Wednesday 29 May 2019

FASEA Exam for financial planners

The new, mandatory examination for Financial Planners in Australia has finally kicked off - bookings for the June session of examinations opened earlier this month and close at 5pm on Friday 31st May. I decided to enrol in the exam (I'm booked in for Sunday 23rd June), as I *should* know all the required material already, having recently completed the DFP and done financial planning and ethics subjects at uni in the past six months. There will also be some preparation materials available via Kaplan (which my AFSL provides in order for their authorised reps to complete the annual CPD requirement), which will give me a chance to revise thoroughly. The exam is being run by ACER (UNSW) and costs $594 - hopefully I pass the exam on the first attempt, as although you can resit the exam it will cost another $540+GST (ie $594) each time!

Although the exam will be held every three months this year and every two months during 2019, I've seen mention that you will only be able to register for an exam if you haven't sat for one within the past three months - and since registrations close a couple of weeks before the exam session commences, this would mean that if you fail the June exam you couldn't register for the next session in Sep 2018. And during 2019 you would only be able to resit after four months, not two.

In any event, existing (registered) financial planners have to pass the exam before 1 Jan 2021, or they will then have to pass the 'new planner' registration requirements - which would include doing 12 months of supervised professional experience!

The exam 'pass' mark is 'credit level' (ie. 65%), but as the exam (70 Qs to do in 3 hr 15 mins, after 15 mins 'reading time') consists mostly of multiple choice questions I'm hoping it isn't too hard compared to a typical university exam. It probably will be a bit of a shock to existing planners that have been in the industry for many years and don't have any tertiary qualifications. The exam is also 'open book' in terms of having the relevant statutory materials available (presumably on the dedicated computers that the exams are being run on during 2018-19.

Anyhow, as soon as I finished off my uni exam on 11th June I'll get stuck into revising for the FASEA exam. Then I'll have to get cracking on finishing off the ADFP I've also enrolled in (but haven't yet started).

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