The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) covers a range of technical and ethical issues relating to professional development for financial planners in the “Professional Standards: Advisers” page of its website. A key area of professional standards compliance is continuing professional development (CPD). Outlining the requirements of CPD for financial advisers, the FCA states that: “Advisers will need to complete a minimum of 35 hours of continuing professional development (CPD) each year for retail investment activities, of which 21 hours should be structured. If you carry out other retail activities, such as mortgage advice or managing funds, you will need to carry out CPD for that activity as well.”
Structured CPD is described by the FCA as “an activity designed to achieve a defined learning outcome” and lists examples of structured CPD activities as including participation in “courses, seminars, lectures, conferences, workshops, web-based seminars or e-learning.”
Support for structured learning
Adviser-Hub plays an active role in meeting the CPD requirements for financial planners and advisers. The CPD centre offers a range of tests and surveys from our sponsoring groups that gain validation points in the ongoing CPD process.
Additionally, Events-Hub lists a wide range of nationwide conferences and events throughout the year provided by leading companies in the financial services sector which count towards structured CPD for financial advisers.
The FCA defines that areas covered in CPD as including:
- Technical knowledge and how to apply it
- Skills and expertise
- Changes to products, legislation and regulation
- Addressing any learning gaps
A matter of record
Within the structured process of CPD for financial advisers, the FCA also emphasises the need for financial advisers to document their learning.
“You need to ensure you have good quality CPD records. The three areas your documentation should cover are:
- your needs - knowledge gaps and your target outcome of the learning
- how you will meet your needs - a description of the activity you are going to do or have done, including number of hours
- confirm how you met your needs (once carried out) - how the activity has met the target learning outcome, and if tested, the test result”
The Adviser-Hub CPD Centre provides an excellent method of recording CPD activities of our members in their personal accounts, showing the number of CPD hours gained through attending events and by completing online tests and surveys. All these CPD hours are structured and accredited by the CII (Chartered Insurance Institute).
Meeting high performance standards
Continuing professional development is essential to maintaining the highest standards in the professional development for financial planners and therefore in helping financial advisers act in the very best interests of their clients.
Financial services is a fast moving sector that requires those working in it to be continually aware of changes in the markets and new finance product developments. CPD for financial advisers is a process that equips participants with the capabilities of understanding and meeting these challenges effectively.
Adviser-Hub’s wide range of online qualifying tests, information and professional advice, together with invaluable events organised in collaboration with industry leaders, are designed to successfully meet the demands of CPD for financial advisers.