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Continuing Professional Development Policy April 2019

Scope

This policy applies to Lodge Partners Pty Ltd, in compliance with Corporations (Relevant Providers Continuing Professional Development Standard) Determination 2018. Specifically, it applies to all relevant providers Authorised representatives by the stated licensee.

 

Purpose

Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is an essential component of being a professional and embeds a culture of lifelong learning. This policy embeds a CPD framework and outlines the CPD requirements under Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017 (Cth) and Corporations (Relevant Providers Continuing Professional Development Standard) Determination 2018, which requires all individuals identified as ‘relevant providers’ to meet the requirements for CPD set by the Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority Limited (FASEA).

This document outlines the overarching CPD policy and provides a summary of the relevant provider requirements.

This CPD policy embeds the following principles:

  • CPD maintains currency of technical knowledge
  • CPD enhances and extends knowledge and skills
  • CPD involves critical reflection and development
  • CPD is relevant and flexible
  • CPD is integral to ethical and professional practice

 

Definitions

Act: Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017

CPD year: The 12-month period beginning on the day of the year included in the most recent notice given by the licensee under section 922HA of the Act.

Relevant provider: a person is a relevant provider if the person:

(a)       is an individual; and

(b)      is:

(i)       a financial services licensee; or

(ii)      an authorised representative of a financial services licensee; or

(iii)     an employee or director of a financial services licensee; or

(iv)      an employee or director of a related body corporate of a financial services licensee; and

(c)       is authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients, as the licensee or on behalf of the licensee, in relation to relevant financial products.

Provisional relevant provider: a relevant provider who is undertaking work and training in accordance with subsection 921B(4) of the Act.

Formal relevant education: includes any of the following:

(a)       a degree or equivalent qualification approved under the Corporations (Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard) Determination 2018

(b)      a course determined in a legislative instrument under paragraph 1546B(1)(b) of the Act

(c)       education or training provided or approved by a professional association

(d)      formal education or training study towards qualifications or designations relevant to practice as a relevant provider.

Professional or technical reading: reading of relevant magazines, academic readings or journal articles that is unstructured and does not contain an assessment.

 

CPD Year

Lodge Partners Pty Ltd, CPD Year is 01/07 to 30/06 as per the most recent notice provided to ASIC under section 922HA of the Corporations Act 2001.

 

CPD obligations of relevant providers

Total minimum target: 40 hours of ‘qualifying CPD’ per CPD year.

Qualifying CPD activities must include a minimum in the following areas:

CPD Area Minimum requirement
Technical Competence 5 hours
•  Superannuation 1 hours
•  Securities 2 hours
•  Derivative 2 hours
Client Care and Practice 5 hours
Regulatory Compliance and Consumer Protection 5 hours
Professionalism and Ethics 9  hours
General No set minimum hours

 

Note: The above table sets out the FASEA minimum requirements in each area. However, the licensee has discretion to increase the minimum hours they require e.g. Technical Competence may be increased to 21 hours.

 

Part-time relevant providers

For reduced CPD requirements to apply, the relevant provider must be working part-time for the whole of the CPD year and must obtain prior written consent from the licensee.

Total minimum target: 36 hours of ‘qualifying CPD’ per CPD year.

Qualifying CPD activities must include a minimum in the following areas:

CPD Area Minimum requirement
Technical Competence 5 hours
•  Superannuation 1 hours
•  Securities 2 hours
•  Derivative 2 hours
Client Care and Practice 5 hours
Regulatory Compliance and Consumer Protection 5 hours
Professionalism and Ethics 9  hours
General No set minimum hours

 

CPD areas

A CPD activity must relate to one of the following CPD areas:

Item CPD area Definition
1. Technical Competence The activity is designed to enhance participants’ technical proficiency and ability to develop and provide advice strategies that are appropriate to the objectives, financial situations and needs of different classes of retail clients.
2. Client Care and Practice The activity is designed to enhance participants’ ability to act as a client-centric practitioner in advising retail clients.
3. Regulatory Compliance and Consumer Protection The activity is designed to enhance participants’ understanding of applicable legal obligations and how to comply with them.
4. Professionalism and Ethics The activity is designed to enhance participants’ capacity to act as an ethical professional.
5. General The activity is designed to maintain and extend participants’ professional capabilities, knowledge and skills, including keeping up to date with regulatory, technical and other relevant developments, but is not in an area referred to in another item of this table.

 

Maximum restrictions

In any CPD year, no more than the specified hours in each activity below may be counted as follows:

  • 30 hours of formal relevant education
  • 4 hours of professional or technical reading

 

Assessment and approval of CPD plans

CPD plan undertaken by Investment Advisers must be assessed and approved by Lodge Partners Pty Ltd to be considered qualifying CPD activities.

Assessment of qualifying CPD plan

An plan is assessed as a qualifying CPD plan if the following requirements are satisfied:

  • Meets the FASEA criteria
  • Relates to a FASEA CPD area
  • Has appropriate CPD hours attributed to each content item.

Approval of qualifying CPD plan

Approval of a qualifying CPD plane will be made by the Lodge Partners compliance committee and CPD training supervisor to ensure plan meets the requirements are met.

 

Approval of qualifying CPD activities

100% of all CPD activities undertaken by relevant providers must be assessed and approved by the licensee.

The following approval process is required:

Activity Approval process
Kaplan Professional Ontrack content Automatically approved
Kaplan Professional higher education subjects Automatically approved to a maximum of 30 hours per subject

 

Assessment of qualifying CPD activities

A CPD activity must meet and provide evidence of the following requirements to be approved as a ‘qualifying CPD activity’:

  • Clearly defined aims and learning outcomes
  • Clearly defined, logical structure that follows adult learning principles
  • Is current, accurate and up-to-date
  • Relates to one of the FASEA CPD areas
  • Is the appropriate learning level and has appropriate technical or practical content
  • Deals primarily with matters related to the provision of financial product advice, financial advice services and financial advice business
  • Is led or conducted by one or more persons with appropriate expertise, academic qualifications and practical experience
  • Enhances advisers’ knowledge and skills, and/or contributes to the maintenance of knowledge and skills in areas relevant to the provision of financial product advice and financial advice services
  • Includes one or more of the following: workshop, face-face presentation, multimedia, worked examples, activities, case studies, tips, warnings, and if appropriate, reference to relevant legislation
  • Preference is given to activities with a structured assessment component. Evidence of the successful completion of the assessment is required

Evidence requirements

For approval to be granted for a ‘qualifying CPD activity’ the following evidence is required:

  • Proof of attendance/completion (e.g. certificate, digital record, transcript), which includes as a minimum:

–    The name of the activity and the provider

–    The date the activity was undertaken

–    An overview of the activity

–    A bio or CV of person(s) who developed or presented the activity, including academic qualifications and experience

–    The CPD area to which it relates

–    The duration in minutes/hours of the activity

–    The letterhead and/or signature of the provider or an appropriate authorised person.

Lodge Partners Pty Ltd will approve at a minimum as many activities as will enable a relevant provider to comply with their CPD requirements. However, Lodge Partners Pty Ltd will not approve an activity unless the activity meets the qualifying CPD activity requirements and evidence requirements set out in this policy.

Allocation of hours

CPD hours will be assessed and allocated on the estimated time taken to complete all content components (including video and/or multimedia) plus the completion of the assessment,
on the basis of a ‘reasonable person’, with the appropriate knowledge.

 

Record keeping

The Kaplan Professional Ontrack platform will be used to record the completion of CPD activities. CPD plans will specify each relevant provider’s:

  • individual overall CPD target
  • minimum requirements in each CPD area
  • any other specific requirements that must be met

The platform will monitor individual progress and provide reporting.

For CPD activities undertaken and completed outside the Ontrack platform, each individual relevant provider is required to upload details into Ontrack and submit evidence for assessment and approval by the Lodge Partners compliance committee and CPD training supervisor. A record of attendance by Relevant Employees at internally delivered programs will be maintained by the CPD training Officer and need not be advised separately. The CPD training officer will maintain a register of CPD for all Relevant Employees.

It is the relevant provider’s responsibility to maintain complete and accurate records within Ontrack.

 

Career breaks

If a relevant provider has not been practicing or authorised as a relevant provider for a continuous period of 2 years or more, then they must comply with the following career break requirements.

Lodge Partners Pty Ltd must approve the relevant providers CPD plan for the first CPD year prior to resuming practice. Their first CPD plan may require additional CPD hours be completed to ensure Lodge Partners Pty Ltd is satisfied that it is appropriate to address gaps in the relevant provider’s competence, knowledge and skills arising from the relevant provider’s absence from practice.

 

Extenuating circumstances

Where an Investment Adviser is affected by illness, medical conditions, disability or parental leave resulting in an extended absence from providing financial advice, Crestone may, on a case by case basis, approve a pro-rata requirement in relation to the total minimum requirement of 40 hours of CPD that the impacted Investment Adviser must meet for the relevant CPD year.

 

Provisional relevant providers

Provisional relevant providers who are completing their Professional Year are not required to meet CPD requirements.

In the first CPD year as a relevant provider, CPD requirements will be pro-rated for the period between the completion of the professional year and the CPD year.

 

Existing relevant providers new to Lodge Partners Pty Ltd

Investment Advisers who are new to Lodge Partners Pty Ltd and are currently registered on the ASIC Financial Advisers Register (FAR) or who were registered on the FAR during 1 January 2016 to 1 January 2019, will be deemed an ‘existing provider’ under the Corporations Act and will be required to meet the CPD requirements set out in this Policy. Records of qualifying CPD activity undertaken prior to employment at Crestone must be provided by the Investment Adviser, and an assessment will be undertaken by Lodge Partners Pty Ltd to ensure his or her CPD compliance is in accordance with this Policy. The Investment Adviser’s first CPD plan may require additional CPD hours to be completed to ensure Lodge Partners Pty Ltd is satisfied that it has addressed the gaps in the Investment Adviser’s competence, knowledge and skills arising from the change of licensee.

 

Monitoring

Monitoring of the completion of CPD requirements by each relevant provider will be undertaken using the reporting functionality of Ontrack on a half yearly basis.

To ensure that the overall approach adopted by Lodge Partners Pty Ltd in relation to its CPD obligations under this Policy remain compliant with the CPD Determination, Lodge Partners Pty Ltd will undertake an internal review of the Policy and associated records on an annual basis and, where considered necessary, amend its approach to ensure ongoing compliance with the CPD Determination.

 

Ontrack provides a number of reports to assist with monitoring including the following popular reports/notifications listed below:

Email alerts available in Ontrack:

•   Ad hoc subscriber alert: this email can be sent to subscribers (by CPD plan) to inform them of their progress towards their target

Reporting available within Ontrack:

•   Completion report: shows CPD completed by each relevant provider

•   CPD progress report: shows relevant providers progress towards their target

•   Total requirement report: shows whether or not relevant provider has met requirements

 

Non-compliance

A relevant provider must comply with the CPD obligations specified in this policy.

Failure to meet the specified requirements requires the licensee to notify ASIC of the relevant providers non-compliance with the continuing professional development standard
(922HB, Corporations Amendment (Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017).

922HB Obligation to notify ASIC of non‑compliance with continuing professional development standard

(1)      A notice must be lodged under this section, in accordance with section 922L, in relation to a person if, at the end of a financial services licensee’s CPD year:

(a)   the person:

(i)    is the licensee; or

(ii)   is authorised to provide personal advice to retail clients, on behalf of the licensee, in relation to relevant financial products; and

(b)   the person is a relevant provider; and

(c)   the relevant provider has not complied with section 921D during the licensee’s CPD year.

Note 1: A financial services licensee may obtain information from a relevant provider under section 922N for the purposes of determining whether to lodge a notice under this section.

Note 2: Subsection 921D(1) requires certain relevant providers to meet the continuing professional development standard in subsection 921B(5).

(2)      The notice must state that the relevant provider has not complied with section 921D during the licensee’s CPD year.

Corporations Amendment
(Professional Standards of Financial Advisers) Act 2017

 

An Investment Adviser must comply with the CPD obligations specified in this Policy.

Failure to meet the specified requirements may result in an Investment Adviser being subject to professional disciplinary action. Additionally, failure to meet the requirements of this Policy may result in Lodge Partners Pty Ltd notifying the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) of any non-compliance by an Investment Adviser with the CPD standard (pursuant to s922HB of the Corporations Act). Such notification may result in statutory penalties being applied against the Investment Adviser or result in a review of the Investment Adviser’s compliance with regulatory standards by ASIC.

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