While advisers may be getting qualifications and gap-fill out of the way now, they will soon have to focus on continuing professional development (CPD).
From next year, firms will have to make sure their advisers meet the retail distribution review (RDR) requirement to complete a total of 35 hours CPD, 21 of which must be 'structured learning', annually.
Here, the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI) has detailed how one large firm has successfully implemented a CPD scheme, which hopefully will provide some inspiration...
Fifteen tips for embedding a CPD culture at your firm
How to implement a CPD culture
Make sure the scheme is actively promoted and supported by the CEO.
CPD is a requirement from the first day of work, so include it in contracts of employment. There should be a minimum CPD threshold before individuals are deemed competent.
Reinforce the importance of CPD in as many ways as you can, such as by including it as a standing agenda item at all monthly branch meetings.
Consider operating an 'input' and 'output' scheme. At the CISI's anonymous good practice firm, some 70% of the content of the CPD was mandatory (input), decided annually by its compliance team. The line manager and individuals agree what additional CPD needs to be done (output).
Soft skills should be included, up to five hours of the 35 hours total, and they must be relevant to the individual's job role, as with all CPD.
Once CPD activity has been agreed, the needs of each member of staff should be reviewed by HR to make sure the activities selected are relevant.
At the CISI's anonymous business, on a quarterly basis, HR provides a review report which enables line managers to discuss progress with individuals and investigate where requirements have not been met. Line managers are encouraged to discuss the learning outcomes from the CPD undertaken with their staff.
Encourage CPD to be undertaken throughout the year, even if annual targets have already been met.
Audit at least 10% of staff on a quarterly basis to ensure that the CPD is relevant and targets are being met.
Considering operating an online CPD log, using an external learning management system, accessed through the firm's intranet, with all staff members having a personal registration number.
Install a culture where the responsibility of logging CPD rests with each individual. Make it a requirement to input both a description and an outcome for each item logged.
Evaluate external CPD providers thoroughly.
Encourage staff to attend external CPD, but it must be relevant to the individual's role in order to be accepted on the log, and it must be supported by evidence of attendance which is archived centrally.
Make failure to meet quarterly CPD targets have a direct impact on employee remuneration.
Failure to complete CPD for the year should lead to disciplinary action.
Read the CISI's complete guide to CPD for firms and practitioners HERE.
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