Review of Financial Advice (RFA) & Retail Distribution (RDR): Urban Myths
At times, it’s like Chinese whispers with the RFA/RDRqualifications with reluctant students exploring all possibilities to find a get-out clause. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if someone asked me if their swimming proficiency badge could provide them with an exemption and fill the gap!
Only this week I was ‘reliably’ informed that the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment are scrapping the Level 6 Private Client Investment Advice and Management (PCIAM) paper at the end of this year. Having spoken to the Institute they informed me that this most certainly isn’t the case since numbers are understandably strong in both the UK and the Crown Dependencies. I’m not sure why anyone would want to scrap one of the possible exam routes for achieving RFA/RDR compliance, but it just goes to show that the rumour mill can be a dangerous place.
As an Accredited Training Provider (ATP) for CISI, we havebeen asked to provide support to students in Jersey and other jurisdictions globally, which can sometimes lead to more exotic locations. This week alone I experienced the balmy weather and mild, temperate, winter climate of the Isle of Man. Since the IOM have now decided that they will follow the UK in training their investment advisers, it suggests to me that other Islands, who have not yet made a move along this path, will also do so at some point since no financial centre will want to be left behind. In that respect, I am hoping CISI will come knocking on my door for help when the Caymans Islands decide to push ahead.
Time is ticking now, and bearing in mind that these qualifications can take 12 months to complete, people are starting to feel the pressure. It is extremely tough to combine successful study with a busy career and so I really admire the commitment some people have already shown to their studies.
One thing I have noticed is that none of the routes to compliance are easy. Some advisers have assumed that industry experience alone will get them through but of course this myth has been exploded. I personally know that all the exams are challenging since I have taken them myself - I thought it only fair that I did them if I am helping other people to get through!
So please remember – I didn’t make up the new qualification requirements, but I am here to help ensure that you succeed.
To CPD or not to CPD? That is the question.
Jersey is unique in the Crown Dependencies in that it requires those individuals working with the Finance industry to undertake a minimum annual requirement of CPD.
On occasion when asked why a delegate is on a particular course the answer has been “I need the CPD!” maybe suggesting any old CPD will do!
Now from an educationalist standpoint this is actually quite depressing. If the delegate is attending simply to make up their CPD hours, the course might not meet their actual requirements or expectations, so even if it was the most awe-inspiring lecture that year, it still wouldn’t be their most positive experience and result in disappointment and disillusionment of the whole CPD philosophy.
- It helps ensure that you are positioned to offer the most effective service you can to your clients/colleagues.
- It can improve long-term career prospects and enhance your professional standing.
- It provides documented evidence of an individual commitment to your chosen profession and of your continued competence.
- It provides a reference document for use both in updating a CV and in recalling details of topics studied as well as for appraisals and interviews.
- It helps both individuals and organisations anticipate change and not being driven by it.
- And of course if you are supporting and nurturing current best practice you can help mitigate the risk of litigation or regulatory sanction
So give yourself the best chance in challenging times, continue to develop your skills, knowledge, experience. Keep intellectually lithe not intellectually lazy, after all you don’t know what you don’t know, and a little knowledge is a dangerous thing!