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Financial Adviser National Exam – FPS006 Examination Policy

Author – Joel Ronchi

“FPS006 Examination Policy” document was recently released in support of the DRAFT Exam Legislative Instrument and associated Explanatory Statement. Here’s some of the KEY ITEMS we know:

1. The first exam will be available from mid 2019, and it will be 3 hours 15 minutes in duration with additional 15 minutes reading time.

2. The exam allows candidates to demonstrate professional reasoning and apply knowledge acquired to financial advice scenarios at AQF7 level of reasoning. It will cover three domains of knowledge:

  • i. Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations
  • ii. Applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication
  • iii. Financial Advice Construction

3. The exam will be constructed as at least 70 questions in the examination, split between at least sixty-four (64) selected response style (multiple choice) and at least six (6) written response style (case study style). The questions will be equally split across the tested areas.

4. A candidate who has failed an exam will be able to apply for a review of the marking one time and only of the written response style questions of the exam as contemplated by the terms of registration for the exam.

5. Examinations will be scheduled quarterly from mid 2019 and bi-monthly in 2020.  FASEA may schedule additional exam times depending on demand.

6. FASEA will publish a recommended reading list & practice questions.

7. Financial (Existing) advisers that are registered on ASIC’s Register of Relevant Providers, between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019, will be required to pass the exam before 1 January 2021.

8. From 1 January 2019, individuals that are new entrants are required to pass the exam during their Professional Year. New entrants are required to pass the examination during their Professional Year before they move to indirect supervision (quarters 3 and 4, approximately 6 months into the Professional Year) as required in the Work and Training (Professional Year) Determination 2018 and FPS003 Work & Training (Professional Year) Policy.

HOWEVER, when read with point 9 (below) it suggests that a person can sit the exam ANYTIME (even outside of a Professional Year) if they “intend(s) to be registered as a ‘Provisional Relevant Provider’ after 1 January 2019.”

9. A person is eligible to sit the exam if (amongst other criteria) if … “(they have) completed an approved qualification as described in FPS001 Education Pathways Policy and intends to be registered as a ‘Provisional Relevant Provider’ after 1 January 2019.”

10. Exam resits – Individuals will be able to sit the exam multiple times. A person is eligible to sit the exam if (amongst other criteria) if … (they have) a candidate has not sat an exam within 3 months before registering for the exam.

What does all this mean in practice?

The key takeaways I see are:

  • Start planning now for when YOU will take the exam. You will only have 2 chances in 2019, and 6 or more chances in 2020.
  • Start preparing NOW. FASEA will not be running any exam preparation courses. Integrity Education WILL be RUNNING EXAM PREPARATION COURSES – watch this space!
  • You will have multiple resits, which could be read to mean unlimited resits. This may chance in the future depending on exam results so get in early and take the exam so you have access to multiple resits just in case FASEA changes its mind.
  • You can sit the exam at any time after you have completed an approved qualification as described in FPS001 Education Pathways Policy and INTEND to be registered as a ‘Provisional Relevant Provider’. You DO NOT have to wait until you are engaged in a Professional Year Program. The Professional Year reference to the exam is simply the minimum stipulation of when the exam must at least be completed.
  • Plan out YOUR OWN FASEA Personal Education Pathway Plan (PEP). This is time critical (see “It’s all about the timing” post) and you need to factor in all the variables as you develop your own, tailored PEP.

There is a lot on everyone’s plate as we head in to 2019 and if you want help in working out your options, please feel free to contact me for Career & Education Pathway Advice.

Want to read more about the FASEA Standards and the impact on Financial Planning as a career?

Find out more HERE

or visit the FASEA website