Limiting the scheduling of financial adviser exams holds back professional year (PY) candidates because it takes them longer than one year to complete a professional year at a cost to both them and the licensee.

PY candidates are recommended to have up to six months work experience sitting the exam typically aligning to after their second quarter of the Professional Year. However, PY candidates cannot commence the third quarter of their professional year until they pass the exam.  For example, currently, a PY candidate needs 3 weeks to have the education assessed by ASIC, must register 3 weeks before the exam, wait an estimated 6-8 weeks for their result (total 3-4 months). If they fail the exam, this needs to be repeated and they cannot proceed to Quarter 3, so their PY is lengthened by at least 3 months.  

A big pain point is the inflexibility of the exam system.  The FSC has provided ASIC a proposal to make life easier professional year candidates – the people who work in advice businesses before registering as financial advisers with significant investment in time and training from licensees.  

What we’ve proposed to ASIC  

  • PY candidates sitting the exam can do so at any time before Quarter 3. 
  • The exam can be undertaken on demand or remotely. 
  • Reduced processing times and reporting on exam results. 
  • Self-registration by PY candidates. 
  • Opening up of the Financial Adviser Exam to licensee staff. 
  • Align guidance on the timing of the exam with the Corporations (Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard) Determination 2018. 
  • Further we’re proposing self-registration by candidates while opening up the Financial Adviser Exam to all licensee staff to improve professionalisation and upskilling within teams.  

We look forward to working with ASIC and the broader industry to reduce the cost of advice while supporting professionalisation.  As the number of financial advisers is expected to drop to 17,500 this year, we need to be making life easier, not harder, for the very practitioners that are the future providers of financial advice. 

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