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A quarter of candidates still failing adviser exam

Mike Taylor18 September 2023
Balancing pass and fail

Financial advisers are still struggling to pass the financial adviser exam, but the numbers who are choosing to make multiple attempts is declining.

Data provided by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has confirmed that an average of just over a quarter of candidates sitting the adviser exam over the past 12 months are sitting for a second or subsequent time.

The number of advisers sitting the exam for a second time or more peaked in February at 40% but has hovered between 24% and 30% for most of the exam sittings over the past 12 months.

While the ASIC data does not define the types of people who are failing the exam, it appears to validate the complaints of groups such as the Stockbrokers and Investments Advisers Association (SIAA) and life/risk advisers that the exam remains too focused on holistic financial advice delivery.

While groups such as the SIAA welcome the recent passage of the legislation underpinning delivery of the “experienced pathway” passing the financial adviser exam remains compulsory for those looking to continue on the Financial Adviser Register.

However, the SIAA and others have consistently argued that the financial adviser exam grew out of the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) regime which treated all financial advisers as financial planners.

It said that this was notwithstanding the differences between the financial planning advice model where advice is provided on all aspects of a client’s financial circumstances and stockbrokers and investment advisers who provide scaled advice on a client investments and shares.

Multiple sittings of the adviser exam is not a cheap prospect for advisers with ASIC have set the cost at $1,500.

Mike Taylor

Mike Taylor

Managing Editor/Publisher, Financial Newswire

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5 months ago

Has anyone asked why? It could be that the people studying for it are studying the wrong thing but no one of importance seems to have reflected on whether the test is fit for purpose. I passed it but personally believe the exam was fundamentally flawed and poorly implemented.

Ted Stapleton
5 months ago
Reply to  Scott

So very true Scott
Congrats for passing the exam. I studied for it, went to presentations on “sitting the exam” and paid six times to sit the blasted thing. And now after 40+ years I am no longer an Adviser because I failed 6 times!!! And I still don’t know where I went wrong because they don’t tell us what we got right and where we went wrong. FASEA was a farce and it destroyed the Advice Industry. Insurance companies will now fail as they did in the UK.

5 months ago

Give no clear guidance on what to study, design an exam with poorly constructed questions and give vague feedback when someone fails ensuring they don’t learn from the exercise. What could go wrong. Maybe it is time to look at the exam as the problem and not the candidates. It seems to be a revenue raising exercise rather than a learning experience.

Ted Stapleton
5 months ago
Reply to  Researcher

I am sure that many Advisors agree with you Researcher and it has affected the businesses and families of thousands of terrific men and women that loved their role in the Advice Industry (as opposed to the Financial Planning Industry). I along with possibly as many as 15,000 have had their whole world turned upside down because of the so called FASEA Exam (sadly it is not a joke). I cannot wait to see how high the Welfare cost to Tax Payers climbs as fewer and fewer people accept to be properly insured and families lose their homes and hard earned assets because there are no longer those advisers speaking to them about Protection. Most Financial Planners DO NOT DO insurance advice any longer because they are not Qualified Risk Specialists!!