Securities and Investment Institute (SII) chief executive Simon Culhane is expected to argue in a speech to the FSA this evening that mandatory continuous professional development (CPD) should be imposed on the financial services industry.
Currently, there is no way to check if somebody with two decades’ experience is competent to work in the industry, which is why an “MOT” or equivalent should be demanded, Culhane is expected to say.
A poll of the SII’s 16,000 members on the issue of competency suggests financial services is lagging other industries when it comes to the maintenance of professional standards.
Just 44% of those who responded answered they did have a formal CPD scheme within their company, of which almost all (96%) said theirs was a compulsory scheme.
When given a choice, only 60% participated in any such scheme.
One comment received along with the poll has suggested the lack of maintained standards would not be tolerated in other industries.
“Ask yourself about confidence in airline safety - if planes were flown in the same manner as financial products and services are managed or sold,” Culhane is expected to repeat to his audience later today.
That said, around three-quarters of SII members responding to the research have suggested CPD should be mandatory, regardless of age or seniority.
Culhane is expected to add a mandatory regime alone would not be enough, but that firms should introduce a CPD “culture”, possibly including regularly-spaced exams or refresher courses to ensure practitioners are up to date in their knowledge and skills.IFAonline
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