Training and competence—continuing professional development
Training and competence—continuing professional development

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

  • Training and competence—continuing professional development
  • Introduction—The FCA’s professional standards for retail investment advisers
  • Continuing professional development (CPD) for retail investment advisers
  • Suspension of CPD requirements
  • CPD—Record keeping
  • CPD—Annual declarations

Introduction—The FCA’s professional standards for retail investment advisers

Following implementation of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) in 2012, professional standards requirements were enhanced through changes to the Financial Conduct Authority (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:

  1. give personal recommendations on securities (other than stakeholder pension schemes, personal pension schemes or broker funds)

  2. give personal recommendations on derivatives

  3. give personal recommendations on retail investment products (other than broker funds)

  4. give personal recommendations on Friendly Society tax-exempt policies (other than Holloway sickness policies where the Holloway policy special application conditions are met)

  5. give personal recommendations on and deal in securities (other than stakeholder pension schemes, personal pension schemes or broker funds)

  6. give personal recommendations on and deal in derivatives

The RDR introduced an overarching standard for continuing professional development (CPD), in order to raise professional standards. All retail investment advisers are required to attain each module of an appropriate qualification in TC App 4, corresponding to the relevant activities listed above. The content and level of these appropriate qualifications is prescribed through appropriate examination standards, as described in Practice Note: Training and competence—appropriate examination standards. Retail investment advisers must

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