Advisers say financial exam is redundant
The Advisers Association (TAA) has called for a change in exam policy, saying the current test has served its purpose and is therefore fast approaching its use-by date.
CEO Neil Macdonald urged the Federal Government to consider removing the obligation for advisers to sit the Financial Adviser Exam as a further streamlining of financial adviser education standards.
He says the real purpose of the exam, which financial advisers first sat in 2019, was to establish a level of professional competence at the time since many did not hold tertiary qualifications that were recognised by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority
Since then, advisers who remained in the industry have sat and passed the exam by the January 2022 deadline, or the October 2022 extension, and most have embarked on tertiary education to ensure they meet the requirement to hold a relevant tertiary qualification by the 1 January 2026 deadline.
"Obviously, those who meet the experienced adviser definition are not required to hold a relevant tertiary qualification, but we have found that some of them have committed to further tertiary education anyway,’ Mr Macdonald said.
For those wanting to join the profession, Mr Macdonald says the fact that they must study for tertiary qualifications at Australian Qualifications Framework level 7 or above means their knowledge is already thoroughly tested along the way.
“Hence the exam should become redundant. In essence, there will be no advisers whose competency needs further testing,” he said.
“The exam therefore becomes an unnecessary additional expense for those wanting to enter the profession, who have already heavily invested in their education.”
TAA says the cost to take the exam this year is $1500 per sitting, up from $540 plus GST in 2020, despite moving from an in-person to a wholly online exam.
Removing the exam requirement will require a change in legislation, or “no action” by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), says TAA.