Financial adviser exam
From 1 January 2022, ASIC will begin administering the financial adviser exam. The exam was previously administered by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).
ASIC has contracted the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) to develop and administer the exam.
Who needs to pass the exam
Financial advisers who are ‘existing providers’ or new financial advisers must pass the financial adviser exam to comply with the professional standards for financial advisers. Passing this exam is one of the education and training standards specified in section 921B of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act).
A new financial adviser must:
- complete an approved degree (see Treasury's Financial Adviser Standards website at fas.treasury.gov.au) before booking the exam
- pass the exam before starting the third quarter of their professional year, being authorised by an Australian financial services (AFS) licensee as a ‘provisional financial adviser’.
For more information on exam eligibility for new financial advisers, existing providers and foreign advisers, see Eligibility to sit the exam.
For information on the required timeframes for existing providers to pass the exam, see Information Sheet 260 FAQs: Timeframe for passing the financial adviser exam (INFO 260).
About the exam
The Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response – Better Advice) Act 2021 (Better Advice Act) requires ASIC to administer the exam in accordance with the principles approved by the Minister. The Minister prescribes the format of the exam in the Corporations (Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard) Determination 2021.
The exam tests the practical application of a financial adviser’s knowledge in the following competency areas:
- financial advice regulatory and legal requirements, including obligations under Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act, the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006, the Privacy Act 1988 and the Tax Agent Services Act 2009
- financial advice construction – that is, suitability of advice aligned to different consumer groups, incorporating consumer behaviour and decision making
- applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication, incorporating the Financial Planners and Advisers Code of Ethics 2019 (Code of Ethics).
The duration of the exam has been set at 3.5 hours, including reading time of 15 minutes. The exam consists of multiple choice and written response questions and is open book for statutory materials.
See Financial adviser exam: Examination policy at Resources: Financial adviser exam for further information on what the exam covers and the exam format.
Preparing for the exam
The purpose of the exam is to assess your competencies as a new financial adviser undertaking your professional year, or as an existing provider.
The exam has been designed to reflect the competencies required to provide quality personal advice to retail clients by assessing the knowledge areas outlined above.
Visit Resources: Financial adviser exam for the following material which may be useful in preparing for the exam:
- Financial adviser exam: Exam preparation guidance
- The financial adviser exam: FG004 Practice question guidance
- exam preparation videos.
For more information about the exam, see:
- Eligibility to sit the exam
- Book to sit the exam
- Resources: Financial adviser exam
- FAQs: Financial adviser exam.
Who can I contact if I have a further query about the exam?
You can contact ACER at firstname.lastname@example.org regarding any queries about booking and sitting the exam, and to request a re-mark of the written response questions.
You can contact us if you have any other queries about the exam.