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FSCA - CPD Industry Communication

06 June 2019 Charmaine Koch, Independent Consultant
Charmaine Koch

Charmaine Koch

On the 30th of May 2019 the FSCA published an exemption notice to the 2018 CPD Cycle which was due to end on the 31st of May 2019. A further Industry Communication 2 of 2019 confirms the following:

  1. Persons who were not compliant with the CPD requirements on the 31st of May 2019 have an extended 2 months to achieve a compliant status by the 31st of July 2019.

However, the 2019 CPD Cycle for these persons must still be met in full by the 31st of May 2020.  Therefore, as soon as a compliant status has been met, they start accumulating CPD towards the next CPD Cycle. 

  1. Persons who were compliant on the 31st of May 2019, start the 2019 CPD Cycle on the 01st of June 2019. 

The Industry Communication, then further provides detail on various CPD questions that have been posed about FSCA, as well as provides some further explanation of the requirements stipulated in Board Notice 194 of 2017.  Most of this information confirms much of what we have published throughout the year regarding CPD, relating to a planned and structured approach, the differences between Professional and Regulatory CPD requirements, record keeping, and requirements for approved CPD activities. 

CPD Pitfalls

We have however seen many pitfalls in this CPD cycle which include:

  • injustices of CPD practices;
  • lack of understanding of CPD; and
  • distractions

Injustices of CPD:

We have seen a few injustices from various sources in CPD practices relating motives, lack of planning and misinterpretation.  Many have seen CPD as a means of gaining commercially from the industry’s need for CPD activities and have therefore advertised seminars and CPD sessions at exorbitant fees.  It is important to remember that CPD need not cost massive fees.  The other motive is to provide activities which focus only on compliance content.  There have been some practices where persons are ‘advised’ to complete only certain CPD programmes offered by particular institutions which only focus on matters of compliance.  The purpose of CPD is to consider a far wider range of content, than only compliance related content.

Other injustices have related to FSP’s lack of planning and placing the responsibility purely on the Representative to keep themselves compliant.  The Board Notice 194 of 2017 is very clear that FSP’s have a responsibility to plan CPD which is again reiterated in the newly published Industry Communication 2 of 2019.

The next injustice to mention is that of misinterpretation of the Board Notice 194 of 2017, which very clearly states that the determination of relevant CPD rests at the decision of the FSP.  It is not up to compliance officers or professional bodies to confirm which activities are relevant to a particular person or groups of persons. 

Lack of Understanding

Some of these injustices have been as a result of persons and FSP’s placing a major reliance on compliance officers and professional bodies to guide and provide CPD advice and activities, because they simply have not properly understood the FSP’s responsibility regarding CPD.

Part of the FSP’s responsibility involves detailing internal processes on communicating the CPD Training plan, how activities are approved and should be recorded once completed.

If correctly understood FSP’s would then also look to activities taking place regularly which are deemed to be CPD, but not yet currently approved, and taking ownership to apply for CPD approval for such activities. 

Distractions

Professional versus Regulatory CPD has been a contentious issue from the start.  The reality is that only approximately 10% of registered KI’s and Representatives are members of professional bodies, and therefore this clarification only applies to a small group of those affected by the FSCA requirements.  It is critical that those who are members of professional bodies discern the differences between their CPD requirements for their Professional Status, and their CPD requirements for their FSCA Regulatory status.

In addition, the FSCA have not required any KI or Representative to be a professional member of a professional body.  Therefore, any professional body that pushes a membership strategy to ‘ease’ the CPD process, should be very carefully considered as often this may not achieve its purpose of clarity.

As a summary here are some key differences between Professional and Regulatory CPD requirements:

Professional

FSCA

May include non-verifiable activities

Only verifiable activities

May include product training

Cannot include product training

Can be up to 35/40 hours per annum

6 / 12 or 18 depending on Class of Business and sub-classes

May include further qualifications

Cannot include qualifications

 

Must be Professional Body approved therefore all CPD will count for professional body requirements

 Any activity you do for the FSCA will be accepted by your Professional Body, however not everything you do for your Professional CPD may count for FSCA CPD purposes. 

Success in 2019 CPD Cycle

Success in the new CPD Cycle will require FSP’s to take a good look at their policies and procedures for CPD activities and take a much more focussed approach to communicate a CPD Plan to their staff.  Such policies and procedures should include frequency of monitoring and reporting as well as consequences for non-compliance in their disciplinary processes.

It should honestly be an exception to the rule to have a person removed or debarred for a lack of CPD compliance.

Please click here to read the FSCA Communication 2 of 2019 (FAIS) CPD

Comments

Added by Andre Goethals, 07 Jun 2019
I have been horribly disappointed by the attitude of a number of “professional” representatives.
They have been spouting vitriol against CPD as if they were being forced to study nuclear physics or some esoteric issues far removed from financial planning.

The fact that they have been virulently opposed to at most spending 18 hours during a year bettering their knowledge in the industry from which they earn their living is a damning condemnation of their attitude. It shows a mindset totally at odds with achievement and staying informed. I would never support a lawyer, doctor or other medical practitioner that stops studying the day they achieve their qualifications. They would become ignorant, outdated and irrelevant.
CPD is supposed to achieve a number of outcomes, including rectifying weaknesses in your practise and knowledge. It can be fine-tuned according to your goals, and be used as a source of great value.

By spreading this across a year, you are at most required to invest 90 minutes a month in bettering yourself. A small investment with the returns limited only by your application of it.

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