FASEA exam results spark debate

Financial advisers have taken to social media to vent about the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority exam results.

While many posted screenshots of the FASEA certificate saying that they passed the exam, some advisers had questions.

Financial Standard understands that advisers did not receive a mark or a breakdown by section of the exam - they simply got a pass or fail.

Over 90% of advisers passed, but not everyone was happy about that.

Director of professional and executive education at Deakin Business School Adrian Raftery took to LinkedIn to write: "Over 90% pass rate ... If I was a policymaker the extremely high pass rate would be a slap in the face. Why make advisers go through all these hoops if virtually all of them are going to get through?"

He added that now all those who passed the exam will have to do an ethics unit - despite already passing an exam which included ethics.

Raftery called the exam a "pointless exercise".

He went so far as to say: "Purely a revenue raiser. Follow the money trail."

Director of Cooper Wealth Management Felicity Cooper responded to Raftery, saying: "I'm going to have to disagree with you on this one."

She explained: "I don't see that this exam was to get rid of a third of advisers by bellcurving the result, it is to test that advisers know their ethical and legal obligations. What it has shown (as I have long believed) is that most advisers understand both, and it is only a minority that have acted out of our professional standards."

Cooper conceded that there is likely to be an ongoing debate around adviser education.

"It may raise a further debate on whether or not the bridging course is necessary, but even there I assume (having not done it) that it will be a lot more in depth than the exam - which covered ethics, corporations law, privacy act and anti-money laundering requirements - could be," she said.

Read more: FASEAAdrian RafteryCooper Wealth ManagementFelicity Cooper
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