The move to professionalism for the financial planning industry is now underway, via the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) new education, training and ethical standards for licensed financial advisers.
Whilst discussion and debate on the merits of the new regulations and the way they are being rolled out are interesting, they are moot. Like a football referee awarding a try or a goal, it’s really a waste of breath arguing the call.
The first ‘hurdle’ for financial advisers is the FASEA Financial Adviser Exam, which will need to be passed before 31st December 2020. And that’s not far away (we probably all have 20/20 vision by now!)
What is interesting are the numbers and logistics.
The ASIC registers and the FPA’s metrics indicate that there are over 25,000 registered financial advisers with around 20,000 of them active. Of these, some financial advisers will decide to retire or change careers. My estimate is that there will be circa 18,000 advisers registering and lining up to sit the exam.
The FASEA exams will be delivered in the capital cities and major regional locations, and it appears there will be around nine (9) sittings. This means an average of 2,000 advisers taking their exams in each block.
These numbers don’t take into account advisers who need to re-sit the exam because they didn’t achieve a credit level pass mark (think 70%).
The first exam sittings have come and gone with a mere 579 advisers taking the initial plunge. It will be interesting to see the numbers for the next sittings and if the lack of take-up will put pressure on advisers, FASEA or the regulators to revisit their thinking and approach.
The early adopters have provided some anecdotal insight into the difficulty of the exam, with comments suggesting it was “reasonable but not easy”. The results from the early sittings will start to flow, providing the reality of pass/fail rates.
In looking at the parameters of the exam, as a financial adviser, you will need to demonstrate professional reasoning and apply knowledge at an ‘AQF 7’ level (think Bachelor Degree). Thinking back to university days, I can’t remember getting a credit for a subject by just ‘winging it’ (although I did try a couple of times). Study and preparation was the key.
So, given the timeframes, degree of difficulty and additional hurdles to be jumped, your FASEA Exam Preparation is imperative.
In conjunction with industry experts, elevateB has developed an online, interactive learning program that covers the domains of knowledge and skills covered in the FASEA exam. For more information on the FASEA Exam preparation program, click here.