Can you believe that it's been nearly two years since the broking world was changed by the requirements of the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD)? Those two years have brought many changes, both within the profession with the Senior Managers and Certification Regime, and in the wider community most obviously with changes to the way we work influenced by the Coronavirus pandemic.
Many firms have had to adapt to the practice of remote working in a very short space of time, with little chance to reflect on the impact that the changes might have on their training regimes. It can be easy sometimes to put off continuing professional development as an optional extra that you haven't got time for because of the pressures of your 'day job'.
Unfortunately, this has the potential to be a real ticking time bomb for your firm if the culture gets too complacent. The biggest impact of the IDD was the introduction of minimum levels of CPD activity to be undertaken by insurance intermediaries - from call handlers to more traditional brokers and claims handlers.
The regulatory requirement is 15 hours’ CPD a year (around an hour and a quarter each month) although CII members are required, by the professional body, to carry out 35 hours’ CPD a year (nearly two hours each month). Broken into monthly chunks, it doesn't sound much, but how many of us have felt comfortable taking regular blocks of time away from our work over the last few months...?
The new SM&CR regime raises the stakes for anyone in the profession with management responsibilities and introduces a requirement for firms to certify that individuals are competent to perform their roles. The best way to provide evidence of maintaining (and developing) your competence is by showing a commitment to CPD, backed up by clear and accurate records to show what you have done, why, and how it has influenced your work.
As firms settle into whatever "new normal" comes out of the pandemic, the FCA will also settle back to checking more closely that firms are acting responsibly and looking after the best interests of their clients. If you haven't taken time recently to review your own CPD record, now is a great time to do so.
The Development Zone provides a whole range of tools and content that can help you to prove that you're meeting the requirements of both the IDD and SM&CR from great technical content produced by our experienced authors to handy tools such as the CPD Mentor that helps you improve the quality of entries in your CPD record.
Don't forget that as well as the obvious challenges, the recent situation has brought about a number of opportunities, for example, many of you with supervisory responsibilities have probably spent time with individuals or whole teams, mentoring and providing on the job training and support to colleagues - much of which will be valuable CPD both in terms of the regulatory requirements and in terms of maintaining professional qualifications. Make sure that you include activities like this in your CPD record now while you remember clearly what you did and what the outcomes were!
If you find that you've missed out on completing CPD during the year, the regulator is taking a sympathetic approach but will expect you to catch up quickly with your target, so don't be complacent. If you're not sure where to start, you might find our course of the month a handy starting point, or alternatively, go to our constantly changing course catalogue and use one of the handy filters - including filters for IDD, SM&CR and many other themes to help you fill in the gaps in your training and development, or discover new topics to broaden your understanding of the profession.