FCA to allow CPD hours to be carried over
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed that firms will be able to allow individuals to carry over Continuing Professional Development (CPD) hours to the next CPD year should they find themselves in ‘exceptional circumstances’.
Advisers are expected to complete 35 hours of CPD per year however many have faced challenges during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
The FCA has now moved to clarify the situation.
A statement from the regulator said: “During the current situation we will temporarily allow firms to let individuals in exceptional circumstances carry over any uncompleted CPD hours to the next CPD year, i.e. the next 12-month period in which to complete the relevant CPD. This applies to CPD years ending before 1 April 2021.
“We expect individuals to stay up to date with our COVID-19 regulatory developments which could count towards CPD as relevant.
“Firms should also look into other available online equivalents to training courses or other ways for their staff to get the necessary CPD. Firms should take these other options into account as part of their decision to carry over CPD hours.”
Circumstances which count as ‘exceptional’ include being needed to carry out extra duties to manage risks, and/or to provide support, to consumers and businesses during the current situation and having caring responsibilities, such as having to care for a partner, child, parent, grandparent or sibling.
Additionally, those have difficulties accessing CPD material, for example, due to technical difficulties or unavailable material also counts.
Individuals who carry over CPD hours will see that time treated as part of the required CPD hours of that next CPD year on top of the hours already required.
For example, if an adviser who is required to complete a minimum of 35 hours of CPD, has completed 25 CPD hours and has two months left of the current CPD year, the firm may allow them to transfer 10 hours to their next CPD year.
This means that in the next CPD year the adviser will need to complete 45 CPD hours. This can be structured and/or unstructured learning depending on the make-up of the outstanding CPD.