During our August event we explored professional development planning in financial services and complying with the new regime.
The Code of Conduct has changed how continuing professional development (CPD) needs to be managed. Facilitator, Tim Larkin from Dacreed uncovered what the requirements are and how to best meet the new regulatory requirements with an expert panel of Jeanette Kreft from The Compliance Company and Steven Burgess from Compliance Refinery.
The panel quickly identified more needs to be done to ensure ongoing compliance with the regulations. Too many financial advice providers (FAPs) have yet to implement formal professional development planning processes, relying on the informal approaches that advisers have historically followed as part of processes put in place by aggregators or industry bodies.
While no one was aware of any enforcement actions by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) for a failure to have a professional development plan in place for each adviser, this will not remain for long. The transition period for the new regime is in full effect and the expectation is that the regulator is already moving from a transitional approach, working with the industry to meet the requirements towards an enforcement position where non-compliance will result in sanctions.
The consensus is that license holders do not want to find themselves in the position that the regulator is in full enforcement mode and they have yet to fully implement a proper and structured professional development plan with each and every financial adviser and nominated representative. The solution is to implement professional development plans now.
Professional development plans need to be relevant to the advisers and increase their skills and knowledge to improve customer outcomes. Doing the same online courses each year or box-ticking a certain number of hours each year will not be sufficient.
The summary is that FAPs who have not started this process, need to. Systemization of process and reporting was highlighted as the easiest way to meet these regulatory requirements. Using the right systems will enable professional development plans to be rolled efficiently with regulator reporting enabling license holders to readily demonstrate ongoing compliance to the FMA.
This was followed by a demonstration of Dacreed’s upcoming professional development plan solution. This enables advisers to set out existing skills and create their own annual professional development plan that builds on existing competencies from a selection of recommended courses from some of New Zealand’s leading compliance businesses and training providers or using external courses as chosen by the adviser.
“Not only is this market-leading content from some of the best specialists in the country, but it can be used to build a customised professional development plan using Dacreed. This makes Dacreed the most powerful professional development planning tool for financial advisers in New Zealand,” says Tim Larkin, Chief Commercial Officer, Dacreed.
With management and exception reporting for the FAP compliance team, businesses can then have real-time visibility of how advisers are progressing with their CPD, only needing to get involved where there is an issue to address.
Tim also highlighted another industry initiative from Professional IQ College and Cultivate, a financial services recruitment company to address the shortage of advisers by creating opportunities for people wanting to enter the industry by providing clear career pathways.
If you would be interested in more in person events like this, reach out to the team and we can chat.