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Continuous Professional Development Update

“What’s the buzz?
Tell me what’s a-happening”

These lines from the musical J.C. Superstar may equally apply to the daily queries we receive about continuous professional development (CPD).

We published a series of three articles in May that summarised the details outlined in a document on the FSB website calling for input on CPD proposals. From it, one could glean the purpose of CPD, the requirements for providers of CPD and what would be expected of advisors. The articles are published on our website. For easy tracking, use the excellent tracking facility.

Of course, until the decisions have been made, and the necessary Board Notice published, there is little one can do to prepare for what awaits.

This does not preclude certain providers from marketing their services as providers of CPD training, with some even claiming FSB approval. While we are now in a biblical mood, please beware of wolves in sheep’s clothing.

The only valid CPD points which can be claimed at the moment, are those where one’s membership of a professional body is dependent on the attainment of certain requirements laid down by such a body. Achievement of the required points will only benefit one in terms of membership of such a body.

While it is likely that such bodies may apply for, and be granted, recognition as a FSB approved CPD provider, such application is not yet open, NOR has any programmes been approved by the Regulator.

One should also consider the time line involved in the regulatory exam process announced way back when by the FSB:

Phase 1: Level 1 REs – originally scheduled for completion by 31 December 2011, then extended to 30 June and 30 September for those who failed

Phase 2: Level 2 REs – originally scheduled for completion by 31 December 2013.

Phase 3: CPD: Ongoing, after successful completion of Level 2.

Thus, before you can start planning seriously for CPD, you need to know what will happen in terms of the Level 2 REs.

The initial due date for Level 2 was 31 December 2013. Since then, the effective final date for Level 1 was extended to the end of September 2012 for those who attempted to write before June 2012. The FSB indicated that it would consider a new final date for Level 2 only after consideration of all the ramifications of the Level 1 process.

It does sound logical that the final date for Level 2 will also move forward by at least six months, should the sequence originally announced, be maintained.

This information is eagerly awaited. As indicated above, the initial expectation was that Level 2 would automatically follow on from Level 1. In other words, you would not have to wait for a specific date before you could start level 2 – as soon as you crossed the first hurdle, you could attempt the next. Once that was behind you, CPD would automatically follow.

As things stand now, it will pay candidates to wait for news from the Regulator on the next phase before making any long-term plans. With CPD (for the time being, at least) apparently even further down the horison, this should not be a priority just yet.

I could not resist this line, also from the song quoted at the start of this article:

Why should you want to know?
Why are you obsessed with fighting
Times and fates you can’t defy?
If you knew the path we’re riding,
You’d understand it less than I.

Oy vey!

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