FCA professional standards and requirements
FCA professional standards and requirements

The following Financial Services guidance note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • FCA professional standards and requirements
  • What are FCA professional standards?
  • What is an accredited body according to the FCA?
  • Advisers to attain and maintain appropriate qualifications
  • Continuing professional development (CPD) for retail investment advisers
  • Accredited body independent verification process and SPS
  • Statement of professional standing
  • Content and form of a statement of professional standing
  • Withdrawal of a statement of professional standing
  • New adviser reporting templates

What are FCA professional standards?

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.

What is an accredited body according to the FCA?

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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