Conduct Rules Training – Are Firms Prepared?

Recent Insight articles have explored how many regulated firms remain unprepared for the arrival of the Senior Managers and Certification Regime (SM&CR) on the 9th December 2019.

The implementation date for the new regime is now almost upon us and RWA’s research has highlighted various areas of concern for firms. In recent weeks, for instance, we have looked at fitness and propriety under SM&CR and Statements of Responsibility -  is your firm aware of these requirements?

Another key element of SM&CR is the Conduct Rules. Staff within the scope of the Conduct Rules must be trained on what the rules mean in relation to their individual job role.

However, according to RWA’s findings only 14% of firms say they have trained all relevant staff on what the conduct rules mean in relation to their individual job role.

So what are the Conduct Rules training requirements under SM&CR?

The Conduct Rules will apply to all firms and branches, and to all financial services staff within the firm. The FCA can hold staff, at any level, personally accountable for conduct breaches – so it should be clear why Conduct Rules training is so important.

SM&CR introduces two tiers of Conduct Rules: Individual Conduct Rules and Senior Manager Conduct Rules. Staff must be trained on what the rules mean in relation to their individual job role. Firms have until December 2020 to put in place processes to comply with the training and reporting requirements and to train staff, who do not fall within the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, on the implications of the Conduct Rules.

Senior Managers and Certification Staff, however, must be trained on the Conduct Rules by December 2019. This means that Senior Managers and Certification Staff will need to have been trained in, and abide by, the Conduct Rules from the start of the new regime, less than two months away.

By introducing the Conduct Rules, the FCA’s aim is to improve standards of individual behaviour in financial services from the ‘top down’ and the ‘bottom up’. The Conduct Rules are designed to represent a meaningful change in the standards of conduct expected by the regulator. By applying the Conduct Rules to a broad range of staff, the FCA aims to improve individual accountability and awareness of conduct issues across firms. It is important for firms to understand what they need to do ahead of implementation in December 2019, and beyond.

If you need help with SM&CR, please contact helpdesk@rwagroup.co.uk to find out more about our SM&CR Helpline service.

About the author

Lisa joined RWA in 2014 as an e-Learning Assistant, designing training material for the Aviva Development Zone learning platform.

Her role as Professional Standards Manager involves the creation and review of e-learning content as well as providing proofreading, copywriting and standards support across the business.

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