CPD compliance and the benefits of the Wizard Learning CPD system
What regulatory requirements will you meet by implementing the Wizard Learning CPD system?
A firm might like to have a detailed training scheme outlining the knowledge and competency requirements for each individual role within the firm. It is important to remember that, in addition to the specific rules for financial advisers, there is also a competent employee rule that requires all employees to have sufficient knowledge and skills to fulfil their role within the firm. This is not a mandatory regulatory requirement; it is merely one tool that can be used to help demonstrate that the firm is committed to meeting the training and competency requirements of the regulator.
Training needs analysis
This is a practical way of making sure that the CPD undertaken is both productive and effective. The Wizard Learning system specifically targets CPD areas that comply with regulatory requirements. For each Regulated Financial Planning Diploma topic area, there are questions of varying length designed to test current knowledge and to seek out the gaps in an adviser’s knowledge over all areas of the syllabus and other qualifications. In addition to self-appraisal and supervisory appraisal, this is invaluable in helping to identify specific training needs.
Once training needs are assessed, it is suggested that subscribers list the CPD areas that would benefit them most. There is no need to go into great detail - some needs, such as regulatory and legal updates are already presented in the Wizard Learning system each month. Training plans deal with specific knowledge requirements.
Complying with the CPD rules
Wizard Learning presents information at the mandatory level in a structured format. The monthly CPD alone gives an adviser 18 hours of structured relevant CPD. The additional modules, which may be used to address other knowledge gaps, are also structured and the overall the system provides a potential 300 hours of CPD. So there will be no difficulty in obtaining all 35 hours from this one system, assuming that no other activities are carried out or counted.
For firms holding themselves out as independent, a broad range of competencies need to be demonstrated. All types of packaged retail investment product are covered in the topics available, making evidence of independence easy to achieve.
Proving competency when restricted
For firms that offer restricted advice, the FCA are keen to ensure that advisers are not recommending products on the basis that they are merely the best option available from the restricted range decided upon by their firm. Good knowledge across the entire diploma syllabus is still required even for products that the adviser is never likely to arrange. CPD can be used to clearly demonstrate that this is the case.
Failing to record CPD can cause problems for advisers, especially if their accrediting body asks for CPD evidence in order to produce their Statement of Professional Standing (SPS). This can be avoided by using the Wizard Learning system as it keeps everything in one place, easy to download and easy to share. CPD completed on the system is automatically recorded and external CPD is simple to add to an adviser’s record, making it easier to keep track of the adviser’s progress towards achieving their CPD target.
The system can give an overview of all the CPD undertaken for the purposes of an appraisal or for compliance supervision.
“I would thoroughly recommend using the Wizard Learning CPD system for your entire CPD recording; it is independent of any accrediting body, inexpensive, useful and so flexible that people will actually use it.”
Karen Malin FCII Managing Director of TheGIConsultant.com Limited, compliance support provider for financial services advisory firms.