New FASEA guidelines released

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has said that financial advisers will be able to achieve four credits for holding an Advanced Diploma of Financial Planning and an industry designation. The focus of the financial adviser exam is also to be re-centred.

Advisers holding the diploma alone would be eligible for two course credits, while designations of Certified Financial Planners (CFP) and Fellow Chartered Financial Planner (FChFP) would get the further two credits.

Timeframes have been put into place as to when those designations become eligible:

  • CFP - after 2007 - eligible

  • FChFP - after 2014 - eligible

No timeframe has been mentioned regarding when an adviser did their diploma. The final standards to are to be released within months.

Entering financial advice from another graduate degree

There are other methods for those who already have a degree in another discipline, with new entrants required to complete an eight-unit Graduate Diploma, with recognition of prior learning available to reduce units where applicable.

Existing advisers with no training must complete the graduate diploma, and those with non-relevant degrees must complete seven units or less by 1 January 20124.

Any new advisers without formal education must hold a Bachelor Degree, and all advisers must complete one unit on FASEA’s Code of Ethics.

Update on the adviser exam

FASEA announced some key changes to its exam, taking it from five sections to three, which focus on applied knowledge in real-life scenarios. The three sections include the Corporations Act, financial advice construction, and ethical and professional reasoning and communication.

The exam will be 3.5 hours with multiple choice and written response questions, with some parts to be open book. Exam resits can be taken.

Other changes to the proposed framework

  • CPD hours is to be set at 40 hours per year, instead of the original 50 hours, with 70 per cent approved by the licensee.

  • New advisers practising in their first professional year will be named a Provisional Financial Adviser/Planner and must work 1,600 hours, with 100 hours of structured training