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Meaningful CPD Planning

30 June 2018 Charmaine Koch, Independent Consultant
Charmaine Koch, Independent Consultant

Charmaine Koch, Independent Consultant

As many businesses, key individuals and representatives start gearing up for compulsory Continuing Professional Development (CPD) planning, it is important to realise that the world is your oyster and barring the restrictions of product training and qualification study, you really just need to apply some thought to what is most relevant to your environment.

I have met with many companies in the last few years and have shown them how much happens daily, within organisations, that can be recorded and registered for CPD.

There are regular meetings between technical departments, for example, that discuss trends in underwriting or claims and possible impacts thereof, and this can form part of CPD. Many however, prefer a more structured approach, and look to training providers and professional bodies to specifically offer CPD related content, besides facilitating the approval and recording platform.

The concern however, is what is relevant to the varieties and complexities of staff within an organisation that is of value?

Regulatory clarity

Whilst the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) have specific professional bodies that they are working with to discuss the technical aspects around approving and verifying CPD, one still has a wide spectrum to consider for CPD planning. The likes of the Independent Professional Body Forum signed an agreement amongst those who hold a specific standard on the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) league table to say that they would recognise CPD approved initiatives across the professional body framework.

Therefore, executives who attend sessions on risk with the Institute of Risk Management South Africa (IRMSA) or corporate governance with the Institute of Directors in Southern Africa (IoDSA) will also be able to have these sessions recorded.

Representatives needing to improve on their leadership or management skills, or junior representatives needing IT or system training can  count this for CPD purposes as per the Fit and Proper Board Notice 194 of 2017.

Companies looking to understand artificial intelligence impacts on risk, underwriting and liability can count that kind of knowledge development for CPD purposes.

A list of SAQA recognised professional bodies can be found on the SAQA website or at this link, all offering specialist CPD content.

These include:

  • Directors;
  • Accountants;
  • IT professionals;
  • Auditors;
  • Fraud examiners;
  • Risk Management;
  • Marketing;
  • HR areas;
  • Chartered secretaries;
  • Compliance officers and many more.

Factored into your CPD plan

CPD activities that are meaningful and relevant to most individuals requiring CPD in a company are just a click list away, and easy to find. Not everything comes at a cost or requires physical attendance; some events are for free and online.

Again, CPD does not have to be all local either. If you are part of an area that requires more of a global resource, there is no reason why this cannot be factored into your CPD plan.

Content that updates your knowledge and delivery to clients, and helps you provide the best service is most relevant to you and the FSCA. The board notice is specific to mention:

  • Market trends;
  • Risk information and updates;
  • Regulatory and legislative updates; and
  • Any other aspects required for your continued competent service.

Keep a record of activities

Remember that the key issues in recording CPD require:

  • An agenda of time spent;
  • Date of activity; and
  • Confirmation of completion or attendance.

Professional bodies can use this information to rate, approve and verify your activity for Fit and Proper purposes.

Whilst the dust settles it is best for you to keep a record of the activities you have completed as compliance, business and professional bodies are going to need to find ways to consolidate records.

At the moment the reporting requirement rests with the Financial Services Provider (FSP) who may need to pull records from various sources for compliance to analyse and confirm CPD compliance. So, where you can assist in providing such records to your compliance department, it will make reporting a breeze.

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