Financial advice regulatory and legal requirements, and applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication, have been highlight as areas that need improvement by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA), following the October exam.
FASEA had previously highlighted issues in all three areas of the exam, however this time only highlighted just those two. The third, that FASEA did not mention this round, was financial advice construction.
The areas highlighted for improvement were ones that unsuccessful candidates in particular had struggled with.
In financial advice regulatory and legal requirements, advisers struggled with:
- Assessing whether the adviser has appropriately scoped the advice;
- Assessing whether advice recommendations meet the client’s best interests;
- Demonstrating knowledge of when key advice documentation is provided to the client i.e. financial services guide/statement of advice;
- Demonstrating knowledge of the consequences of breaches of financial disclosure obligations for themselves, for clients and for the industry.
In applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication, advisers struggled with:
- Applying the code of ethics to advice scenarios identifying compliance and non-compliance; and
- Demonstrating an understanding of an adviser’s ethical obligations when advising on complex family structures.
FASEA offered six sittings of the exam in 2021, both online and in physical locations, subject to COVID-19 protocols.
Over 1,000 advisers had registered for the January exam, which would be held in metropolitan and regional locations from 28 January to 2 February.
To help advisers’ practice for the exam, practice questions were regularly updated on the FASEA website or can be accessed via the advisers’ exam account.
Advisers were required to pass the exam by 1 January, 2022.