Over 16,850 pass the Financial Adviser Exam

Oct 25, 2021Media Releases


FASEA today released exam results from the 14th Financial Advisers Exam held in September 2021.

Result highlights include:

  • Over 16,850 advisers have passed the adviser exams held to date.
  • Of those who have passed:
    • Over 14,630 are recorded as active financial advisers on ASIC FAR, representing 76% of active advisers on ASIC’s Financial Adviser Register (FAR).
    • Over 1840 are ceased advisers on the FAR and may be re-authorised.
    • Over 360 are new entrants and may be authorised as a Provisional Financial Adviser.
  • Overall, 88.5% of advisers who have sat the exam have passed.
  • To date, 2226 unsuccessful candidates have re-sat the exam with 66% passing at a re-sit.
  • 65% of candidates sitting the exam for the first time passed the September exam (compared with an average of 78% across all exams)
  • 61% of all candidates passed the September exam
  • 1312 advisers sat the September exam compared with an average of 1683 across all exams
  • 32% of candidates were resitting the exam compared to an average of 29% 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 19,034 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.  The high pass rate reflects that the Exam is an achievable exam for competent relevant providers regardless of their area of specialisation.

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 and are eligible to sit the November exam, bookings close 29 October 2021.

“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 preparation videos, 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 September exam data has highlighted areas for improvement, particularly amongst unsuccessful candidates.  Exam question areas advisers have underperformed on the September exam are set out below (categorised by curriculum areas).

Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations

  • Evaluating key documentation in terms of Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act.
  • Applying Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act 2001 when evaluating case studies and identifying responsible providers obligations and breaches of those obligations
  • Demonstrating knowledge of legal requirements for both individual and licensee.
  • 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 importance of a code of ethics.
  • Identify when and under what conditions a practitioner should refer a client.
  • 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.

Existing advisers who have sat the exam twice before 1 January 2022 have until 1 October 2022 to pass the exam. Existing advisers who have not sat the exam twice before 1 January 2022 must pass by this date.  FASEA is offering 1 final sitting in 2021 both online and in physical locations (subject to COVID protocols). Exam booking information can be found on the FASEA website (link).   Candidates who have been unsuccessful with the September Exam are eligible to register for the November exam however bookings close on the 29 October 2021.

Over 1500 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.    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.


Additional Background
The Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017 requires that all relevant providers pass an exam approved by the standards body. The relevant providers exam (the Exam) is a general exam and is a key component of parliaments reforms to raise the education, training and ethical standards of relevant providers and improve consumer confidence in the profession of financial advice

Relevant providers are classified as those advisers who provide personal financial advice to retail clients in relation to relevant financial products, e.g., financial planners, stockbrokers, SMSF advisers, aged care specialists and insurance risk advisers

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 or 1 October 2022 for existing advisers if, at least twice before 1 January 2022, the existing adviser sat an exam.

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

The Exam is a general exam that tests practical application by relevant providers on the following 3 basic competency areas that are applicable to a relevant providers role regardless of specialisation:

  1. Legal and regulatory requirements that relevant providers need to comply with when providing financial advice of any type
  2. How financial advice should be constructed
  3. How to provide financial advice in an ethical manner

The exam tests the base level of knowledge that each relevant provider is expected to have to competently provide personal financial advice to retail consumers.

FASEA, with the support of the Exam administrator (ACER), has successfully offered 14 exam sittings to date on more than 70 exam days and 980 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 sitting in 2021 which is available to all candidates including unsuccessful candidates who may re-sit irrespective of the date of their last sitting. Based on the terms and conditions of the exam, FASEA has provided individual advisers up to 9 opportunities to sit the exam between June 2019 and the end of 2021.

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.