Over 16,000 pass the Financial Adviser Exam

Aug 31, 2021Media Releases


FASEA today released exam results from the 13th Financial Advisers Exam held in July 2021.

Result highlights include:

  • Over 16,030 advisers have passed the adviser exams held to date.
  • Of those who have passed:
    • 14,070 are recorded as active financial advisers on ASIC FAR, representing 73% of active advisers on ASIC’s Financial Adviser Register (FAR).
    • Over 1650 are ceased advisers on the FAR and may be re-authorised.
    • Over 310 are new entrants and may be authorised as a Provisional Financial Adviser.
  • Overall, 88% of advisers who have sat the exam have passed.
  • To date, 1932 unsuccessful candidates have re-sat the exam with 65% passing at a re-sit.
  • 69% of candidates sitting the exam for the first time passed the July exam (compared with an average of 81% across all exams)
  • 60% of all candidates passed the July exam
  • 1963 advisers sat the exam compared with an average of 1474 across all exams
  • 30% of candidates were resitting the exam compared to an average of 20% in recent exams
  • The exam was subject to ACER’s comprehensive marking approach and was set at a consistent standard to prior exams, and the pass rate varies with each exam.

“FASEA congratulates successful candidates on completing an important component of their education requirements under the Corporations Act.

Over 18,140 advisers have sat the exam with approximately 9 in 10 demonstrating they have the skills to apply their knowledge of advice construction, ethics and legal requirements to the practical scenarios tested in the exam.

In recognition of their achievement, passing candidates who give consent, will have their names added to the successful candidates list on the FASEA website (link)” FASEA Chief Executive Officer Stephen Glenfield said.

Candidates who were unsuccessful in this exam will receive additional individual feedback to highlight the curriculum areas where they have underperformed.  They will also receive an invitation to a FASEA led webinar to help them understand their results and provide guidance on how to prepare for their next sitting.

“FASEA encourages unsuccessful candidates and future candidates to access the range of tools available to assist advisers preparing for the exam, FASEA provides preparation resources, including practice questions, online at:  Feedback received from past re-sit participants of the exam indicated these resources were useful for their preparation,” FASEA Chief Executive Officer Stephen Glenfield said.

Further analysis of the July exam data has highlighted areas for improvement, particularly amongst unsuccessful candidates.  Exam question areas advisers have underperformed on the July exam are set out below (categorised by curriculum areas).

Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations

  • Demonstrating knowledge of when practitioners are required by law to provide a retail client with key documentation e.g. FSG/SOA etc
  • Demonstrating knowledge of the components of key advice documentation that is provided to the client
  • Evaluating case studies and identifying breaches of financial disclosure obligations
  • Applying relevant sections of the Corporations Act when identifying responsible provider obligations, including breaches of those obligations
  • Applying Tax Agents Services Act 2009 requirements to scenarios and identifying compliance and non-compliance.

Applied Ethical and Professional Reasoning and Communication

  • Demonstrating an understanding of the relationship of FASEA code to professionalism of entire industry.
  • Applying best interests duty and associated obligations to clients in scenario based problems.
  • Identifying sources of judgement and biases and their influence on financial advice

Financial Advice Construction

  • Demonstrating an understanding of the context in which financial advice is given and requested and how this impacts decision making.
  • Identifying inappropriate advice and how to comply with the Code of Ethics

The Corporations Act requires that existing advisers have until the end of 2021 to pass the exam.  FASEA is offering 2 further sittings in 2021 both online and in physical locations (subject to COVID protocols). Exam booking information can be found on the FASEA website (link).

Over 1700 advisers have booked for the September exam, to be held in metropolitan and regional locations (subject to COVID protocols) and online from 9 to 14 September 2021.    FASEA encourages all candidates undertaking the exam using the remote offering to ensure they have understood and completed the steps required for a smooth experience, refer to the Remote Proctor Guide and ensure you watch the remote proctoring video, check the technical requirements, remove any incompatible software and undertake the practice exam.

Over 320 advisers have booked for the November exam, to be held in metropolitan and regional locations (subject to COVID protocols) and online from 11 to 16 November 2021, bookings close on 29 October 2021.

Additional Background
Section 921B (3) of the Corporations Act 2001 requires advisers to pass an exam approved by the standards setting body. The Act requires existing advisers to pass the exam before 1 January 2022.

On the 24 June 2021 the Minister for Superannuation, Financial services and the Digital Economy and the Minister for Women’s Economic Security announced the Government’s intention to extend the transition date to 30 September 2022 for existing relevant providers who have attempted the exam unsuccessfully at least twice prior to 1 January 2022.

New entrants are required to pass the exam before becoming a Provisional Relevant Provider.

The exam tests three domains of knowledge and skill:

  • financial advice regulatory and legal obligations
  • applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication: and
  • financial advice construction

FASEA, with the support of the Exam administrator (ACER), has successfully offered 13 exam sittings to date on more than 65 exam days and 927 exam sessions. Since June 2019, exams have been offered in capital cities and in 23 regional locations across Australia (with the April and June 2020 exams being remote only exams due to COVID-19 restrictions).

Candidates are required to demonstrate professional reasoning and apply knowledge acquired to financial advice scenarios at AQF7 level of reasoning.

FASEA is offering one further exam sittings in 2021 which is available to all candidates including unsuccessful candidates who may re-sit irrespective of the date of their last sitting.

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority Limited was established in 2017 to set the education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers in Australia.



The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority Limited was established in 2017 to set the education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers in Australia.