Financial Planning
FASEA exam is not fair: Spot poll

The compulsory financial adviser and curriculum examination has been branded as unfair, according to Financial Standard's latest online survey.

An overwhelming number of financial advisers (68%) said the long-awaited exam the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority outlined in November is neither fair nor reasonable.

FASEA recently unveiled the structure of the inaugural curriculum and exam set at 3.5 hours consisting of multiple choice and written answers based on open-book questions.

FASEA merged the curriculum into three modules and will focus on applied knowledge acquired in actual financial advice scenarios, testing competency areas in the Corporations Act, financial advice construction and applied ethics.

Two days later, FASEA released its draft degree requirement legislation, proposing that an existing adviser has a graduate diploma of eight subjects as a maximum requirement. The minimum requirement - those with a FASEA-approved bachelor or master degree - would undertake a bridging course on the FASEA Code of Ethics.

New entrants must have an approved bachelor's degree or AQF7 level of 24 subjects and the minimum will be an approved AQF8-level graduate diploma of eight subjects.

In response, the Association of Financial Advisers, the Financial Planning Association of Australia and the SMSF Association have all flagged FASEA's recognition of prior learning as a major talking point of the blueprint.

Essentially each industry body wants further detail on how the recognition of prior learning (RPL) will work; what study or courses will be included in this process; and the outcomes for both limited licence and experienced advisers.

Outside the RPL, the AFA said: "FASEA appear to have made some material improvements to what they had previously proposed."

Synchron director John Prossor said: "While we have yet to examine it in detail, on face value it appears reasonable."

"The increase in CPD requirements, from the current 30 hours a year to 40, will seem an impost to some advisers, however the requirement has been a fact of life for many years for those who hold the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP) designation. We therefore think 40 hours for all advisers is probably reasonable," Prossor said.

This week we ask: if the roles of APRA and ASIC should merge into one.

Read more: FASEAFinancial StandardAFAFPAJohn ProssorSynchron
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