Contnuing education concept: pixelated words continuing education on digital background, 3d render

Proposed new rules would establish continuing education (CE) requirements for mutual fund dealer reps and management.

The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) has proposed rules changes that would introduce continuing education (CE) requirements for dealers and reps, and would set minimum standards for compliance.

The development and implementation of CE requirements is “a significant undertaking” that will materially impact dealers, reps, the MFDA and the rest of the industry, the MFDA says in a bulletin.

The proposed changes set out CE requirements for reps, chief compliance officers, ultimate designated persons, and branch managers in terms of business conduct, professional development, and MFDA compliance credits.

In particular, dealer personnel covered by the rule would be required to complete eight business conduct credits per two-year CE cycle, and two MFDA compliance credits.

Additionally, reps would have to complete 20 professional development credits each cycle.

“The intent of the proposed new rules and policy is to assist [registered personnel] in maintaining high standards of professionalism and keeping their industry knowledge current,” the MFDA notice says.

The proposals also set out minimum requirements for complying with the rules, including
formulas to determine CE credit requirements in different circumstances;
standards for accrediting and delivering qualifying content; and
requirements for tracking and reporting course completion, compliance and enforcement procedures.

The proposals would allow course accreditation by the MFDA, a dealer, or recognized third parties.

The MFDA has been working on its CE requirements for several years, starting back in 2014, and has previously issued a couple of discussion papers.

“The MFDA’s CE initiative forms part of our ongoing effort to further enhance advisor proficiency and professionalism. We believe that raising the standard of advisor knowledge through enhanced proficiency requirements will ultimately benefit Canadian investors and further promote investor confidence,” says Mark Gordon,  MFDA president and CEO, in a statement.

Comments on the new rule proposals are due by June 20.