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Regulatory Exams: Service providers stand by you

01 February 2011 FAnews

The regulatory examinations (RE) present quite a challenge for many brokers. Fortunately, help is at hand from numerous service providers - all that’s left for brokers is to participate in the processes designed by the experts.

All key individuals and representatives will have to write a minimum of two regulatory exams: Level 1 (RE 1) which covers general compliance and has a deadline of December 2011, and Level 2 (RE 2), which is product-specific, with a December 2013 deadline.

What is covered in RE 1: The FAIS Act?

• Fit and Proper requirements.
• The ability to apply knowledge in terms of the supervision requirements for ongoing training and development, obligations in terms of the Code of Conduct and debarment.
• Ability to apply knowledge of compliance, auditing and record keeping, as well as advertising and adherence to FICA.
• Ability to apply knowledge of the legal environment, including the liquidity, capital, compliance and record keeping requirements of the FSP.


Act NOW!

Brokers should aim to write these exams as soon as possible, in case there is any need to repeat them, given that more than 100 000 regulatory examinations will have to be written before the end of 2011. The financial implications of this examination are also not to be underestimated.

Financial implications

• Representatives/key individuals will lose production time while preparing for the examination.
• The fee of R900 for the examination will lead to considerable direct expense.
• The failure of this exam will negatively impact on the morale of representatives/key individual and thus their productivity.
• Representatives/key individuals who do not pass the exam will not be allowed to trade! It may not be possible to rewrite the exam this year due to the sheer number of people that must write the exam on limited dates and at limited venues.

HELP IS AT HAND…

…from the Financial Intermediaries Association of Southern Africa (FIA)

• All members are kept updated on every development in respect of the regulatory exams. Since publication of the new Fit and Proper requirements in 2008, a total of 31 communications were sent to FIA members informing them of the new requirements.

• Members can direct all queries with regard to the regulatory exams to the FIA compliance service and receive a response within 24 hours.

• The FIA hosted road shows countrywide during which the REs were explained and the FSB, Moonstone and INSETA clarified their roles in the process.

• The topic was discussed during branch visits throughout the country.

• Structured workshops by Anton Swanepoel and the IISA have been arranged for FIA members, which will ensure successful completion of the exams if members stick to the programme.

• All the relevant legislation and board notices can be downloaded from the FIA website.

• FIA members have been notified of other RE training and workshops offered by other providers.

•Some FIA branches have arranged their own workshops and training in preparation for the exams.


… from Absa Insurance and Financial Advisers (AIFA) Learning and Development Department

• Each advisor has been provided with very comprehensive learning material in DVD format, sufficient for preparing for the exam. The learning material contains:
- a thorough explanation of the relevant legislation;
- examples and diagrams to illustrate all of the 51 learning outcomes required by the FSB, allowing advisors to understand the content and retain the information for future use;
- interactive, electronic self-assessments, which offer immediate results and ensure that advisors understand key concepts and what is expected of them; and
- a video section by industry expert and author, Anton Swanepoel, who has also written and passed the exam and shares his experience.

• Additional support in the form of live workshops.

… from CIB Insurance Solutions (CIB)

• CIB’s dedicated training department, in partnership with a well-reputed provider, is offering brokers a comprehensive preparation and training workshop, as well as the necessary RE information.The workshop is facilitated by a reputable subject matter expert and training DVD’s also provided.

• Continued support, a series of mock-up exams and discussions on RE relative topics are offered through initiatives such as the Training Information Network (TIN), which also strives to provide staff and business partners with access to information and relevant digital training materials.

• CIB is also in agreement with an examination body to conduct the initial RE exams at our head office and accommodate our brokers nationally depending on the number of individuals involved.

… from Lion of Africa

• Workshops were scheduled for all affected Lion employees who work in an advisory capacity and all affected employees will have written by the end of Quarter 1 in 2011.

• These workshops have also been scheduled for Lion of Africa’s clients and invitations are being confirmed, in line with the company’s focus on upskilling smaller brokers in emerging markets.

… from Etana

• Etana has committed 700 hours of free professional training throughout South Africa to their brokers as well as FIA members to prepare them for the REs.

• The Etana Academy has put together an intensive programme of Summer School workshops, free to their brokers and FIA members, throughout South Africa, to:

- help candidates prepare emotionally as well as with expected content;
- allay fears, dispel confusing and contradictory rumours;
- offer guidance on exam content and structure;

• Free Summer Schools will be held in the 16 cities and towns where there are Etana branches, in collaboration with the local institutes and the FIA.

• Etana has arranged with the Institute of Bankers (Leselo) to administer the actual exams in or near cities and towns where it has branches, ensuring Etana brokers won’t have to travel too far to write their exam.

… from Masthead

• Members have been kept informed of RE developments since they were published in 2008.

• Well-attended compliance workshops were hosted late last year, informing members of how the exams work and what they would need to prepare.

• Masthead has reached agreement with three training providers to assist members in preparing the exams.

• Masthead has also reached an agreement with an examination body to facilitate exams for their members wherever they may be.

• Apart from negotiating various discounts for their members with its education service providers, Masthead has made its regional offices available as training venues for members.

… from Metropolitan

• Metropolitan’s RE training workshops are conducted by the in-house facilitators using the Inseta material.

• The workshops are followed by pre and post assessments that must be completed and passed over a period of three weeks before agents will be registered to write the exam.

… from Momentum Distribution Services

• Free classes are offered to brokers at their convenience through a highly qualified, high profile trainer travelling around the country. The training sessions include a comprehensive and detailed presentation examining each outcome and associated knowledge and skill criteria. There are, for example, 99 knowledge criteria outcomes for RE 1: Applicants and/or Key Individuals in Category I, II, IIA and III and all the criteria will be dealt with fully and in depth.

• Where there are enough brokers in a specific area, MDS will go the extra mile of arranging exams in the region.

… from Momentum Financial Planning

• Momentum Financial Planning has entered into a relationship with the FPI as an examining body in terms of which the FPI will provide a set of exam venues, dates and invigilators.

• A communication strategy is in place to ensure that representatives are fully informed regarding the process to register and prepare adequately for the exam.

• A group of specialists have been identified and trained to conduct workshops to representatives.

• The Academy Learning System will be used as a portal for making available training material, relevant legislation and a set of mock exam questions.

… from PSG Konsult Academy

• One-day interactive facilitation by a subject matter expert including learning materials, mock-up exams, notes and legislation, in Durban, Cape Town, Centurion and Bloemfontein.

• Web-based training including a discussion by subject matter experts on RE 1 outcomes, notes on the discussion, formal learning material, mock-up exams (written and scored online), as well as notes and legislation.

• DVD including a discussion by subject matter experts on RE 1 outcomes, notes on the discussion, formal learning material, mock-up exams (written and scored online), as well as notes and legislation.

•These training options are free for PSG Konsult Financial Planners, but also available at a cost to anyone else.

… from Sanlam

• Pre-course study material, including CD’s, with questions and answers, based on the Inseta material.

• An online examination which affords entry to the two-day classroom training run by trainers that have passed the RE1/RE5 assessment.

• Mock examination papers written during the classroom training to ensure that intermediaries are also prepared to write multiple choice examinations.

• Arrangements have been made with examining bodies to take the examination on the third day at the same venue that the training took place.

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