Financial Services licensees must ensure that its authorised representatives and in‑house advisers (financial advisers) are adequately trained and are competent to provide financial services, s912A(1)(f) Corporations Act 2001.
This Continuous Professional Development (CPD) Policy is developed by Warrington Scott Pty Ltd (licensee) for the purposes of:
- enabling the licensee to support its advisers in maintaining their competence and meeting their CPD requirements under FASEA; and
- providing guidance to its advisers on the licensee’s expectations and approach to CPD.
The Corporations Act 2001 (s921A(1)(f), s921B(5) and s921D, s921U(2)(iv)) requires that all individuals identified as a ‘relevant provider’ (adviser) for the purposes of providing personal advice to retail clients are adequately trained and meet the requirements for continuing professional development (CPD) set by the standards body, the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority (FASEA).
ASIC’s RG146 (Licensing: Training of Financial Product Representatives) sets out the minimum training standards that all persons must meet before they are eligible to provide product advice to retail clients.
This Policy sets out the minimum amount of continuing professional development that must be undertaken by all financial advisers.
Warrington Scott has chosen to adopt the continuing professional development (CPD) requirements established by the Financial Planning Association (FPA) as its minimum standard, as set out in the FPA Continuing Professional Development Policy, June 2016 (FPA CPD Policy).
3. CPD Principles
Warrington Scott’s focus is on providing advice which is tailor-made to the particular circumstances, objectives and risk tolerance of the client.
In order that financial advisers (advisers) can manage this process professionally and effectively, they must have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the market and its forces, as they relate to a wide gamut of client personal and financial factors. CPD is a critical element in maintaining and expanding an adviser’s knowledge base and financial planning expertise.
Following the standards and guidelines established by ASIC for the training of Representatives and FPA’s CDP policy, Warrington Scott has adopted the following CPD principles.
4. Licensee’s overall approach to CPD
The licensee takes a facilitative approach to CPD.
The licensee recognises that in many instances, an adviser may also need to meet CPD requirements of their respective industry associations to maintain professional accreditation.
If an adviser is required to complete additional CPD points or hours under other professional bodies or industry associations (e.g. FPA, AFA, TASA) the adviser must ensure that those additional requirements are also met in addition to the CPD Plan.
Advisers must prioritise the completion of the CPD Plan ahead of any additional requirements of the other professional bodies or industry associations.
The licensee will take reasonable steps to provide access to resources and opportunities so that the adviser is able to meet the requirements of the CPD Plan.
5. Licensee monitoring and supervision of compliance against this policy
The licensee will, before the end of each CPD year (as defined by FASEA for each type of advisor), ensure that the adviser has complied with their CPD Plan.
The licensee may periodically conduct checks to monitor the adviser’s progress against his or her CPD Plan. This may include access to the adviser’s CPD recording system online. If requested, the adviser must give the licensee information and evidence relating to the progress of the CPD Plan.
The licensee reserves the right to impose sanctions or restrictions until the requests have been met by the adviser. This may include:
- Suspension of authorisation until the CPD requirements are met; or
- Withholding commissions payable to an adviser or the corporate entity to which the non-complying adviser belongs.
- The licensee is also obliged to notify ASIC where an adviser has not met the professional development standards.
6. Licensee notification obligations
Licensee has a responsibility to ensure the compliance, competence, knowledge and skills of their responsible managers and the training and competence of their financial advisers and authorised representatives.
The licensee will notify ASIC (in the form required by ASIC) when it has been notified of the following:
- When an adviser becomes a ‘relevant provider’
- Where there is a change in the particulars that were previously notified to ASIC, the licensee will update ASIC will the new information when the licensee becomes aware of such change;
- The licensee’s CPD year, or a change in its CPD year;
- When an adviser has not complied with the CPD Plan or other continuous professional development requirement standards;
- When a person has (or ceases to have) control of a body corporate that is the licensee;
- An adviser has failed to comply with the Code of Ethics;
- A sanction imposed on an adviser for failing to comply with the Code of Ethics;
If the licensee is required to notify ASIC in relation to the above, the adviser is required under s922N of the Corporations Act to provide the information to the licensee.
Failure to meet the notification obligations may result in civil penalty liability for the licensee. Advisers’ CPD obligations.