Much debate on new CE proposals

New continuing education (CE) rules that the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) will adopt in January will shorten the CE cycle for investment dealers to two years.

In a notice published Thursday, the self-regulatory organization (SRO) says the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) have approved new IIROC CE rules, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2018.

Among other things, the new rules reduce the CE cycle for IIROC reps from three to two years. This is in line with the approach taken by the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA), and other professional organizations.

The proposed regime was published for comment back in March. The final version was approved with one key change: tougher penalties for failing to meet CE requirements will be delayed until the end of the new CE cycle.

In the notice, IIROC says it agrees with industry feedback recommending that CE participants should not face the new, tougher penalty regime until the completion of CE cycle seven in January 2020.

As a result, the SRO has revised the rules and is providing transitional relief that will allow CE participants to carry forward 20 hours of a single professional development course from the current CE cycle ending Dec. 31, 2017 into the next CE cycle.

In addition to the public comments, IIROC received comments from CSA staff, and consulted with various IIROC policy committees.

The SRO also made a handful of non-material changes to the proposed rules, the IIROC notice says.

IIROC is continuing to review its CE program beyond the issues that are addressed in the new rules.

“After implementation of the CE rules, we may make additional changes based on our review,” the notice says, and these changes may be included as part of its project to adopt plain language rules, or as stand-alone amendments.

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