Regulatory Exams – how to prepare

Are you, as a financial advisor prepping for your RE exam, feeling intimidated by the changes introduced on 1 April 2018?

The updated version of the regulatory examinations, based on the new Qualifying Criteria became effective from 3 April 2018. It is therefore very important for exam candidates to ensure that they use the updated preparation material that is aligned with the qualifying criteria in Annexure Five of Board Notice 194 of 2017.

The FSCA (old FSB) regularly updates the Preparation Guide for Regulatory Examinations (RE 1 and RE 5). Click here to download the latest version dated 17 April 2018.

The Preparation guide explains how to read the Qualifying criteria and lists the resources that candidates need to access as reference material. Your study material therefore should include the Preparation Guide, Qualifying Criteria and all applicable legislation.

Some background on the Qualifying criteria

The qualifying criteria provide the basis of knowledge and skills against which the regulatory examinations are set. The qualifying criteria were developed in a process of consultation between the FSB (now FSCA) and industry representatives, spanning from 2006 to 2008.

Only questions based on these criteria will be included in the exams. The qualifying criteria were originally published in Board Notice 105 of 2008, and amendments were published as below:

BN 151 Gazette 31755 29 December 2008 w.e.f. 31 December 2008
BN 64 Gazette 32268 29 May 2009
BN 95 Gazette 32496 17 August 2009
BN 44 Gazette 33052 26 March 2010
BN 60 Gazette 33166 12 May 2010
BN 194 Gazette 41321 15 December 2017

What do I need to access as resource material?

  • The FAIS Act as amended by the Financial Services Laws General Amendment Act 45 of 2013
  • General Code of Conduct
  • FIC Act (FICA)
  • Applicable Board notices

In the Appendix of the Preparation guide all the resource material is mapped to the criteria.

I have access to all the material, what steps do I follow to prepare for the exam?

In the Preparation Guide the FSCA shares 6 steps that will work most effectively for examination preparation – here is a summary of the steps:

Step 1: Refer to the mapping document for the exam you are planning to write. (Appendix A in the Preparation Guide)

Step 2: Look at the number of criteria for each task (RE 1 has 16 tasks that will be tested RE 5 has 8 tasks that will be tested).

Step 3: To prepare for the exam, you must spend time each day and study the legislation and supporting training material. One should systematically select one criteria at a time. (allocate study hours per day to prepare)

Step 4: To start, read the task, and then the first criteria. Then refer to the legislation for these criteria, and read the legislation referred to.

Step 5: Now refer to the additional support or training material (for example the INSETA training material) and study the section in the training material dealing with those particular criteria.

Step 6: Then go back to the legislation itself, and read it again.

Of course, if you are in a position to attend training, so much the better. Just make sure that the trainer has updated his or her study material with the latest Preparation Guide.


5 Responses to Regulatory Exams – how to prepare

  1. bianca pather 24 April 2018 at 3:24 pm #

    if i already have my NQF 5 . which i received in 2018 and completed in 2017. do i require to write a faise exam?

    • Paul Kruger 2 May 2018 at 1:03 pm #

      That will depend on your job function. Please contact our call centre on 021 883 8000 or by email to

  2. Ashika 25 April 2018 at 6:16 am #

    Where can I get fais training an how much does it course

    • Paul Kruger 2 May 2018 at 1:02 pm #

      Hi Ashika. As a FSB approved exam body, we are not allowed, under our mandate from the FSB, to recommend training providers. We have just learnt that the Inseta material will be available in the next day or two. Please follow updates in our newsletters.

  3. Paul Kruger 2 May 2018 at 12:59 pm #

    Hi Gugu. No, some of the content changed, but it is neither more difficult, nor easier.

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