24 Apr, 2019
CPD for Mortgage and Insurance Brokers
The updating of skills and knowledge is critical in keeping up-to-date of industry changes, maintaining competence and ensuring that any qualifications do not become obsolete. Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is the means by which Mortgage and Insurance Brokers maintain, improve and broaden their knowledge, expertise and develop the qualities required in their professional lives.
Continuing Professional Development has always been part of being a true professional. Legislation and the introduction of a regulator have reinforced professional standards. The clear expectation, now set out in law, is that Mortgage and Insurance brokers have the skills to meet the needs of their clients and must actively work towards maintaining and developing those skills through CPD.
Am I required to undertake CPD as an Insurance or Mortgage Broker?
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has confirmed that CPD is a must for all Mortgage and Insurance Brokers and that under FCA CPD requirements regulation firms have to be able to demonstrate that an individual is competent – and remains so – to undertake their role. As an insurance professional you must therefore decide how to assess and record competence as well as keep-up-to-date with the latest information and this has now become a regulatory requirement. By achieving the annual CPD requirement you will show your commitment to meeting the expectation under the legislation of maintaining your skill to provide professional advice.
Under a European Directive called the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD), from October 2018, those who are involved in selling protection and general insurance (GI) products will have to complete a minimum of 15 hours CPD. The IDD CPD Requirements sets out specific areas of competence that advisers, whether you advise, arrange, paraplan or help manage claims or complaints in connection with insurance – will need to be proficient in, including product knowledge, processes for claims, general business ethics and understanding different laws governing protection and GI.
Mortgage and protection advisers are not subjected to a specific number of hours as a regulatory requirement, but most adopt 35 hours over a 12-month period and use a variety of mediums in order to meet this.
When does the IDD start to affect the UK insurance broking profession?
The IDD CPD Requirements came into effect from 1st October 2018 and applies to all businesses involved in the insurance supply chain, including intermediary firms, product manufacturers and online distribution. The Directive applies to all who sell, advise on or transact insurance contracts for all types of insurance customers, as well as those that assist in administering or performing the contracts. The IDD requires everyone in the industry to possess appropriate knowledge and ability in order to complete their tasks and perform their duties adequately.
What are its aim?
The Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) is aimed at, protection advisers, general insurance brokers, general insurance managing agents, financial advisers; everyone involved in the distribution of insurance products.
What are the IDD CPD Requirements?
Everyone who has a material impact on the customer needs to adhere to the IDD and must be able to evidence adequate knowledge, through CPD. Therefore, anyone who falls under the IDD must complete 15 hours of relevant CPD each year.
The Directive list the areas of knowledge more specifically including the following:
- The terms and conditions of policies offered
- The laws governing insurance distribution
- Claims handling
- Assessing customer needs
- The insurance market
- Business ethics
Any other Insurance distribution directive CPD Requirements?
The IDD also requires firms to retain records of training to demonstrate compliance with the directive. This CPD can be structured or unstructured and for retail investment advisers it will form part of their 35-hour CPD regulatory requirements.
What are The Chartered Insurance Institute – CII CPD Requirements?
Many professionals working in the industry are already familiar with CPD for Insurance Brokers through their membership of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII). It is a requirement of membership that all CII and PFS qualified members, whether based in the UK or outside the UK, comply with the CII CPD scheme. Brokers who want to become and remain qualified members of their professional body must undertake CPD learning activity each year, to prove that their skills and industry knowledge remain up-to-date.
A qualified broker will need to complete a minimum of 35 hours compulsory CPD in a 12-month period, gained through ‘structured’ (e.g. seminars, lectures and e-learning) and ‘unstructured’ (e.g. reading journals or viewing online videos) learning. Of this at least 21 hours must be structured CPD. This however, is only the minimum required by the CII and the figure required may exceed this as the actual requirement will be determined by an individual’s development needs in any 12-month period.
In common with other professional bodies the FCA and CII believe it is important to set a minimum number of hours of CPD per year as a benchmark for qualified members. This acts as an indication to the public that a member of a profession adheres to a Code of Ethics and keeps their professional knowledge current.
If you are an appointed representative, your network will gather this information from you but directly authorised firms will need to keep a central record of their own CPD progress – this would need to cover all affected staff and hold a rolling three years’ worth of records with a named member of staff responsible for maintaining these.
Side note: You only need to submit your CPD record if the CII requests to see it. Typically they will randomly sample about 10% of members’ records each year to check these have been fully and correctly completed. You can be selected at any point during the year to provide your CPD record. The CII will ask you to provide records for the last 12 months from the point of selection. If you are specifically asked by the CII to substantiate a particular activity undertaken, you can provide corroborative evidence, e.g. a training provider’s certificate of attendance and the corresponding course syllabus.
Types of CPD for Insurance and Mortgage Brokers
Structured CPD is the undertaking of any formal learning activity designed to meet a specific learning outcome. Structured learning activities include but are not limited to:
- Studying for an examination
- Participating in seminars (web-based or in person)
- Training Courses
Other suitable CPD for Mortgage Brokers activities include:
- Studying for a relevant qualification
- Webinars & podcasts
- Technical updates
- Internal training
Unstructured CPD is any activity an individual considers has met a learning outcome, but which may not have been specifically designed to meet their development needs. This might include reading a trade publication that includes a technical article on a topic for which they have a development need, which the individual has read as part of their normal day to day activities, rather than specifically reading this to meet a specific learning need.
Although all CPD activity must address an individual’s personal development needs, it is up to the individual member to determine what these are. The process by which a development need is met involves four stages:
- Identifying learning and development needs and planning activities to address them
- Carrying out activities to meet these needs
- Recording the time spent for each activity and maintaining a verifiable audit trail of these activities
- Reflecting on the outcomes of the CPD activity (did the activity meet my learning needs?”)
CPD activities should always be measurable, with time spent being accurately recorded and your reflections documented
Part-time workers Members who are working in part-time roles have the same CPD requirements as those in full-time employment. Members on a career break, e.g. maternity leave or long-term sickness will have their CPD requirements are suspended during a career break. Where a CPD record is selected for validation purposes, the CII or FCA will ask for evidence confirming the break in work.
How do I record my CPD Activities?
CPD is most meaningful when a benefit is achieved in a planned and structured way. CPD points can only be awarded if the activity has been completed and genuinely meets your identified professional development needs. To do this you must prepare and maintain a professional development plan for each CPD period. This will identify areas for improvement in your competence, knowledge and skills. It should include how you will achieve the improvements including, where possible, details of the training you plan to undertake. Your CPD log is for recording your CPD activity and can be used as evidence of your achievements. You can include any activities on your CPD log which help you achieve your learning goals. Information that should be included:
- Learning Outcomes / objectives
- Start Date
- End Date
- Number of hours spent
- Structured / Unstructured
- Review statements
This article is to help provide a simple outline to CPD for Mortgage and Insurance Brokers, as well as FCA and CII CPD requirements from across the industry. We have also tried to provide some additional information which can help contribute to professional development. If you have Continuing Professional Development training requirements, please see the latest CPD training courses and events at the Finance CPD Hub.