October 16, 2018
The Financial Advisers Exam proposed by FASEA will be open book in the area of the Corporations Act, according to the Assistant Treasurer, Stuart Robert, who told advisers that it was unreasonable to expect them to remember the relevant parts of the Act.
Addressing attendees at the recent AFA National Adviser Conference, Robert said the competency exam proposed by FASEA “would set a standard that the industry is professional…and establishes a strong benchmark to build on”.
He said advisers have already had to sit exams to attain the RG 146 standards and the advice sector “…should not get too wrapped around the axles about an exam”.
“No one expects you to remember chapter seven of the Corporations Act…”
“It is reasonable to conclude if there is an exam, and there will be an exam, it will be open book. No one expects you to remember chapter seven of the Corporations Act, and those things will need to be provided to you,” Robert said.
When questioned if similar education standards had been applied to other advisory professions, Robert said he would examine the current proposals to ensure the standards for financial advisers were on par with other sectors.
“If we are looking at the Law Society, CPA, Chartered Accountants or IPA, they all have range of study and requirement for CPD, and without speaking with FASEA, I will be looking at those requirements to ensure those of your industry are not greater” he said.
Earlier in his comments, Robert said he and FASEA had agreed on recognition of prior learning that would provide some advisers with four credits towards the eight needed to attain a graduate diploma required under the FASEA education proposals (see: FASEA Win for Advisers).
Speaking to media immediately after his address to conference attendees, Robert also indicated the Federal Government was likely to stick with the commission program of the Life Insurance Framework rather than a move to zero commissions proposed by the Financial Services Royal Commission (see: Royal Commission Questions Ongoing Use of Life Insurance Commissions).
“Without pre-supposing what the Royal Commission will say, as a general rule, once policy is implemented – unless it is found to be not working – we will let it run for a little while and then review it,” Robert said.
“If the Royal Commission has a different view, we will look at that view and why they hold that position, and make decisions and determinations based on that,” he added, saying, “As a general rule, we will always let a change run its course…unless something egregious is found, and we have to step in”.