For those in financial services who are behind in earning their Continuous Professional Development (CPD) hours, it’s best to act fast. The deadline may have been extended to 31 July 2019 to earn what is required, but the previous deadline of 31 May arrived sooner than anticipated and revealed how many in the industry are behind. “While extra time provides plenty opportunity to get what is needed, it is best to act sooner than later to avoid the chance of falling behind again,” says James George, Compliance Officer Manager at Compli-Serve SA.
“If you fail to get the hours you need, you must be removed from the register and will need to earn your missing CPD hours in order to be re-added, and able to continue practising. Completing the current year won’t detract from the next cycle’s required hours either. As of 1 June 2019, it is business as usual and the hours needed by 31 May 2020 must be obtained.”
Move it, or lose it
In order to avoid any issues, an FSP must ensure that all its approved persons, be they representatives or key individuals (KI), either satisfy their respective CPD hours, or where it has become evident that they will be unable to attain the required CPD hours, even with the extension, remove the person from its licence before the extended deadline.
“Failure to earn the hours will mean you no longer comply with Fit and Proper requirements and then face serious consequences,” he notes. In terms of Section 14(1) any representative who no longer complies, must be debarred. “This is a risk no FSP, KI or representative can afford to take.”
The requirements for CPD hours remain:
- If rendering a single subclass of business within a single class of business per CPD cycle, only 6 hours need to be earned;
- If more than one subclass of business is rendered in one cycle, 12 hours of CPD activities will be needed;
- For those who have more than one class of business, 18 hours are required.
There are some exemptions available for foreign professional bodies, but generally there is little escape from needing to earn your CPDs to operate in financial services. Continuous learning is essential in any case, particularly in the evolving financial services landscape.
You’ve got options
Many financial institutions and publications offer easy access to earning CPD hours; just keep in mind that an activity must be CPD-qualified to count. A ‘CPD activity’ must be verified by a professional body who also allocates an approved hourly value to the activity.
CompliNEWS and Juta offer all the required hours in any given cycle. The annual subscription gives you the hours you need combined with access to regular regulatory updates and the option to filter news by industry, including access to updates on case law and parliamentary news. Through Compli-Serve SA you can also do FICA training (earning 4 CPD hours) via Test Zone. These can be useful resources to consider, no matter which CPD cycle you’re aiming to complete.
“Make the most of the extension if you need it or aim to get ahead on the next cycle, earning your hours early. The costs of falling out of favour in compliance can be much more than the costs of signing up for the required reading or training you need for CPD compliance,” he concludes.