Financial advisers are using a Financial Planning Association (FPA) document highlighting the still unfinished elements of the new Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) regime to lobby parliamentarians to back the legislative amendments necessary for a 12-month extension to the FASEA adviser exam deadline.
The FPA has produced a document calling for the 12-month extension to 1 January, 2022, which it claims will restore the full two-year period for financial planners to study for and take the exam.
In doing so, the FPA document not only points to what the FASEA has not yet delivered but has pointed out the following:
“The roll-out of the exam has been delayed, along with supporting elements for the exam including reading and study material, bridging courses and a guidance document for the Code of Ethics.
“The first exam sitting was only held in June 2019 and was only available in capital cities. Financial planners in regional areas will have to wait until 2020 for the exam to be available in their area through digital delivery.
“It will take between six and eight weeks to get the results of the exam, meaning planners will not be able to rely on sitting the exam after October 2020, as they will not receive the results before the deadline.
“The Code of Ethics, which is a key subject of the exam, was released in February 2019. FASEA has yet to release a promised guidance document on how it will apply in practice. Bridging courses on the Code of Ethics won’t be available until late 2019.
“The consequences for the exam are severe. Each attempt at passing the exam will cost a planner $540 and failure to pass the exam in time will result in them losing their jobs, careers and/or businesses.”
Elsewhere, the FPA document has called on FASEA to “urgently settle its decisions on recognition of prior learning for all outstanding professional certifications and reconsider providing credit for experience and training through continued professional development”.
As well, it states that FASEA only approved the first round of bridging courses and graduate diploma programs in June, and that advisers who need to complete a full eight-unit diploma will need to complete two units a year for the next fours.
It said that, on this basis, it was requesting the Government extend the deadline for meeting the FASEA education standard by 24 months to January, 2026.