The Morrison Government has today passed legislation through the Parliament to provide additional time for existing financial advisers to meet the qualification and examination requirements set by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).
Existing advisers must complete the FASEA exam by 1 January 2022 (one additional year); and meet FASEA's qualification requirements by 1 January 2026 (two additional years). These changes will not apply to new advisers registered after 1 January 2019.
The extension of the exam ensures that all advisers, including rural and regional advisers, have two years to sit the exam. This is particularly important to support working parents, including those taking parental leave during the transition period, by ensuring they have sufficient time to meet the education requirements, maintaining a diverse adviser industry.
Assistant Minister Jane Hume said, “I welcome the passage of this important Bill. This will provide welcome relief to financial advisers by delivering certainty of the exam timetable. The government recognises how valuable access to quality professional financial advice is, particularly at the moment during the COVID-19 crisis. ”
“We want as many Australians as possible to access quality professional advice when they need it the most.”
The Morrison Government is raising education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers to rebuild consumer trust and confidence in the financial services sector. The new standards, set by FASEA, include compulsory education requirements for both new and existing financial advisers, supervision requirements for new advisers, a code of ethics, ongoing professional development, and an exam that represents a common benchmark across the industry.
The first exam sittings were held in June 2019 in nine locations around Australia. Since then there have been three further sittings throughout metropolitan and regional Australia. So far, 7,488 candidates have sat the exam representing 32% of advisers on ASIC’s Financial Advisers Registry.