All About Continuous Professional Development (CPD)

The FSCA introduced Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as part of the competency requirements for Fit and Proper status in 2017. This was announced in Board Notice 194 of 2017, Chapter 4, Section 31 (1). It stated: Subject to subsection (2) the fit and proper requirements relating to CPD contained in this Chapter apply to all FSPs, key individuals and representatives.

This requirement was initially met with a lot of negativity and understandably so. What has changed since then? Why are more and more people in the financial services industry engaging in quality CPD programmes? Let’s investigate!

Everyone in this industry knows that they are competing in an ever-changing environment. How do you distinguish yourself from your competitor and how do you ensure that you are always one step ahead of your competitor when it comes to financial advice to your clients?

The regulator introduced CPD to ensure that FSPs, KIs and Representatives maintain their competence and that their knowledge, skills, and abilities remain up to date in this changing and dynamic environment. Consequently, customers will have access to fit and proper knowledgeable and skilled financial advisors.

What are the other unique benefits and advantages of engaging in CPD programmes? Let’s look at CPD from a different angle.

Continuous learning is essential to our existence. Good food nourishes our bodies, relevant information and continued learning nourishes our minds. Lifelong learning (CPD) is an indispensable tool for every advisor and FSP.

Today, continuous professional development forms a crucial part in acquiring critical thinking skills and discovering new ways of relating to your client’s needs and addressing those needs in the most appropriate manner.

We all experience changes in our career, changes in our personal lives, changes in our community and organisations. One of the most effective ways to deal with these changes is with lifelong learning or continuous professional development.

What is continuous development?

Continuous development is a self-motivated determination in acquiring knowledge, skill, and abilities to create future opportunities. It is part of personal development to avoid stagnation and reach one’s full potential.

Benefits of Lifelong Learning

  • Stay relevant.
    Don’t be left behind. Ensure you remain relevant in your industry, keep up to date with trends and adapt your skill set. To function effectively in this changing world of financial services, you need to become aware of all changes to remain valuable.
  • Create new ideas.
    Acquiring new skills will unveil new opportunities. In-depth knowledge will help you identify new opportunities and help you find innovative solutions to your client’s financial needs. This could earn you more money in the long run.
  • Competence leads to confidence.
    Learning new things will give you a feeling of accomplishment, which in turn boosts your confidence in your own capabilities. Also, you’ll feel better prepared to take on challenges and enable you to advise your clients across various financial disciplines.
  • It creates greater career opportunities.
    Companies are looking to recruit the best and brightest. A person with a good CPD record has a better chance. According to a study, 40% of the FSPs that participated named CPD as a top consideration when evaluating a new job prospect.
  • It will improve standard of performance.
    When you develop your knowledge and enhance your skills and abilities, you are simply more able to do the job, rendering financial advice to your clients. CPD develops skills, it makes you more aware of processes, and makes you more confident and knowledgeable of the industry. All of this make you perform better both now and in the future. CPD also keeps you informed of new industry trends and developments, which will help position you and your company as a leader in the field.
  • Satisfied Clients
    Probably the most important benefit of CPD is clients who reach their financial goals due to the professional advice provided by a competent and skilled financial advisor. A financial advisor’s main objective should be to guide their clients to financial freedom. CPD will help you achieve that. Through continuous learning you will become a better advisor, aware of the various needs that clients might have, but most importantly, you will have the knowledge to know what the best and most appropriate solution to those needs are.

Embrace CPD, make it part of who you are. As I mentioned, make it a self-motivated determination to acquire knowledge. Like all other professions i.e., medical, accounting, law and so many others who use CPD to stay relevant, improve and develop, you need to do the same. It benefits you, your company but most of all, it benefits your client!

With four months left before the end of the current CPD cycle, now is the time to engage. Identify a development need and select a CPD programme that will help you meet the requirement.

CPD programmes are categorised as follows:

  • Knowledge
  • Skill
  • Ethics
  • Market and Regulatory Updates

For CPD programmes visit https://gimacademy.africa/main