ASIC exam still on the cards

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ASIC announced yesterday that they will delay the introduction of their national exam for financial advisers “to allow appropriate time for other reforms to be implemented in the financial advice sector.”

The regulator says it will continue to explore options to start the exam at an appropriate time after FoFA reforms have been bedded down. ASIC released the consultation paper on the proposed exam about two years ago, proposing that:

  1. All new and existing financial advisers who provide Tier 1 financial advice pass a Financial Services Competency Certification exam (Entry Stage)
  2. All new financial advisers following Entry Stage to be supervised by a supervisor (who has at least 5 years’ experience in the industry) for a minimum period of 1 year full time or equivalent
  3. All financial advisers to undertake a Knowledge Update Review every three years on changes to laws, market issues and new products; and
  4. On-going continuing professional development requirements

The exam proposal is part of a push for financial planning to be seen as a profession, by having "consistent national standards" for planners.

Wealth Professional’s poll last week asked you what you thought should be required to become a financial planner and the most popular vote at 43% was for a mandatory degree. A quarter of respondents said RG146 was enough, while 20% said you should need a number of years’ experience. Twelve percent called for something completely new.

Feedback from the sector for ASIC’s exam has been mixed, with associations such as the FPA, FSC and Australia New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF) saying the exam will create unintended costs for the clients.

ANZIIF expressed concerns in a submission on the proposal that the exam would make RG146 ineffective. “Although it states that RG146 will be maintained for the moment, CP 153’s proposals seem likely to result in either a complete or partial by-pass of that investment and its outcomes, especially with regard to requiring existing advisers to sit the examination.”

Do you think an adviser exam is a good idea for the profession? Share your thoughts below.

  • GAB on 23/04/2013 11:24:35 AM

    Matthew...as far as i'm aware those junket conferences are packed full of workshops, doesnt matter what the adviser gets up to in their passtime. Ive been to heaps of those glorius breakfasts and in every instance it's non-stop education from the time you sit down to the time you leave. I also studied freakin hard externally for like 12 years whilst working fulltime. Stuffed if i want to be insulted by sitting an annual exam on top of the existing ongoing accreditation.The only people benefiting from this are the education providers.We're being treated like school kids held back on detention.

  • Adrian on 23/04/2013 11:05:01 AM

    CPD points should be earned...not given away. Agree with Mat and Pat.

  • Let's get real on 19/04/2013 11:05:38 PM

    A real love in on here isn't it! Some people just really love exams it seems.

  • Matthew Ross on 16/04/2013 10:34:47 PM

    I agree with Pat....!

  • Pat on 16/04/2013 10:14:45 AM

    Once again, agree with Matthew: turn up to active manager A's breakfast, hear about why they have outperformed over the carefully selected date period, hear about their good stock picks and the token bad pick, have some sausages, hash browns and grilled tomato and wacko, 1.5 CPD points.

  • Matthew Ross on 15/04/2013 9:31:26 PM

    GAB, those CPD points can be earned by turning up to glorious breakfasts and boozy conferences. Time to raise the bar and start acting like a profession.

  • GAB on 15/04/2013 12:38:24 PM

    Don't we already do 30 to 40 points of mandatory training every year to keep our license? A national test won't stop bad or biased advice. Neither will a course on ethics. "OMG I've just passed this ethics subject, didn't realize how evil I was".

  • Lindsay on 15/04/2013 12:32:14 PM

    We have been completing exams continuously since 1994. Quite often weekly for Dealership's and Industry/Government requirements. Many Advisers I know spend well over 200 hours a year on accreditations, technical/ legislative workshops, Dealership meetings/conferences and obligatory minimum of continuing education. We pay Dealerships to ensure our Compliance and education is up to the standards set by the ASIC and that should be all. The ASIC could investigate Dealerships and if they find that their Standards are not met, then the Dealership could be banned and the Advisers move to a more compliant Dealership. As said by many people, there will always be some Advisers who do not put their Clients' interests first and that will not change no matter how much you examine these people. Let us all just focus on integrity and assisting our Clients with financial and lifestyle advice to meet their goals and objectives!

  • Pat on 15/04/2013 11:49:42 AM

    Agree with Matthew - CFPs who received their designation through tenure rather than qualifications and skills should be tested. I have worked with a couple of CFPs who received their designation on this basis who, really, shouldn't be giving advice. They don't do anything specifically illegal, but their basis course of advice is to gear up against equity in the home and invest in shares.

  • Matthew Ross on 12/04/2013 9:37:01 PM

    Great idea, for everyone. No one should be exempt from the exam, even those that got handed CFP status without having to do any extra study.

  • Two Young Advisers on 12/04/2013 2:32:00 PM

    Just another dumb idea to bog us down in even more red tape to keep a conflicted government happy and keep a bunch of worthless beauracrats in job. Give us a break and let us get back to looking after our clients which is what we love to do and we are by teh way very good at. Stop pandering to the lowest common denominator's shortfalls and punishing the rest of us, the vast majority who do the right thing.

  • Ian on 12/04/2013 9:43:23 AM

    I think the exam is a good idea for those advisers/planners that have only completed RG146. For those that have gone to the length of attaining CFP or Masters etc I don't think it is necessary.

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