The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) announced October 11 that it is accepting expressions of interest from prospective vendors interested in providing education services in support of IIROC’s enhanced proficiency regime, expected to be implemented in January 2026.

IIROC currently retains the Canadian Securities Institute (CSA) as the single education services provider for all IIROC approved person categories, an agreement which expires on Dec. 31, 2025. The regulator says the single vendor model served the public interest but adds that IIROC is open to the possibility of using a multi-provider model in the future.

“Central to IIROC’s proficiency regime are the delivery of education courses and the testing of that knowledge through examinations. The opportunity involved course development, examination, learning management administration and program delivery in English and French,” the regulator states in its announcement about the request. It adds that IIROC will welcome both new and alternative models for the delivery of education services and will also consider joint and partnership arrangements among vendors or with IIROC directly.

IIROC says proficiency standards are a cornerstone of its regulatory regime. The Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) for educational services adds that “IIROC is of the specific view that high proficiency standards play a key role in delivering investor protection and strengthening the integrity and efficiency of capital markets.” 

IIROC says its efforts to develop competency profiles in recent years has been to provide vendors with information to support course and examination development.

As for its process, IIROC says it will review vendor submissions and select a short list of vendors who will proceed to the request for proposal stage. The REOI document outlines the key attributes vendors are invited to address, including design and setup, delivery and administration and measurement, along with eligibility requirements and submission requirements including implementation timing and pricing.

They add that the request is focused solely on the education services required for the proficiency regime applicable to IIROC approval categories once the entity is merged with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) on Jan. 1, 2023.

An information session on the request will be held online at 1:30 pm, Eastern time, on Nov. 8, 2022. Deadline to register for the information session is Nov. 4. The deadline to submit questions about the request is Dec. 9 and the deadline for all REOI submissions is Dec. 16, 2022. IIROC says it will announce its short list of vendors invited to create a request for proposal by March 31, 2023.