further deferral will occur.

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Gee what a surprise! Im sure many will be thrilled to hear this, all at a time when advisers have had FASEA exam sittings cancelled due to Covid-19 and subsequent connectivity issues with remote exam proctoring compounding the situation. All of this on top of substantially increased workloads and hand holding and guiding many clients through the current global downturn caused by Covid-19!

The code of ethics is the problem that should be addressed. Why are we pandering to a foolish, recalcitrant group advisers who have passed up 5 opportunities to sit the exam? Its like mowing your front lawn while the house is burning down.

Foolish and recalitrant Jamberoo?....really ?
While there are also many concerns in relation to the relevance and structure of the exam content and exam feedback, most advisers are not asking for the exam to be cancelled or scrapped.
In the middle of an unprecedented period of restrictions and impact it is not in any way unreasonable to request some leniency in regard to the time frame for completion.
Your response was entirely predictable and expected the moment a respondent supported the extension.
I can only assume you have therefore completed the exam and if so, good luck.
But that doesn't give you the right to criticise those who have yet to complete the exam and denigrate them as being recalcitrant.
Not sure what age bracket you fit in to Jamberoo, but it wouldn't be at all surprising if another player will come along and call for all advisers over the age of 50 to either buck up or get out !
If so, that just shows the lack of empathy and consideration and respect for the advisers who have assisted in creating the industry for which many younger advisers are now benefiting from.

Some good points raised. I am another one that is not shying away from doing the exam and could think of nothing better than putting this behind me and moving on. I opted to complete the mandatory ethics and professionalism unit through Kaplan first and passed this back in Feb. I was subsequently booked to sit the FASEA exam in April, which was cancelled, then re-booked for June, which has also been cancelled by FASEA and it looks like the August sitting wont be held in my area. I would be more than happy to do exam via remote proctoring, however I live in an area that experiences constant drop out of the NBN and also Telstra 4G network and need to see how this can be resolved. Extension or not, I still plan to complete the exam as soon as I practically can, but its important to recognise the unprecedented situation Covid-19 has caused and many advisers are focusing on their client's well being and priorities over their own at present. To those 'advisers' or other keyboard warriors that are trying to make this about advisers being slack, wake up. I can only assume the nasty comments are because you view these 'slack' advisers as somehow a threat to your business and livelihoods. Why else, if you have already done the exam, would you be so concerned with an extension being granted, especially in light of the current situation caused by Covid-19. If you think that these 'slack' advisers are standing between you and a windfall of new clients if they don't pass or they are somehow holding the industry back from being viewed as professional, then I'm sorry you need a reality check! I would find it hard to believe that those writing derogatory comments on these sort of forums are in fact advisers and if they are, then the lack of empathy demonstrated is a key quality you are missing required to be a good adviser!

Thanks "good point". You response to the post earlier was entirely balanced and well stated. Completing the Ethics bridging course prior to sitting the FASEA exam is a good strategy to help you prepare for the FASEA exam. However, I'm also hesitant to sit the exam via remote proctoring due to concerns about technology failure. This is a legitimate concern that should be recognised. Oh, did I mention we also have clients to look after during this crisis???

All True, and agree 110%...but bad luck suckers. . Caused I've already passed my exam and Ethics course and I'm onto advertising that you "should only deal with an adviser that has passed the exam. If not why not? " Bad luck, many years I've seen advisers get the commissions and bonuses and belong to dealer groups owned by product manufactures, so this is an ideal advertising opportunity to set myself apart from you other cowboys. Yee Haaa.

I would say that you would need to advertise for clients with an attitude like that! God help the clients you do have, because they are either few and far between or don't have much intelligence!

The younger advisers are getting screwed because of the industry you assisted in creating

if you are a young adviser all you need to do is shave half your head and get a sleeve tattoo and post on LinkedIn and you pronto you will be great.

and btw, numbnuts we older advisers did not create the industry and the shit show it is currently. it was created by big fat pigs who now no longer interested in being in it because it is not quite the gravy train they thought it was.

we are just as angry as you, btw, already hold a masters in financial planning and passed the exam as soon as i could, knowing that it would be a shit show that it is

The older advisers were playing within the rules set by the regulation at the time... the regulator is to blame, they licence people, they set the rules, they give AFSLs to companies who then set APLs etc which restricted advice... advisers are the last ones on the list/ the front line to clients just remember 1992 is the start of the super industry it is not that old.

I believe the industry bodies need to take a harder line and also advisers should be talking to their local MPs to make them aware of issue.

exactly. advisers are little scrawny little pawns in the game. we are nobody, we are nothing. our lives and our very being is in the hands of the AFSL holders.

if one of the ignorant uneducated fatties at the AFSL does not like us, they can switch us off, just like that. do you understand?

20 years of unblemished service history, highly qualified and ethical can go down the drain in a single minute.

there is no due process, there is no procedural fairness, there is no recourse for the adviser. do you understand me?

I am one of the most highly qualified advisers in australia, if i told you who i was it would make most professionals blush with embarrasment because most only do one or two degrees, but I keep a low profile and fly under the radar because everythign i have worked for over 20 years can be taken away.

you are young and therefore naive, so listen to wise counsel and trust my experience.

they own us. be fearful.

Just do the damn thing, so we can all move on. There are far bigger issues at stake

Jamberoo, I'd hate to be one of your clients.

I would hate to be one of my clients too. The volume of red tape they have to put up with and additional costs I have been forced to pass on to them is beyond a joke. Not to mention their adviser (along with 95%+ of the entire profession) could be banned and bankrupted down the track if a literal interpretation of the FASEA Code of Ethics is applied. But hey, let's ignore those serious issues and get a 12 months extension for the laziest advisers who haven't bothered to attempt the exam despite 5 opportunities already (apologies to those who have genuine excuses or have failed, I agree FASEA's hard-line approach is not appropriate). I just think there are bigger issues at stake)

Not only does the FASEA Code of Ethics create multiple issues for advisers specifically in relation to Standard 3 wording, we have a Govt that has failed to recognise the repetitive errors that have been made in many compliance requirements and processes significantly affecting adviser's businesses.
I understood that if legislation was going to be a difficult path then regulation to extend the FASEA exam timetable could be considered.
The length of time and the constant anxiety related to constant shifting of goal posts, proposed changes, actual changes and costly duplication like no other industry is taking an enormous toll on adviser's well being.
On top of that layer the effect of the removal of legally acceptable grandfathered commissions 6-8 months before legislation requires right in the middle of Covid-19 , the significant downturn in markets and the high level of client anxiety and you have a perfect storm which is destroying the fabric of adviser's self esteem and self worth.
You simply cannot continue to kick and kick and kick something without expecting that one day it will be no more.

Standard 3 only poses problems for salespeople working for product owned manufacturers. For "Financial Advisers" we don't have that issue. Certain "professionals" actually make sacrifices for their profession and have either done the exam or study. No doubt the same people moaning and winging about exams are the very same people getting subsidized dealer group fees, some other conflicted remuneration or advertising or whatever. Can I take you away from washing the BMW for a moment. Apologies to pregnant women whose dogs died and have legit excuses..

This delay is not due to a technicality. It is a deliberate sabotage attempt by Labor. It is no fluke that it coincides with an adviser bashing story about FASEA on the ABC. Expect ASIC and Choice to also chime in shortly. The union puppet masters are pulling hard on all their strings.

Yes I just read that interview Mr Glenfield gave, it seems he is no supporter or even attempting a collaborative approach of either the FPA or the AFA - so what hope do you have as an adviser? None.

Both Labor & Greens initially stated they would not support the delay of legislation, so why would you plan for any other date other than September 2020 to complete the exam on a second attempt.

exactly. and here is a tip for everyone, and listen good and listen well. it comes with a 20-year history of running a highly effective and profitable advice practice, I also already have a fasea approved master's degree and have passed their crappy exam.

if you want to survive in this industry, assume the worst. think about pending legislation(s) or issue and think, what could be the worst possible outcome if that happens, plan for the worst-case scenario then work towards completing that in the shortest time possible, then:

overlay that worst-case scenario hypothesis with - what is the worst possible divergent view that ASIC can take on this issue which I have already planned for - then plan for that worst outcome, and then,

overlay that worst-case scenario from ASIC with - what is the worst possible divergent view on that scenario from my idiotic dealer group who will want to add something idiotic of their own and,

then overlay those worst-case scenarios -each one different and more complex- as it progresses towards you from ASIC, Dealer Group, and the legislators and think about the most divergent far fetched scenario - be creative here, really let loose - then work towards that because that will be FASEA's take on it all.

that is why financial planning is a shit show. if you want to survive in it. do as recommended above. you will be early off the mark and win.

you can thank me later, I will be the one at the CPD session with the expensive custom, suit, leather loafers you will all be secretly wondering who I am.

and keep your success to yourself and prosper.

Post of the year!

Hard to argue with the reasoning. Good advice.

Because there's no exam in September 2020? There's none scheduled for November either, and the December exam won't be marked before 1 Jan 2021. October 2020 is the last chance if there's no change to current arrangements.

I sat the April FASEA Exam externally and we were made to not have a toilet break for the duration of exam (3.5-4 hours). It was a horrendous experience and I felt very ill afterwards due to having a weak bladder.

see my post above.

I wore an adult diaper to the exam which I sat on Valentine's day in February.

you people do not learn. you think you are dealing with professional highly educated people like me with a brain.

you are not, so here are some more tips for you:

1. the fat pigs at the regulator and industry bodies do not have a clue, it doesn't matter if your lives get destroyed, you divorce, lose your house or anything else of significance to you, you underwrite them, they always get paid, they will take their time deciding what to do, understand?

2. fasea, same goes, full of dumb people who couldn't run a business unless it was a monopoly statutory body. they have never tried to take something of value to the market and sold it, nothing,

3. your dealer group same shit, redundant people who couldn't find work elsewhere or do anything meaningful in their lives, they know nothing, absolutely nothing

assume the worst, get a big pack of diapers to wear, wear two, and sit the exam. TENA for men is a good brand, only $24.00 speak to your tax agent, maybe they will accept your "nexus" explanation of sitting the fasea exam and bathroom breaks and s 8-1 ITAA97 of the general deduction provisions and allow you to claim a tax deduction.

i am sick of advisers being pilloried from post to post. i am in a good position. already did all this so i am trying to help you all for FREE

Agree 110% Legend. You left out resigning from the FPA. These bodies have hoodwinked advisers into the belief that they are working hard for them, when the reality is there working hard for themselves and all the fat pigs you outlined above. Go out and get the qualifications and join the cheapest body at $550 you can.

While I sympathise with all those unfairly impacted by FASEA's many failings, I don't get the "unreliable internet" excuse for not doing the exam. How does any financial adviser operate these days without good quality internet? If your standard domestic service is no good, then surely you need to pay up for a commercial grade service? Or go to a hotel to do the exam? Or a serviced office? Or a friend or relative's place? Surely you have overcome far bigger issues than this in coping with COVID-19? Everyone else has.

To answer your comment I'll draw your attention to your words of "unreliable internet excuse" with emphasis on "EXCUSE". You see "professionals" and those that work in a Profession, go out of their way to plan and sacrifice their time with family/hobbies to progress themselves and their profession. They don't make "EXCUSES" ....Of course there will be the odd person whose house burns down, dog dies and so like Universities they grant them extensions after a request, but for the rest bad luck.

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