Eligibility to sit the exam
To be eligible to sit the exam, you will need to be either:
- a provisional relevant provider (i.e. a new financial adviser) who has met the education and training standard set out in section 921B(2) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Corporations Act), or
- an existing provider.
Provisional relevant providers (new financial advisers)
A ‘provisional relevant provider’ is defined as a relevant provider who is undertaking work and training in accordance with section 921B(4) of the Corporations Act. See qualification, exam and professional development for more information on the professional year.
If you are a new financial adviser, ASIC will need to assess your eligibility to sit the exam before you can book for the exam. Your Australian financial services (AFS) licensee can apply for an exam eligibility number through ASIC’s Regulatory Portal: see ‘Information for AFS licensees’.
If ASIC determines that you are eligible to sit the exam, you will be issued with an exam eligibility number which you must use to book to sit the exam.
Information for AFS licensees
AFS licensees of new financial advisers who are eligible and ready to sit the exam can apply for an exam eligibility number through the ASIC Regulatory Portal by submitting an ‘Assessment of eligibility to sit exam – provisional relevant providers’ form.
When applying for an exam eligibility number, please note that ASIC can only accept a certified copy of the final academic transcript of the new financial adviser’s approved degree. The ‘Assessment of eligibility to sit exam – provisional relevant providers’ form gives you the choice of two options, either the applicant has completed a current approved degree which includes a course in ethics, or has completed a separate course in ethics. Please note that an ethics course must be completed before a new financial adviser can sit the exam. If the approved degree does not include a course in ethics, an AFS licensee should also submit a certified copy of the final academic transcript of an approved ethics for professional advisers bridging course.
Copies of final academic transcripts must be certified according to ASIC’s certification requirements, or there must be a certified copy of a letter from the educational institution confirming that the candidate has met all the requirements for award of the degree/qualification.
Certified copies of final academic transcripts must be provided before ASIC can issue the new financial adviser with an exam eligibility number. An exam eligibility number will not be issued where the new financial adviser is yet to complete an approved degree, and an approved ethics for professional advisers bridging course where required, and only interim academic transcripts are provided.
To make sure an exam eligibility number is issued in time for the new financial adviser to book for the exam, AFS licensees should apply for an exam eligibility number through the ASIC Regulatory Portal no later than 15 days before the last day of the booking period for an exam. See the exam schedule for the booking periods for upcoming exams.
An ‘existing provider’ is defined in the Corporations Act as a person who was:
- authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients on relevant financial products at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019 – that is, met the definition of ‘relevant provider’ in section 910A of the Corporations Act during that timeframe
- not banned or disqualified on 1 January 2019
- not the subject of a court enforceable undertaking on 1 January 2019.
An ‘existing provider’ also includes a person who:
- at any time between 1 January 2016 and 1 January 2019 provided personal advice in a foreign country to retail clients on relevant financial products
- is not prohibited under the law of the foreign country from providing such advice on 1 January 2019 (see section 1546A of the Corporations Act).
Existing providers who were relevant providers on 31 December 2021 were required to pass the exam before 1 January 2022.
If you have sat the exam at least twice before 1 January 2022, you will have until 1 October 2022 to re-sit and pass the exam. For more information, see Information Sheet 260 FAQs: Timeframe for passing the financial adviser exam (INFO 260).
If you are a foreign adviser who is required to sit the exam, ASIC will need to assess your eligibility to sit the exam before you can book for the exam.
ASIC will assess whether you are an ‘existing provider’ – that is, whether you are a ‘foreign existing adviser’ – before you can book for an exam.
ASIC needs evidence, such as a certificate of authorisation and/or letter of authority from the foreign jurisdiction in which you worked as an adviser, to assess whether you are a foreign existing adviser. Information sent to ASIC directly from the foreign jurisdiction’s financial services regulator is also considered evidence for our assessment purposes.
The supporting evidence should show:
- the dates when your authorisations commenced and, if relevant, when they ceased
- the year you were first authorised to provide advice
- the financial products you were authorised to provide advice on
- that you were not prohibited under the law of the foreign country from providing advice on 1 January 2019.
You can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a foreign adviser and you need to sit the exam.
After ASIC has assessed you to be a foreign existing adviser, you are issued with an exam eligibility number so you can book to sit the exam.
To make sure an exam eligibility number is issued in time for you to book for the exam, you should contact us at email@example.com and provide all required supporting evidence no later than 15 days before the last day of the booking period for an exam. See the exam schedule for the booking periods for upcoming exams.