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News Round Up: November 28

IFA issues structured training guidelines; Newpark Legal; Global equities boost NZ Super

Monday, November 28th 2011, 6:44AM 1 Comment

IFA issues structured training guidelines

The Institute of Financial Advisers has released a set of training guidelines for advisers as it believes the Code of Professional Conduct lacks definition of structured training.

Chief executive Peter Lee said the Code definition for structured training was too lax and created uncertainty for advisers and training providers.

"We believe that to be deemed structured, training must meet certain internationally accepted minimum standards. In the Code definition there is no requirement or definition as to how the material should be delivered, or how its effectiveness should be measured," he said.

Lee said that while the IFA had long held its own minimum standards for Continuing Professional Development, the decision to issue new guidelines was in response to advisers seeking greater clarification for the definition in  the wake of new regulations.

"We have listened to those concerns and in response have developed guidelines which are of a robust and internationally recognised standard for the wider financial industry," he said.

Newpark launches legal service

Newpark is helping its advisers stay on the right side of employment law with the launch of Newpark Legal.

Managing director Darren Gannon said the need for legal services was growing as adviser businesses expanded, with members transforming from advisers to business owners.

"A lot of members now have office staff, and they're also bringing in sub-brokers, so we think having the agreements in place and doing that side of the business is really important," he said. "They can have a facility to help them with employment agreements."

Global equities boost NZ Super

A rally in global equities has helped the NZ Super Fund post its first positive return for the first four months of the financial year.

The fund grew by $1.17 billion to close at $17.8 billion on October 31.

The 6.66% monthly gain in October comes after loses of 5.17% kept the fund in negative territory over the financial year to date.

« Star analyst shuns Aussie stocksKiwiSaver mismatch a 'huge challenge' for advisers »

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Comments from our readers

On 28 November 2011 at 1:08 pm Murray Weatherston said:
Structured CPD Credits

Before another huge regulatory system is built for determining CPD Credits, why not see what other professional bodies in NZ do. The following is what the Accountants do. Their terminology is "verifiable" and "non-verifiable" but surely that is similar to the Code's "structured/unstructured" divide.

What constitutes CPD?

Given the diverse range of activities which members undertake, it is not possible to define a common CPD curriculum. The responsibility lies with you to choose suitable professional development activities and to judge, within the guidelines provided, whether these activities contribute to your professional development. CPD is not restricted to courses offered by NZICA or to accounting and financial topics. Your chosen CPD activities can relate to any competency that is relevant to your current or future work.

As a test, verifiable CPD can be identified as any activity for which a member can answer ‘yes’ to the following questions:
• Was the learning activity relevant to your current or future professional development?
• Can you provide verifiable evidence that you undertook the learning activity?

As a general guide, relevant higher quality verifiable CPD is more likely to have interactive learning, sometimes have an assessment component and involve teaching by competent specialists. Other activities could include providing service on a technical committee, writing technical articles or presenting courses. As a guide, verifiable CPD could include the following activities:
• NZICA national conferences and courses
• NZICA branch courses and seminars
• NZICA Special Interest Group training events
• training from other providers or professional bodies
• in-house training and presentations
• assessed distance learning
• university courses
• conferences – local and international
• other structured courses
• serving on a technical committee
• publishing professional or academic papers, articles, research and other publications that have relevance to one’s current or future work
• participating as a speaker in conferences, briefing sessions and discussion groups
• developing training sessions or courses
• facilitating and/or marking professional examinations.

Verifiable CPD

The underlying principle in the case of ‘verifiable’ CPD is that the learning activity is able to be objectively verified by a competent source. ‘Non-verifiable’ CPD is considered to be an activity that is independent and informal, for example, reading technical or professional articles, mentoring discussions and collegial discussion
where learning is fostered.

Means by which CPD can be verified include:
• attendance records, registration forms or confirmation of registration in a learning activity
• independent assessment by a competent individual that a learning activity has occurred
• confirmation by an instructor, mentor or tutor of participation in a learning activity
• confirmation by an employer of participation in an in-house programme, including firms’ CPD logs
• published research work
• confirmation by other committee members (or Secretariat) of participation on a Technical Committee.

NZICA's process surely didn't need a huge infrastructure to be created.


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