Advisors could face suspensions in the new year if their firms don’t report their continuing education (CE) credits to the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) on time.
On Thursday, IIROC published a notice announcing that its revised CE rules, which were first proposed in July, would take effect on Jan. 1, 2020.
A new late-filing fee will see dealer firms fined $100 per day if they fail to report an advisor’s CE credits within 10 days of the end of a CE cycle. IIROC’s current CE cycle ends on Dec. 31.
Advisors will be suspended if their firms haven’t reported their CE credits by the final business day of January.
While industry was largely supportive of the $100-per-day fine proposed in July, some comment letters suggested it wasn’t fair to suspend advisors for their firms’ failure to report CE credits.
The Independent Financial Brokers of Canada (IFBC) argued the new rule would mean that an advisor who had fulfilled CE requirements would “be subject to the same consequences as one who failed to complete his/her CE” if a dealer firm doesn’t report the CE credits to IIROC.
Despite such concerns, IIROC decided to move forward with the proposed suspensions, arguing that the new rule gives dealers ample opportunity to rectify any reporting deficiencies.
“We believe this change will allow enough time for both Dealers and CE participants to satisfy their reporting requirements and avoid any unnecessary suspensions,” IIROC wrote in its response to the IFBC’s comment, published on Thursday.
IIROC also clarified that suspended advisors who have completed their CE requirements and are seeking reinstatement need to have their dealer firms notify IIROC in writing. IIROC wrote that it “may request supporting documentation such as proof of completion of any CE courses prior to lifting the suspension.”