FSRA seeks comment on rules governing title use in Ontario

By Kate McCaffery | August 13 2020 03:16PM

Photo: Freepik

The Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) has launched a 90-day public consultation, beginning August 13, to get feedback about its proposed rules and guidance – minimum standards being set out for the use of financial planner (FP) and financial advisor (FA) titles by those offering advisory services in Ontario.

The move comes after the Government of Ontario introduced legislation in 2019 that will require individuals who use the FP and FA titles to have proper credentials from a FSRA-approved credentialing body. The legislation received Royal Assent in May 2019. It has not yet been proclaimed. Once proclaimed, the legislation will restrict the use of FP and FA titles, as well as any equivalents in another language, or titles that could be reasonably confused with such titles, to those who have obtained a credential issued by a FSRA-approved credentialing body.

The Proposed Rule 2020-001 – Financial Professionals Title Protection, and proposed Approach Guidance – Financial Professionals Title Protection – Administration of Applications, are both available on the FSRA website.

The proposed rule sets out the requirements and standards that entities would be required to meet in order to obtain FSRA approval as a credentialing body. The guidance, meanwhile, includes an outline of the type of information FSRA would expect in an application for approval of a credentialing body. The documents also discuss approval criteria for the credentials themselves, and provide a baseline advisor competency profile of those who would qualify to use the FP and FA titles.

LLQP would not qualify

Interestingly, the document singles out the Life License Qualification Program (LLQP) as an example of one of the industry’s current credentials that would not qualify someone to hold themselves out as a financial planner or financial advisor. “FSRA does not anticipate that the LLQP would meet the minimum standard for technical knowledge, professional skills and competencies for FP or FA title use because the curriculum does not fully align with the FP/FA baseline competency profile,” they write. “Under the new framework, those individuals that only hold this qualification would not be able to use the FP or FA title.” (Among other things, FSRA is also seeking feedback about whether the rule and baseline competency profile adequately reflect the technical knowledge, professional skills and competencies that should be included in a credentialing body’s education program to establish the minimum standard for title users.)

Interested parties are invited to make written submissions to FSRA regarding the rule and proposed guidance documents, before Nov. 12, 2020.

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