Don’t be a drop out when it comes to your CPD
Christine Newell is mortgages technical director at Paradigm Mortgage Services
Now that the summer is over and the kids have gone back to school, the ‘adviser event’ season is most definitely with us.
And there’s no doubting that there are a significant number to choose from, with each distributor, club and network providing a whole host of options for brokers to attend, while event teams from the financial press and the traditional ‘Expos’ are also vying for broker attendance at their specialist road shows and business exhibitions.
Being assessed as competent in your area of expertise is a regulatory requirement and maintaining that competency through continuous professional development (CPD) is a must for all advisers.
For retail investment advisers there is a regulatory requirement to carry out 35 hours of CPD of which 21 should be in a structured format.
Mortgage and protection advisers are not subjected to a specific number of hours as a regulatory requirement, but most adopt 35 hours over a 12-month period and use a variety of mediums in order to meet this including webinars, reading press articles, BDM and provider representative meetings, and of course attending a specific workshop or seminar in person.
However, under a new European Directive called the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), from October 2018 all advisers who are involved in selling protection and general insurance (GI) products will have to complete a minimum of 15 hours CPD.
This CPD can be structured or unstructured and for retail investment advisers it will form part of their 35-hour CPD regulatory requirements.
The IDD sets out specific areas of competence that advisers will need to be proficient in, including product knowledge, processes for claims, general business ethics and understanding different laws governing protection and GI.
Advisers will therefore need to think and plan their CPD events more carefully ensuring that the new 15-hour requirement is incorporated.
As a distributor, and a provider of mortgage, protection and GI CPD events, it can be quite frustrating to spend a lot of time organising and ensuring a good attendance only to find on the day that attendees decided not to show up.
This is particularly an issue for DA distributors and support functions as it is not compulsory for brokers to attend their events, but It can have a major impact on the day and in some instances lead to late cancellation of events where it is not viable for five providers to turn up and see less than 10 attendees.
The biggest impact, however, will be around the amount of CPD the broker has not completed at the end of the year.
Quite often we find that our events towards the latter part of the year get fully booked due to firms playing catch up with CPD hours.
The FCA in their recent market study has made calls for consumers to be able to easily compare advisers, so this shows how important it is for brokers to be able to differentiate their skills and services.
An adviser with up-to-date knowledge, good experience and strong qualifications may now start to win business where others can’t demonstrate these attributes.
So, we would certainly urge all advisers over the coming months, to take advantage of the events available to you, and not to be a drop-out when it comes to your own development.
Sign up, turn up and join in with one of the events going on from now until Christmas because, before you know it, you’ll have completed your CPD and be reaping the business benefits that will come from it.