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CPD Revisited

A reader recently wrote:

I provide training on behalf of a registered medical scheme to accredited brokers on medical scheme benefit options, underwriting and processes. 

I recently attended a broker training session at the Council for Medical Schemes (CMS) and was awarded 4 CPD (Continuous Professional Development) points for attending the training. 

That made me wonder if I should start doing it as well, but after I read your article, I was wondering if it is a waste of time to start doing so now. 

If a medical scheme registers with the FPI as a CPD provider, can they award CPD points for people attending training sessions, and will this give them an edge in the market? 

We know CPD is coming, we just don’t know when exactly. 

Should we start awarding CPD points, with a view to have our systems in place when it becomes a reality?

In the relevant article we stated:

Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
The purpose of CPD is to ensure that advisers maintain the required competence to render financial services in line with required standards.

In terms of current proposals, the FSP will be required to establish and maintain:

  • policies on how to maintain, update and develop new knowledge and skills
  • training plans to ensure CPD is relevant and appropriate and
  • record keeping of CPD hours and evidence of activities

Different standards and/or exemptions will apply, depending on the complexity of products one advises on.

Professional Body Membership and CPD

The following information, published by the Insurance Institute of South Africa (IISA), sets out what CPD is all about in terms of membership of a professional body:

As a professional industry with professional designations we need to guard our profession jealously and commit to maintaining a standard of knowledge and professional currency.

CPD is a requirement for all professional members of the financial services industry, according to the various professional bodies across the industry.

The IISA requirement for professional members is 15 hours per year (1 July to 30 June).

There are many ways to accumulate CPD hours. Self-study, reading, authoring papers, delivering lectures or attending conferences (including the IISA Annual Insurance Conference), lectures or presentations are just some of the ways in which members can develop.

Fit and Proper Update

At a recent media briefing, Ms Caroline da Silva, DEO FAIS at the FSB, indicated that the following is under consideration as far as CPD, as part of the competency requirements, are concerned:

Persons registered in a single subclass of business within a single class of business must complete a minimum of 6 hours of CPD activities per CPD cycle. For example, someone who is registered for Short-term and only does Personal Lines.

Persons registered for more than one subclass of business within a single class of business must complete a minimum of 12 hours of CPD activities per CPD cycle. This would be someone who does both Personal and Commercial lines, in the example above.

Persons registered for more than one class of business must complete a minimum of 18 hours of CPD activities per CPD cycle. This could be someone who does both short- and long-term Category C business, for example.

This does not apply to:

  • Reps & KIs in funeral assistance business
  • Cat I Reps offering Tier 2 products
  • Cat I Reps, only providing intermediary services

It is further envisaged that the FSP will be obliged to establish and maintain:

  • Policies on how to maintain, update and develop new knowledge and skills;
  • Training plans to ensure CPD is relevant and appropriate, addresses any identified needs or gaps and improves professional standards.
  • Keep record of CPD hours and evidence of activities

A final, important note:

These are still PROPOSALS. Until it becomes a reality, CPD is only compulsory where it is a requirement for continued membership of a professional body.

Concerning the reader’s question, we suggest that she contacts the relevant professional bodies (FPI and IISA) to find out if the training that she provides will qualify for CPD points for their members. She should also bear in mind that many of her students may not be members of either body.

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