In 2018, the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry landed.

This played out through the year, and when finalised in February 2019, left a reconfigured Australian financial landscape in its wake — and the careers of more than 25,000 financial advisers in this country in question.

The commission found that previous FoFA reforms of financial advising were lacking. The quality of advice, handling of conflicts and remuneration models still needed work. Financial advising was to become truly a profession.


So, what happens now?

New rules, wrapped in the package of FASEA — the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority — have been introduced that demand compliance with a code of ethics and require existing financial advisers to update their qualifications in order to both practise and maintain professional standing.

One of the main determinates in this centres on an important three-subject exam set down by FASEA — an essential component of the educational qualifications that all financial advisers now must pass in order to provide personal advice to clients.

The FASEA exam is a three hour exam plus 15 minutes reading, consisting of 70 questions comprising 64 multiple choice and six short written answers. FASEA will hold the exam sittings approximately every two months over the next two years.

Sitting 4 will be held 13 – 18 February 2020, in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart, Gold Coast, Wollongong, Cairns, Ballarat, Launceston, Port Macquarie, Traralgon, Tamworth, Townsville, Newcastle.

Registration period for Sitting 4: closed on 24 January 2020.

Sitting 5 will be held 2 – 7 April in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Townsville, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Hobart, Gosford, Sunshine Coast, Geelong, Toowoomba, Bunbury, Mackay, Geraldton, Wagga Wagga, Coffs Harbour.

Registration period for Sitting 5:  2 January 2020 – 13 March 2020.

Sitting 6 will be held 11 to 16 June 2020 in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin, Hobart, Townsville, Gold Coast, Newcastle, Wollongong, Cairns, Bendigo, Albury/Wodonga, Rockhampton, Port Macquarie and Orange.

Registration period for Sitting 6:  2 March 2020 – 22 May 2020.

The FASEA exam is held in an approved centre on computers provided, allowing electronic access to statutory legislation and certain other materials published by ASIC and other regulators as specified by FASEA.

To pass, advisers need to demonstrate a strong working knowledge and ability to apply to situations, in three areas:

1. Regulatory and Legal Obligations

2. Applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication, and

3. Financial advice construction.

“The content covered, workbook and exercises done throughout the day including case studies, were all excellent.” —Blue Path FASEA Exam preparation workshop, attendee comment (Sydney workshop)


Take the exam

Register now for the FASEA exam.

September 2019

Register now for the FASEA exam.

What you need to know

The FASEA exam focuses on three main financial and ethical areas, which will be covered in our program.

These areas are Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations, Applied Ethical and Professional Reasoning and Communication and Financial Advice Construction.

Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations

  • Identify the obligations of relevant providers under Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act 2001
  • Articulate the importance of a Statement of Advice (SOA) and identify the essential requirements required under Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act
  • Articulate the consequences of breaching their financial disclosure obligations under Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act
  • Understand the requirements of the notification obligations for breaches of Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act
  • Compare and contrast legal requirements for individual and licensee
  • Apply legal requirements for AML/CTF legislation when providing advice
  • Apply legal requirements for Privacy legislation when providing advice
  • Articulate the requirements for compliance with the Tax Agents Services Act 2009 requirements as a registered Tax Adviser

Applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication

  • Explain the requirements specified in the FASEA Code
  • Articulate the importance of a code of ethics and why financial planners/advisers need to work and abide by the approved code in the context of professional standards.
  • Apply ethical frameworks to address issues and dilemmas that are encountered as a financial planner/adviser
  • Identify and demonstrate the importance of a relevant provider acting with Integrity and in the best interests of each of their clients
  • Evaluate the need for due diligence and the need to maintain client files and records

Financial Advice Construction

  • Define the environment in which financial product advice is sought and given for new and existing clients
  • Explain the need to prevent and avoid misconduct and inappropriate advice
  • Broadly understand population and community profiles at a retail client level
  • Identify different types of consumer behaviour and decision making
  • Evaluate and apply advice strategies suitable for different retail clients

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