FASEA Exam Preparation
With the next registration period now closed and the second round of FASEA exam sittings looming fast, it is worth reflecting on what has happened to date and considering the feedback that has been provided.
The first sittings saw 579 advisers (authorised representatives) take the plunge, with 90%+ passing.
This success rate is impressive and those that achieved it and have put this hurdle behind them are to be congratulated. On the surface, it indicates the exam is imminently passable and that the adviser community can breathe a collective sigh of relief and not worry so much about preparing for the exam.
However, the figures may be misleading.
Firstly, it’s only a small sample space - 579 represents around 3% of the total adviser numbers anticipated to take the FASEA exam. Secondly, beware of the early adopters. The majority of those that sat the first FASEA exam were undoubtedly well-positioned and prepared for the task. They may have been confident with the subject matter because of their specific roles in the financial planning industry (compliance personnel, heads or para-planning etc.) or even those with insights and connection to the FASEA exam itself. These are the people that ‘know their stuff’.
So, what of the next sittings?
Indications are that less than 2000 advisers have now registered for the next two FASEA exam sittings in September and December. Again, even if this number doubles, it means the vast majority of advisers (circa 75%) will need to prepare, sit and pass the FASEA exam before the deadline.
To date, there has been appropriate advice suggesting planners wait, not be FASEA exam guinea pigs and give themselves time to prepare and understand the scope of the exam before jumping in. However, time is ticking and pressure will start mounting.
The primary focus and discussion for advisers, in regard to the FASEA exam, has been ‘getting it done’- ticking the box and moving on to the next set of educational requirements. However, there has been limited discussion, on the outcomes and benefits to advisers who undertake the process.
At the core of the FASEA mandate is raising the knowledge base of the financial planning industry. And to coin my old school motto - "Scientia est Potestas" (Knowledge is Power). Armed with competency in the areas of regulations and law; ethical and professional reasoning; and behavioural decision making, advisers will be even better placed in their client communications.
Clients themselves are looking for confidence and surety in the financial planning process. And the newly developed area of the Corporations Act – Best Interest Duty, is clearly designed to provide this safety net.
Advisers with an understanding of the new standards, aligned thinking and the ability to communicate these in a meaningful way, may have an edge on their competitors when it comes to client attraction and retention.
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.