Three-month rule won't change: FASEA

If advisers are holding out any hope they might have more opportunities to sit the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) exam by the 1 January, 2022, deadline, FASEA has said there won’t be any change to the three-month rule.

The three-month rule meant advisers could only register and sit every second exam, as it was held roughly every two months.

It typically took six to seven weeks for advisers to receive their exam results and registrations were usually closed for the next exam by that point.

Related News:

Stephen Glenfield, FASEA chief executive, said advisers had been given multiple opportunities to pass the exam. 

“If an adviser sat the June 2019 sitting, they had five opportunities to December 2020, which was further extended to eight opportunities to pass the exam before 1 January, 2022,” Glenfield said.

“The first exam offered by FASEA was sat in June 2019, and since then (as of the March sitting 2021) there have been 11 exams offered, providing over 700 sessions (430 metropolitan sessions and 272 regional location sessions).

“By the end of December 2021 (the transition date for existing advisers), FASEA will have offered 15 exam sittings.”

There was no intention to return results faster either and it was generally expected that advisers who did not pass the exam would need more time to prepare for another attempt.

“Advisers who are unsuccessful in any exam are provided with individual feedback on the knowledge and curriculum areas where they have performed below the pass mark,” Glenfield said.

“The three-month requirement enables these individuals time to prepare and revise the appropriate areas before they are eligible to re-sit the exam, therefore, advisers are eligible to sit every second exam sitting.”

With four sittings left, over 12,000 advisers had passed the exam – which accounted for only roughly 57% of advisers on the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s (ASIC’s) Financial Adviser Register (FAR).

The last exam, which was held in January and February, had the lowest pass rate as only 67% of advisers passed.

The next exam sitting was on 20-25 May, 2021, and registrations would close on Friday, 30 April.

Remaining FASEA exam dates for 2021


Exam Dates

Registration Dates


Sitting 12

20 May - 25 May

8 February - 30 April

Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Gold Coast, Rockhampton, Hobart, Port Macquarie, Newcastle, Wollongong, Bathurst/Orange, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth, Bunbury and Remote Proctoring.

Sitting 13

15 July - 20 July

5 April - 25 June

Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Gosford, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Mackay, Albury/Wodonga, Geelong, Ballarat, Traralgon, Launceston and Remote Proctoring.

Sitting 14

9 September - 14 September

31 May - 20 August

Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Gold Coast, Cairns, Newcastle, Coffs Harbour, Port Macquarie, Wollongong, Bendigo and Remote Proctoring.

Sitting 15

4 November - 9 November

26 July - 15 October

Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Sunshine Coast, Rockhampton, Toowoomba, Gosford, Bathurst/Orange, Geelong, Launceston and Remote Proctoring.

Source: FASEA

Recommended for you




Assuming the adviser hadn't suffered any extreme health conditions, including lengthy hospitalisations & recuperation period, which some older advisers have suffered during this period. So these comments are simply misleading & yet another example of a heartless bureaucracy totally out of touch with reality. They are inept.

FASEA have consistently failed to understand the challenges of advisers. From a COVID19 crisis in 2020 where advisers were focused on HELPING THEIR CLIENTS; to others who decided to firstly enrol in a FASEA approved course to help them get back into study mode; to those who had to deal with home schooling, advisers had a myriad of reasons as to why they didn't sit the exam earlier. It's not the fault of advisers that ACER take ridiculously long to mark exams; it's not the fault of advisers that FASEA don't tell them the score they achieved whether they failed the exam or not. It's not the fault of advisers that some of the exam questions are so poorly written it's almost impossible to select the correct answer. The list goes on. Glenfield's comments display hubris at best and are totally disrespectful at worst. Anyway, why should he care, he'll be long gone come 31st December 2021 when FASEA is shut down.

2 years is what advisers where told they would have they delayed being able to do the exam by 6 months gave an extension at the 11th hour and that doesn't include the issues of covid and being able to even sit the exam for cities that were in lock down, they didn't have online access for ages meaning a lot of planners still haven't been given 2 years to do the exam

For an organisation with the word 'ETHICS' in their title, why are they so secretive and dishonest?
Still waiting for FASEA to reveal the undisclosed, secret pass mark. Is it 60%? 65%? 70%? Is it standardised so a predefined percentage fail? Or do FASEA make it up as they go along to rig the results so they look tough, but not too tough (until FASEA come clean, I will assume the latter)
Individual feedback? Providing failed candidates with a category is not individual feedback, so why insult these poor souls with such nonsense. They should be told exactly what their grade was in each field, and be given examples of the types of questions failed.
And that line about the three-month requirement giving candidates 'time to prepare and revise the appropriate areas'....that's just BS and Glenfield knows it. The three-month requirement is a deliberate measure to cap the number of times an adviser can sit the exam. They originally wanted it to be three sittings, but relaxed it during the consultations and then due to the 12 month extension, it blew out further. Personally I don't have a problem with a cap and 8 sittings seems a bit too generous in my personal opinion. But what I can't stomach, is the lies from this mob.

and still no valid, logical reason why the exam was even a thing - plus where all the fees @ $540 a go, were collected and being distributed...who and what is the fee paying for...…..exactly, not back-of-the-envelope mudmaps.....

I sat the exam in May and now sit nervously for the result This garbage of only being able to sit the exam every three months is without doubt the biggest load of BS I have ever heard and goes hand in hand with this outrageous marking system and time to do it
If I fail I have one more chance ( hopefully not ) and then if I don’t make it I am suppose to leave the industry ( which is what this whole thing is about ! culling advisers ) I am sure Macquarie Bank will waive the $300,000 I still owe them when I bought my partner out 5 years ago ? If I am prepared I believe i may be able to stay and do a “ professional “ year ? Fantastic considering I have been in the industry since 1978 without one “blemish” on my name not one action against me ! I think if I was unethical I would have been gone years ago !
So now some jumped up retired judge says prove it !
You cannot teach ethics ! You either have them or you don’t that’s why the exam is so ridiculous. There is no way to word some of those questions and most don’t relate to ethics at all?
Non of this LIF legislation is intended to be in the best interests of the client. There are hidden agendas here behind every “rock” Government Industry funds, Unions even the insurance companies are jockeying for the best position post 1/1/2022
There have already been 21 suicides I am advised ? All over this so called education system and the debt these people were facing without the funds or the license to pay it ! Is anybody listening ???

I certainly hear you "had enough", but the listeners are deaf; good luck with the coming confirmation that you are officially ethical - 43 years of doubt (that you have been ethical) must come as somewhat of a shock to you I would imagine? When I passed the January sitting, I was relieved that my 30+ years of apparent doubt had come to an end...

Add new comment