The government, via Senator Hume, recently announced they will introduce changes in Parliament to extend the deadline for authorised representatives to complete the FASEA-approved exam. The new requirements once passed, will set a new completion date of 1 January 2022.
The proposal is the result of lobbying and consideration and is now the subject of much comment and debate.
You wouldn’t call it moving the goalposts – they are firmly planted as the measurement for the legislated FASEA standards. However, the playing time for the game looks like it will be extended.
So, let’s look at it from the various ‘players’ perspectives.
The numbers don’t lie. The take-up rate for the initial exam registration and sittings have been very low, and, if extrapolated suggest there would be a mad panic and last-minute rush by a large number of advisers, to pass the exam before the original deadline of next year.
As Senator Hume commented, there is a need to balance the impact of the reforms against maintaining the ongoing availability, quality and affordability of advice. In short, the concern is, there is already going to be a likely exodus of advisers from the industry, and forcing more out because they miss a cut-off point could be detrimental to society.
They are currently patting themselves on the back for the successful lobbying they have undertaken, which is of course, a key role of industry associations.
Advisers – Early Adopters/Early Majority
Those 526, or so, advisers who have sat and passed the exam already, along with those who have committed to upcoming exam sittings should have little interest in the extension. They are on their way, jumping hurdles and moving forward with the job of looking after clients. Anecdotally, however, many are shaking their heads and wondering why the rest don’t – “just do it”. They are citing that until the soon to be extended deadline has come and gone, the industry will be a mixture of advisers who have demonstrated they meet the new standards and those who haven’t.
Advisers – Late Majority/Laggards
The majority of those who have put off the exam are no doubt happy with the extension, as it provides them more time and breathing space to plan, prepare and sit the exam. The interesting thing will be whether the extension alleviates the potential ‘last-minute rush’ problem. Or will human nature intervene and see the same issue of thousands of advisers lining up for the last exam in a make or break scenario? Or will it mean another extension?
Advisers - Exiting
And what of those advisers who have made the decision, because of situation or age, that they will not sit the exam and will retire from the industry when forced out because they haven’t passed the FASEA exam? Again, most will be happy for the extension, because it affords them more time to generate income before they hang up the boots. However, some are angry because they have prematurely sold or agreed to sell their business or book based on the original deadline. For them, the goalposts did move!
Within these groups, there are those who may reposition their thinking. Some of the early majority may now postpone the exam sitting because they have more time. The late majority may turn into laggards and the laggards into exiting advisers. Some exiting advisers may have a change of mind, and, buoyed by high pass marks from the early sittings, bite the bullet, get through the exam and buy themselves a couple of extra years.
Those best positioned are those who have cleared the hurdle and are focussed on what’s next.
For the rest, now is the time to get into training, prepare for the FASEA exam and enter the race.
In conjunction with industry experts, elevateB has developed a self-paced, online, interactive learning program that addresses the areas of knowledge and skills covered in the FASEA exam. Understanding these will elevate your industry standing and help you pass the exam. For more information on the FASEA Exam preparation program, click here.