Should the financial adviser exam be based on specialties?

Shadow minister for financial services Stephen Jones would support changes to the financial adviser exam so that Professional Year advisers could choose to sit an exam based on their discipline.

Appearing at a Stockbrokers and Investment Advisers Association (SIAA) webinar, Jones was asked by SIAA chief executive, Judith Fox, whether he would support changes to the financial adviser exam to align exam scenarios with a Professional Year adviser’s chosen speciality.

“You know what, we are starting to get into the weeds. Instinctively I'd say yes,” Jones said.

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“But that's not a rock-solid promise.”

Jones stipulated an amended financial adviser exam should still include core aspects that would apply across all licenced professionals, such as ethics.

“There might be different contexts, but the things that you're examining would be the same,” he said.

Fox said SIAA had met with Treasury and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) to make recommendations on ‘recalibrating’ the exam, suggesting exam questions be reviewed by people from different financial services disciplines prior to an exam and marked following an exam.

“One of the other issues that we have a bit of a concern about is some tailored feedback. So in every other sort of educational setting, you get some information about where you failed… as opposed to a general thing at the moment, which is ‘read chapter seven’,” she said.

“Even lawyers recoil from that.”

Earlier this year, Fox criticised the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam for taking a ‘one size fits all’ approach despite the financial services ecosystem being broad and multi-disciplined.

“Unfortunately, I think we've seen a one size fits all approach just doesn't work and that creates a challenge for Treasury. But I think we've all seen how a one size fits all approach is not helpful,” Fox said.



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I think the broader issue for many life insurance specialists and stockbrokers is they don't want to be regulated as professional advisers at all. They want to be regulated like general insurance brokers and mortgage brokers who provide information and options, rather than advice. Perhaps regulatory change to facilitate that, is a better way forward?

mortgage brokers provide credit assistance and have a best interest duty.

This guy seems to say whatever he likes dependant on his audience…… must be a politician

This would be a bad idea

So, over the last number of years all advisers, irrespective of their discipline, had to sit the same exam. This may be a reason why, for example, advisers who recommend life insurance only failed the exam or decided to exit the industry. Now the proposal is that a new entrants exam will be based on the advisers discipline - life advisers will not be given scenarios about managed funds etc. Why wasn't this considered from day 1.

If a fisherman catches 5 fish and throws 2 back, how many fish does he have? That's a question about maths, not fishing.

Law and ethics questions set in a variety of different financial advice contexts are still law and ethics questions. If you think they're about the financial advice specialty, you are missing the point. Very few advisers would have expertise in all the subject areas used as contextual settings for the exam questions. But they don't need to.

Unintended consequences seems to be the term used now days - it is just another way of saying "incompetent".

Worse than that. ASIC often says “unforeseen”. Only if you are a moron who doesn’t consult, doesn’t listen, it’s totally dictatorial yet having no concept of what they are regulating.

If an adviser did their job as well as ASIC they would be sent to prison such is their arrogance and abject

I agree... it's a bit late now they're gone. :P

Someone finally talking some sense but ....... too late.

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