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New Definition of CPD

In the introduction to this proposed amendment, the Regulator states:

The FSB, through the General Financial Services Laws Amendment Bill, 2012, proposed the insertion of a definition for “continuous professional development” in the FAIS Act. The Registrar, to ensure consistency within the FAIS legislative framework proposes an amendment to that definition in the Fit and Proper Requirements to ensure alignment between the Act and the Fit and Proper Requirements.

The definition is Board Notice 106 of 2008 defines CPD as:

…a process of learning and development, with the aim to enable the applicant, key individual or representative to maintain capabilities to perform competently within the categories or subcategories they render financial services in.

The new definition reads:

continuous professional development‘ means a process of learning and development with the aim of enabling a financial services provider, key individual, representative or compliance officer to maintain the competency to comply with this Act.

One aspect that stands out is the replacement of product related learning with legislative competency and knowledge. This raises a question on how one will be expected to stay up to date with product knowledge. One option is regular accreditation by product providers, but this raises more questions about the future of the level 2 regulatory exams.

It is also interesting to note that compliance officers are included in the definition. One would assume that this is a logical obligation for outsourced compliance officers, and could possibly be aimed at internal compliance officers to ensure that they provide the right guidance to the practice in terms of FAIS related issues.

I wonder how those providers who punted their products under the banner of “CPD Compliant” will react to this news.

If you would like a musical interlude at this stage, why not click here and join Johnny Nash as he sings: There are more questions than answers.

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