Third FASEA exam attempt welcomed

The decision to let advisers sit the FASEA exam one more time in 2022 will remove “deep uncertainty” if advisers need to re-take the exam in November, according to the Stockbrokers and Financial Advisers Association (SAFAA). 

Yesterday, it was announced that advisers who had failed the exam twice would have a third attempt in 2022. It was estimated there were around 1,000 advisers who had failed the exam once and were still yet to pass. 

Speaking to Money Management, Judith Fox, SAFAA chief executive, said advisers who may find themselves needing to re-take exam again in November were currently concerned that they would not find out whether they had passed or not by the 1 January, 2022, deadline.  

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It currently took around two months for advisers to get their results back so they may not have found out in time if they were able to continue working in 2022. 

“Given you don’t get the results back for two months, this leaves people in a terrible limbo so this is a good opportunity and will bring clarity for people,” she said. 

However, she said there were still operational issues to be clarified regarding when people would be able to book for a 2022 exam and when the new dates would be, given FASEA would be ceding running of the exams to the Australian Securities and Investments Committee (ASIC) from next year. 

As to criticisms regarding the quality of advisers who required taking the exam three times, she said a fail was not necessarily a reflection of their skills. 

“There is a strong focus in the exam on financial planning which disadvantages advisers in other areas such as stockbroking and investment advice. Other candidates have struggled with the online element of the exam, it doesn’t come second nature to them. Failing doesn’t demonstrate a lack of skill or experience and people should not jump to conclusions there,” she said. 

There were three more sittings available in 2021 in July, September, and November. 

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So now it becomes clear. Hume consistently ignores sensible reform suggestions from the adviser associations which would significantly improve consumers' access to affordable professional advice if adopted. But when the stockbrokers association tells her their members are so dumb they need more more than two and a half years and two attempts to pass a basic exam, Hume bends over backwards to accommodate them.

I suspect it is more about election planning. ie kick the can down the road until after the election is over......

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