FASEA releases draft exam guidance

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has released proposed guidance on the Financial Adviser Examination that is flagged to form a compulsory part of its much-debated education reforms.

The Authority proposed that the exam would test advisers’ practical application of knowledge in:

  • Corporations Act (emphasis on Chapter 7 – financial services and markets);
  • The FASEA Code of Ethics;
  • Behavioural finance – client and consumer behaviour, engagement and decision making;
  • Financial advice construction – suitability of advice aligned to different consumer groups; and
  • Applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication.

All advisers registered as authorised representatives prior to 31 December, 2018 would have to pass the exam before the start of 2021. From January, next year, new entrants or those returning to the industry would have to pass the exam after completing their tertiary degree and before commencing their professional year.

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The exam would consist of both multiple choice and short answer questions, and advisers would have two chances to re-sit the exam.

FASEA was currently undertaking a procurement process with specialist service providers around the exam’s development and delivery.

Feedback submissions to the Authority on the proposed exam would close 31 July, at five pm.

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What about advisers that are not Authorised Representatives? A person who gives financial product advice (adviser) and is employee of a licensee IS NOT an Authorised Representative. Perhaps FASEA should actually understand how financial services are provided and by whom before it makes decisions. For the record - rather than 'Authorised Representative' FASEA should have used used the term 'Financial Adviser' (as registered on ASIC's Financial Adviser Register. This register records both Authorised Representatives of a licensee and employees of a licensee who give advice].

For this assessment program to have any credibility at all, it cannot just be an online test like the current ongoing assessment that many licensees require of their ARs. I am personally aware of situations where ARs simply get their support staff to complete their ongoing education requirements for them.

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