ASIC, financial advice

Exam changes to be implemented

ASIC Financial adviser exam

Changes to the content of the financial adviser exam proposed by the government will go ahead and apply to the next sitting in March.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will implement recently proposed changes to the financial adviser exam after they were registered by the federal government.

ASIC stated the changes, which will remove the short-answer questions in favour of more multiple-choice questions and remove the limit of who can sit the exam, were registered on 18 January and will apply to all future sittings.

“The next exam will be held on 26 March 2024 and will reflect the changes. All candidates will be held to the same standard as for previous exams,” the corporate regulator stated.

The regulator’s updated guidance regarding the exam for financial advisers and Australian financial services licensees, in line with the Corporations (Relevant Providers – Education and Training Standards) Amendment (2024 Measures No 1) Determination 2024, was now available on its website.

The changes were first proposed in mid-December last year and open to consultation until 10 January 2024, and were supported by the Financial Advice Association Australia, which stated they would make the exam more objective.

The SMSF Association also supported the changes, but called on the government to reduce the cost of the exam, noting it had increased from $597 per sitting in 2019 to its current rate of $1500.

CPA Australia and Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand also supported the changes, but called for the removal of the exam as it was now not needed.

The two bodies highlighted that all advisers currently providing personal financial advice to retail clients have completed the exam and given new entrants to the advice sector must be educated to at least an Australian Qualifications Framework level 7 standard, the test was no longer necessary.

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