MFDA to introduce continuing education requirements

By Andrew Rickard | January 16 2017 01:30PM

Photo: Freepik

The Mutual Fund Dealers Association (MFDA) is proposing to introduce continuing education (CE) requirements for financial advisors, chief compliance officers, ultimate designated persons, and branch managers.

The proposals, which were released last week, will require advisors who are licensed to sell mutual funds to obtain 10 CE credits on business conduct (e.g., on ethics or MFDA rules), 20 professional development credits (e.g., on subjects such as investment or tax planning), as well as 2 MFDA compliance credits every 24 months. Each credit represents one hour of training.

MFDA staff plan to offer a webinar

MFDA staff plan to offer a webinar worth one compliance credit annually. For the rest, the regulator intends to accredit third parties which will be authorized to offer CE credits once their training materials have passed muster. How much it will cost to obtain this accreditation from the MFDA? The regulator says its fee schedule is “still to be determined.”

Besides accrediting education providers, the MFDA will also maintain a CE tracking system.  Having been assigned a unique identification number, advisors and dealers will be able to use this system to check their CE credits, as well as to request exemptions and extensions.

Consultation with stakeholders

"The development and implementation of CE requirements for the approximately 83,000 Approved Persons of MFDA Members across Canada is significant and a considerable undertaking. This initiative will have material operational and administrative impacts on Members, Approved Persons, and the MFDA," reads the bulletin. "In recognition of these considerations, the MFDA is engaging in this additional advance consultation with stakeholders in an effort to ensure that any requirements ultimately adopted in this area achieve the desired regulatory objectives in a manner that is as cost-effective and efficient as possible."

Comments on the proposals should be submitted to the MFDA in writing by April 28, 2017. The complete document is available on the MFDA web site.

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