The FCA confirmed on 27 May 2020 that they will allow certain advisers with exceptional circumstances to carry over any uncompleted CPD hours to the next CPD year, as long as their CPD year ends before 2 April 2021. However, it is expected that most advisers will be able to complete their CPD during the pandemic.
‘Certain advisers’ would be:
- Retail investment advisers who are required to get independent verification from an accredited body;
- Insurance distributors who must ensure each relevant employee completes 15 hours of professional training every 12 months.
‘Exceptional Circumstances’ would be staff:
- Who need to carry out extra duties to manage risk or provide support during the current COVID-19 situation;
- With caring responsibilities, such as caring for a partner, child, parent, grandparent, or sibling;
- having difficulty assessing CPD material due to technical difficulties or unavailable material.
Carried over CPD hours must be completed in the next CPD period and will be treated as part of the CPD for the next CPD year, on top of the hours already required for that year.
Firms must record their decision and the reasons for it, including the number of CPD hours the individual is carrying over, but do not need to report this to the FCA. To get independent verification for the adviser, the firm will need to confirm with the accredited body that the adviser is and remains competent. An accredited body will be able to verify compliance.