The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA) has scrapped face-to-face sittings of the April financial adviser exam due to the “unprecedented nature” and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“FASEA recognises the challenges presented by COVID-19 on the delivery of face-to-face exams,” the authority said.
“FASEA advises that the April 2020 face-to-face sittings of its adviser exam are cancelled due to these challenges.”
It noted the face-to-face sittings of the April exam would be substituted with remote online options to allow advisers to meet the deadline for complying with their education requirements.
“FASEA is conscious of the need to continue to offer exams through the remainder of 2020 to enable existing advisers to meet the legislated time frame,” it said.
The exam provider, the Australian Council for Educational Research, would ensure the April exam was available as a remote online option for registered candidates, regardless of distance to exam centres, FASEA added.
Candidates registered for the April exam would also have the option of deferring the exam until June or a later sitting, it said.
“This measure is being taken in light of the evolving COVID-19 pandemic and in the best interest of all people involved with the exam,” it said.
It also called on licensees to take a “supportive approach” towards continuing professional development (CPD) compliance in light of the challenges posed by COVID-19.
Licensee CPD programs with online learning options such as video conferencing or webinar technology would be effective solutions to overcoming the challenge of delivering face-to-face CPD offerings, it pointed out.
“FASEA understands that delivery of face-to-face CPD offerings may be difficult,” it said.
“In the current extraordinary circumstance, licensees will no doubt be reviewing and, where appropriate, adjusting their CPD policy to include appropriate provisions.”
FASEA launched a remote exam monitoring solution in January, allowing advisers who live more than 150 kilometres from an exam centre to sit the FASEA exam.