Advisers that have sat and failed the FASEA adviser exam at least twice at year’s end will have a further 9 months to pass after being granted an extension as part of the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Better Advice) Bill.
First announced in a LinkedIn post by the minister for superannuation, financial services and the digital economy, Jane Hume, the “one time, limited extension” will give eligible advisers at least one further opportunity to pass the exam.
After the government already agreed to extend the exam cut-off date by 12 months last year due to the pandemic, Hume again noted the disruption covid has caused advisers, many who’ve been forced to sit the exam through remote proctoring services.
“Today, acknowledging the effects of a 1 in 100 year pandemic and the disruption it has caused to lives and businesses, the Morrison Government has announced very limited changes to FASEA exam requirements,” Hume posted around midday.
A joint media release from Hume and treasurer Josh Frydenberg approximately two hours later confirmed the nine-month extension window.
“The Bill will also give the Minister the power to extend the cut‑off date for certain existing financial advisers to pass the exam,” the release states. “The Government will use the power to extend the cut‑off date to 30 September 2022 for advisers who have attempted the exam twice prior to 1 January 2022.”
The minister’s office has since confirmed to Professional Planner that the extension will be available to advisers who’ve failed “at least” twice.
The Bill in question will also push forward some of the other important reforms stemming from the Hayne royal commission, including the formation of the industry’s single disciplinary body within ASIC and the transfer of FASEA’s functions over to Treasury.
While the extension will come as welcome relief to some, Hume advisers to try and pass the exam as soon as possible rather than kick the can down the road.
“Please do not delay – these exemptions will be very limited,” she stated. “Sit the exam as soon possible.”
Hume’s LinkedIn post notes that costs and timings for the extra sitting(s) are yet to be confirmed.
5,500 to go
According to FASEA, over 13,500 adviser had passed the exam at early June with four sittings remaining. One of those four exam sittings has been and gone, with the results yet to be released.
“With close to 1900 advisers recently sitting the May 2021 exam and over 1500 already registered for July, coverage will shortly be over 70 per cent,” FASEA stated at the senate economics committee on June 2.
If this prediction is accurate there should be around 14,000 to 14,500 qualified advisers with three exam sittings to go before the end of the year, leaving around 5,500 unqualified.