The following Financial Services guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
Following implementation of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) professional standards requirements were enhanced through changes to the FCA Handbook; mostly with the introduction of new requirements in the FCA's Training and Competence sourcebook (TC) (see Practice Note: FCA—training and competence).
The professional standards requirements raised the benchmark qualification level for all 'retail investment advisers' (meaning employees who undertake activities 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 in TC App 1.1.1 R) and introduced an overarching standard for continuing professional development, in order to raise professional standards. All individual investment advisers were required to reach the Qualifications Credit Framework (QCF) Level 4 or equivalent, hold a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS), and provide the SPS to their firm. See Practice Note: Training and competence—appropriate examination standards for clarification on specific examination standards.
One of the FCA’s methods for the delivery of increased professional standards is with the use of accredited bodies. Pursuant to TC 2.1.27 R a firm must obtain from an accredited body independent verification of the firm's compliance with the requirements in TC 2.1.1R, TC 2.1.15R and TC 2.1.26R. In addition individuals must demonstrate initial and ongoing competence by holding a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) (TC 2.1.29G) also
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