Class of Business

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FAQ – COB (Class of Business)

Please see below all the FAQ regarding COB

Who Should Attend Class of Business Training?

All Representatives working under supervision as at 1 April 2018 or appointed under supervision after 1 April 2018. Depending on the approved products for a licensed FSP, a Representative (Rep) will have to complete the applicable COB together with all subclasses which are relevant. A Key Individual (KI) must also, prior to managing or overseeing any financial service, complete COB training for those classes for which he/she is mandated.

What is Class of Business (COB)?

Class of business in the context of financial services, is the generic training that focuses on general product category knowledge in relation to a specific Line of Business.
According to Section 29 (4) of the Board Notice 194 of 2017 (the Act) which became operational on 1 April 2018, all product sub categories have been divided into nine Classes of Business. Within each class, there are relevant subclasses.

How long do I have to complete my COB training?

All supervised representatives must complete their COB training within 12 months of the date upon which they were first appointed as a Representative in respect of a financial product falling within that COB, and where COB training was a requirement. 
If you are unsure about your date of appointment, we advise that you consult with your Compliance Officer who will be able to assist you.

Why should I as a key individual (KI) attend Class of Business?

It is a legislative requirement that if you are registered as a key individual (KI) you must complete the class of business training that relates to the specific classes of business you manage or oversee. Should you not complete the relevant training, you will not be able to perform the duties of a key individual.

Can I be exempted from COB training?

Certain exemptions do apply but it will depend on the FSP’s license category, i.e. the type of business being conducted or financial product you are working with.
This is outlined to make it simple for you: If you are a Representatives in a Category 1 FSP and you work ONLY in the simplest funeral products (Long-term
Insurance subcategory A) and stokvel-type products (Friendly Society Benefits), or you ONLY perform execution of sales, working strictly according to a script, or you work ONLY in Tier 2 products, then you do not have to complete Class of Business training to meet the fit and proper requirements. We recommend that your consult your Compliance Officer for more guidance.

What training is covered under COB?

There are nine classes of business plus a generic module: Short-term Insurance (Personal Lines); Short-term Insurance (Commercial Lines); Long-term Insurance; Pension Fund Benefits; Short-term & Long-term Deposits; Structured Deposits; Investments; Forex Investments and Healthcare Benefits. Note – The Generic Module is compulsory and must be completed successfully before any COB module can be attempted. The cost of the generic module is included in the first COB module when you register with Growth in Motion.

Which Class of Business should I do?

This depends solely on your FSP’s license category. Kindly consult with your Compliance Officer who will be able to guide you on your training roadmap.

Can I do more than one Class of Business at the same time?

If you have the capacity and time and you receive the required pass mark, you most certainly can. However, we recommend that you complete 1 module at a time.

How long will it take me to complete each module?

We recommend that you set aside approximately 1–3 weeks per module based on a 45 minute to 1-hour allocated study time per working day and depending on the amount of content for each module. However, the duration of the training is completely up to you as an individual. We encourage you to refer to our Class of Business brochure where we show the estimated times based on our pilot sessions.

Is there anything I can read through in preparation before I attempt the COB training?

We recommend reviewing the Generic Module as this give you a solid grounding as an introduction to Class of Business. All necessary material is covered in our on-line content. You can go over the content as many times as you like before attempting the final assessment.

Which is best option, On-line or Facilitated Learning?

Our on-line training was designed with the end-user in mind and we pride ourselves on it being very user-friendly and one of the best on offer. It allows learners to do the training in their own time and at their own pace. We also offer a 2/3-day facilitated training to companies who prefer their candidates to be trained at their own premises and at the same time.

Can we test the content of the COB training to verify if this meet with our expectations?

This only relates to corporates and each request will be forwarded to management for consideration.

How many chances do I get to pass?

You will get 3 chances to pass the summative (final) assessment at the end of each COB course for which you have registered.

How long will it take to complete the assessment?

Depending on the COB course, you will get between two and two and a half hours to complete the summative (final) assessment.

Will I receive a certificate on completion?

A certificate of completion will be issued after successfully completing the COB training. It can be downloaded by clicking on the trophy on the course page. Companies will receive a report listing all the names of their staff members who completed COB for upload to their Competency Register.

What about Product Specific Training?

This only applies to companies who request Product Specific training to especially be designed for them for their own unique requirements. Growth in Motion offers the services to design a company’s Product Specific training, ensuring it aligns with the requirements as laid in Board Notice 194 of 2017 (the Act).

How can I become Fit and Proper?

By meeting all the competency requirements which consists of the following:
• Obtain a qualification recognised by the FSCA
• Pass the applicable regulatory exam
• Complete the class of business training applicable to you and
• Gain the required experience while working under supervision in each product category.

Why are services under supervision so important?

Whilst under supervision, you will learn how to render financial services in the most appropriate way. Your supervisor should:
1.) Sign-off the advice given;
2.) Perform a pre-transaction sign-off where intermediary services are rendered;
3.) Attend meetings with you where financial services are rendered;
4.) Be involved with post-transaction sampling;
5.) Supervise follow-up calls to clients;
6.) Perform any other appropriate activities that enables him/her to scrutinise your activities.
By going through this process, you should be able to render financial services professionally and in the best interest of your clients.

What is Debarment?

It is a process where an authorised FSP can restrict a person from rendering financial services who is or was a representative of the FSP if the financial services provider is satisfied based on available facts and information that the person:
● does not meet, or no longer complies with the fit and proper requirements,
● has contravened or failed to comply with any provision of the FAIS Act in a material manner.

How does Debarment affect me?

If you ensure that you meet the Fit and Proper requirements and comply with the provisions of the FAIS act, debarment has no affect on you. If debarred, you will not be allowed to work as a representative in the financial services industry.

Who debars a representative?

The FSP is responsible for debarring representatives where necessary.

When are representatives debarred?

An FSP will debar a representative if that representative no longer meets the fit and proper requirements, or if the representative has contravened a provision of the Act in a manner which is serious.

If I am debarred by my FSP, can I get a job elsewhere?

Not as a representative.

If I am debarred, will I be dismissed?

That depends upon your terms and conditions of employment. If your job requires you to be a representative, then debarment could lead to dismissal. If your conditions of employment specify that debarment would be grounds for dismissal, then you might be dismissed. These would not be FAIS matters. FAIS debarment is not the same as dismissal.

How does debarment work?

The FSP must notify the representative in writing that debarment proceedings are being implemented and give reasons. The representative must have a reasonable opportunity to respond, and the response must be considered. The FSP makes its decision. If it decides to debar, then the representative must be given the decision and reasons in writing and must also be told of the right to refer the decision to the Financial Services Tribunal for review.
The FSP withdraws any authorisation to operate on its behalf, removes the representative from its register of representatives and notifies the Authority of the debarment so that the person can be placed on the central register of debarred representatives

Can a representative be reappointed after debarment?

Yes. Generally, 12 months must have passed since the debarment before reinstatement can be considered: but if the only reason for the debarment was a failure to meet a fit and proper requirement, then as soon as the requirement has been met the representative can seek re-appointment. An FSP must satisfy itself that all unfinished business that the Representative had at the time of debarment was properly dealt with, that all matters that arose from the debarment have been completed and that the person is fit and proper at the time of application. If the FSP is satisfied, it will notify the Authority that it has appointed the person as a representative and the Authority will remove the person from the debarment register.

Is there an Ombud for FAIS?

Yes, there is. The Ombud is appointed by the Minister of Finance, as provided for in section 21 of the FAIS Act. The Ombud must be a person who is qualified in law and who possesses adequate knowledge of the rendering of financial services. The Minister may also appoint one or more persons as Deputy Ombud.

What is the role of the Ombud?

The FAIS Ombud’s role is to consider and dispose of complaints. These complaints can be sent by clients or companies. The Ombud must be procedurally fair, informal, economical, expeditious and equitable when assessing and acting on a complaint.

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