New continuing education requirements for advisors registered with the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) take effect Dec. 1, and the regulator posted details about the new program on Friday.
Under the continuing education (CE) program, MFDA advisors must earn 30 CE credits within each two-year cycle. These credits comprise eight business conduct credits (including ethics), 20 professional development credits and two MFDA-created compliance credits.
CE credits for other approved persons, such as branch managers, and other compliance details for advisors are outlined in a participant guide.
In a guide for dealer members, the regulator outlines administration responsibilities, CE attendance and compliance processes, among other items.
The administration models detailed in the dealer guide offer flexibility and include an advisor reporting model, dealer reporting model, and hybrid approach. In the dealer model, the dealer would develop and accredit all CE activities.
Regardless of model, the dealer is responsible for supervising advisors’ compliance with the CE requirements, the guide said.
Evidence of CE attendance must be uploaded to the continuing education record tracking system (CERTS) in accordance with the administration model.
The dealer guide, as well as the participant guide, also references MFDA rules and processes regarding CE compliance. Non-compliance could ultimately result in an advisor (or approved person) being suspended until compliant. Further, the MFDA may impose a fee of $2,500 per advisor (or approved person) where a dealer’s action resulted in advisor non-compliance.
“For example, fees may be imposed where a member performs self-accreditation that is materially deficient resulting in significant non-compliance by their [approved persons],” the dealer guide said.
Other CE documents posted online include a CERTS guide for advisors, and guides for education providers and accreditation.
Disclosure: Newcom Media Inc., which owns Advisor’s Edge, also owns CEcorner.ca, a continuing education provider.