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Financial Adviser Examination

This consultation process has now been completed

11/07/2018 - 31/07/2018


The examination is an essential component of the educational qualifications that all advisers will need to pass before they can provide personal advice to retail clients.

Advisers that are registered as authorised representatives prior to 31 December 2018 will be required to pass the examination before 1 January 2021. From January 2019, new entrants or those returning to the industry are required to pass the exam after they have completed their tertiary degree, and before commencement of their professional year.

The Standards Authority proposes that the exam will test the practical application of adviser knowledge in the following competency areas:

  • Corporations Act (emphasis on Chapter 7 - financial services and markets)
  • The FASEA Code of Ethics
  • Behavioural finance - client and consumer behaviour, engagement and decision making
  • Financial advice construction – suitability of advice aligned to different consumer groups
  • Applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication

The guidance also proposes that the exam will have a mix of multiple choice and short answer questions. Advisers will be given two opportunities to re-sit the exam if they fail to achieve a pass mark.

Consultation Feedback

The Standards Authority welcomes feedback on any aspect of the proposed examination, Submissions for this proposed guidance will close 5pm 31 July 2018. 

Consultation Interests of FASEA

The Standards Authority is interested in your specific feedback on:

Section 3: Exam Scope & Curriculum 

Proposal: FASEA proposes the exam allows candidates to demonstrate professional reasoning and apply knowledge acquired to actual financial advice scenarios at AQF7 level.  Skills to be examined are detailed in Section 3.

  • Questions
  • S3.1 Do you agree with the scope of the proposed examination? If not, why not?
  • S3.2. Is the proposed scope of the exam appropriate for new entrants? If not, why not?
  • S3.3 Is the proposed scope of the exam appropriate for existing advisers? If not, why not?


Section 4:  Exam Format 

Proposal: FASEA proposes the following parameters:

-A total of 75 questions - split between a maximum of seventy (70) selected response and a minimum of five (5) written response questions

-Proportion of questions testing each domain of the curriculum

-The duration of the examination is expected to be between 3 to 4 hours

-A scaled passing score of 65% overall and a minimum pass mark in each knowledge area

Further details in Section 4.

  • Questions
  • S4.1 Is the type and mix of questions proposed for the exam appropriate ( ie. selected vs written)? If not, why not?
  • S4.2  Is the curriculum proposed to be covered appropriate? If not, why not?
  • S4.3  Is the proposed duration of the exam appropriate? If not, why not?
  • S4.4  Is the proposed overall scaled pass mark of 65%, and the additional individual knowledge area pass requirements appropriate? Should the Code of Ethics knowledge area pass mark be set at 75% or other level and the other knowledge area at 50% or other level? 


Section 5: Sitting the Exam and Delivery Mode

Proposal: FASEA proposes that the:

- Candidate meets the relevant criteria to be able to sit the exam.

-Candidates have a maximum of 2 resits per individual with a defined period between each resit. In addition, candidates can apply for a resit in exceptional circumstances.

-Exam will be in face to face locations, with the option of online delivery with periodic availability to a set timetable

See section 5 for more details.

  • Questions
  • S5.1 Is the proposed number of resits appropriate? If not, why not? 
  • S5.2 Is the proposed mode and frequency of delivery appropriate? If not, why not? 


Section 7 : Additional Needs

Proposal: FASEA proposes that candidates with a disability or other special needs will be able to request support to provide appropriate assistance to allow them to sit the examination. See section 7 for more details.

  • Question
  • S7.1 Are the proposed arrangements in relation to additional needs appropriate? If not, why not?


Section 8:  Special Considerations

Proposal:FASEA proposes Special consideration is available to candidates who are unable to sit or complete an examination due to exceptional circumstance beyond their control with All applications submitted in writing within 14 working days of the date of the examination (depending on the nature of the request).

  • Question
  • S8.1 Are the proposed arrangements in relation to special considerations appropriate? If not, why not?



Your feedback on this consultation paper will assist FASEA to finalise the development of a Standard for the financial adviser examination. 
Submissions must be provided in writing. To ensure your submission is valid, please email it to our dedicated consultations email address (consultation@fasea.gov.au).

Due date for submission: 5pm 31 July 2018