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Non-CPD training 'still worthwhile'

It’s still worth advisers attending product training sessions, even if they don’t count as structured continuing professional development (CPD) hours under the new code of conduct, the PAA’s learning and development manager says.

Wednesday, March 19th 2014, 6:00AM 3 Comments

by Niko Kloeten

The changes to the Code of Professional Conduct for AFAs, coming into force soon, include clearer guidelines around training hosted by product providers and what constituted “structured” learning. 

“If the training is clearly about a specific product offered by a provider, then it is more likely to be classed as a sales training session and therefore would probably not be considered structured learning,” Angi Mann said.

“However, if the training is about the generic application of a product that the provider, along with other providers, offers then it is more likely to be structured learning.”

But Mann said some product providers offered excellent training, and even if their product training sessions don’t count as structured hours they are still clearly appropriate for advisers to attend. “It's about maintaining your competence and knowledge in order to provide appropriate recommendations.”

Heathcote Investment Partners director Clayton Coplestone, who is travelling the country this week with his Meet the Managers roadshow, said some courses were little more than “product flogging sessions” by product providers.  “I’ve seen a number of events where they say ‘come along and we’ll give you a muffin and a CPD point’,” he said.

The grey area was “in between”, such as when fund managers spoke about a market trend then linked it back to how their funds were positioned. “You can’t just make an innocuous statement like ‘tapering is coming off’.  There has to be a ‘so what?’”

Vicki Watson, director of Diversified Investment Strategies, said there could sometimes be a fine line between what’s education and what’s not.

“Sometimes if you are not aware of what some of the managers offer, you go along to them and you think ‘I didn’t know they did that.  Then you’ve got some of the old ones doing the same roadshow again and again.  It’s same old, same old.”

Niko Kloeten can be contacted at niko@goodreturns.co.nz

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Comments from our readers

On 19 March 2014 at 10:03 am R1 said:
I think the real issue for AFAs is the lack of high quality, non-biased (i.e. independent, principles-based courses as opposed to product specific. The industry educating the industry is not a good look when it comes to CPD (bit like pharma co.s educating doctors at lavish conference in exotic locations)and in reality of little real value. Where are our educational institutions in picking up this opportunity to broaden our knowledge and learn about trends for the future and their implication, etc., etc.? I guess they can't see a profit in it, sadly.
On 19 March 2014 at 8:03 pm Tony R said:
A company I consult for looked at setting up continuing education roadshows but couldn't couldn't see any chance of a profitable venture.

i.e fund managers and product providers aren't interested in spending money unless they are going to get some credit.

They got nowhere with the professional associations, 'exclusivity' requirements as well as people just wanting to protect their turf or clip the ticket.

Whech left the advisers to fund it.

They did the math but a national roadshow couldn't be justified online delivery ran into difficulty with the regulators.

It all got a bit too hard and messy.

Pity
On 21 March 2014 at 7:21 am Murray Weatherston said:
A question for Tony R
Can you elaborate on your statement "on line delivery [of CE] ran into difficulty with the regulators" please? Which regulators? What were their objections? I have some CPD credits from Aussie webinars - why wouldn't they count?

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