Stay relevant, competitive and compliant: a CPD guide

Continuous Professional Development (CPD) is vital in our industry, allowing financial services professionals to continuously enhance their knowledge, learn new skills, and stay up to date and competitive. Sanlam can help you do this in a number of ways.

In South Africa, CPD is a legislative requirement, and has been compulsory for all financial services providers, registered representatives and key individuals since April 2018, when new ‘fit and proper’ requirements were introduced. Each year, these professionals must accumulate a minimum number of CPD points to remain compliant to render, manage or oversee the appropriate financial services.

In support of this process, the SPF Distribution Academy has embarked on a journey in which it provides all staff, intermediaries and key individuals with the opportunity to attain their CPD points by attending and engaging in a variety of events and activities:

  1. CPD Masterclasses – National events held four times a year via videoconferencing and/or webinar. The aim is to use industry experts to expose attendees to current and fresh topics in the field. In the current cycle the Academy has already held three CPD Masterclasses and to date, this event has been held nationally at more than 30 venues with 1 000-plus attendees.
  2. Online CPD events – Online courses that individuals can complete at their leisure to earn points. A number of these are available.
  3. Sanlam Academy developmental courses – Provided to individuals nominated by management. The aim is to ensure upskilling at the appropriate level, which may attract CPD points.
  4. Corporate partners online material – Offered by corporate partners, such as Sanlam Corporate, Sanlam Investments, Santam and others that may have online courses that can attract CPD points.
  5. Corporate partners offering face-to-face sessions – Similar to the above courses, these are offered by corporate partners such as Glacier, SI, SPW and others, who may offer physical conferences where qualifying attendees may earn CPD points.

Examples of online courses:

As a case in point, those who completed these courses and attended the CPD Masterclasses could have attained 25 points or more in the current cycle. As the cycle goes on, more events will be added. Members of the Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa may also use the above courses to obtain points with the professional body.

Note that you can only complete an event once to earn points and may not repeat a course in every cycle.

MY CPD makes it easier to record points

The Academy also has a CPD page, MY CPD, that records all points achieved with the Academy. If you obtain points via other means, such as attending another company’s CPD event, send the Academy the details to create the event on the MY CPD Page. This way, you’re able to load your certificate on the CPD page under the event created to accumulate points against your existing record. Here’s how to do this:

Tips for a successful CPD journey

Don’t earn points for the sake of earning points. The course must enrich your skills and serve you in your career. Ensure that the type or combination of CPD activities:

  • Is relevant to your role
  • Contributes to the skill, knowledge, expertise and professional and ethical standards of the financial services provider
  • Addresses any identified gaps in technical knowledge, generic knowledge and understanding of your environment, and in legislation
  • Is adequate for any changes to internal or external conditions relevant to the class of business, category of financial services and the products you sell.

Ensure the sessions you attend are verifiable.

According to the board notice, all CPD points must be approved by a professional body and all sessions must be verifiable, in other words, there must be evidence of learning taking place. This verification may have different forms – signing in and out of sessions with times indicated, or alternatively, in the form of an assessment – especially for webinar, videoconferencing and online sessions.

Keep track of your points and your timelines.

The CPD cycle commences on 1 June of every year and ends on 31 May of the following year. Hence, the current cycle began on 1 June 2018 and will end on 31 May 2019. The board notice stipulates the minimum requirement to achieve CPD points in the cycle and this depends on how many classes (or subclasses) of business you’re registered for.

Good luck for the rest of the cycle! Rest assure that the Distribution Academy is committed to finding CPD solutions and offering a variety of activities to ensure that Sanlam staff, KIs and intermediaries are competent at the end of every cycle. So stay calm, be compliant, and let’s get those points before the 2018/19 cycle ends!