Professionals offering advice in financial protection must undertake at least 15 hours of relevant continued professional development (CPD) each year. But what exactly are the requirements? And where can you find the right CPD to meet them? The LIBF’s Sue Wiggins provides some answers.
Like everything else in the financial services sector, the world of financial protection is constantly evolving.
A recent report published by Zurich suggest that the Covid-19 pandemic has driven demand for advice on income and protection and critical illness up by a third.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) believes it’s important for professionals talking with clients about their insurance needs and protection cover to know their products and services inside out.
And since 2018, the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) has required anyone selling insurance – including those who advise on financial protection – to carry out at least 15 related CPD hours each year. These can be included in the 35 hours you may already be doing for retail investment activities.
Why CPD matters
CPD isn’t just about statutory requirements.
By helping you offer a more professional service, CPD can enhance your career and improve your client relationships. And by keeping you up to date with the latest developments it will help you and your business stay ahead.
In short, your CPD should be worth your while – especially if you find CPD that’s interesting, relevant and of a high quality.
How to stay on top of CPD
Although it may sound like a lot, 15 hours a year is only an average of one hour and 30 minutes each month.
It’s always worth looking out for CPD that will support the work you’re currently doing.
For example, if a client is concerned about their current employment situation, you may want to look at the best ways of protecting income. One CPD block on salary protection – lasting one hour, 30 minutes – would be ideal.
Make sure your CPD helps you learn
Everyone has a preferred learning style so it’s important to be aware of what sort of study works for you.
It’s also useful to check your learning when you’ve completed a topic or CPD session. This is especially important in CPD as you may need to provide evidence of learning when you log your CPD hours.
Look for CPD activities in different formats – including written, video and audio content – so that you can find something that suits you. Activities that test your knowledge are an added bonus.
You might also using your CPD time to study for a qualification, like the Certificate in Protection to help you develop specialist knowledge. You can register for CertPro anytime and study online at a pace that suits you.
How to log and keep a record of your CPD
For financial protection and insurance, your 15 hours don’t have to consist entirely of structured learning. You may want to include reading, research, attending events and webinars, or listening to podcasts.
Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to keep clear records of your CPD. If you’re a member of LIBF, you can use the online tool, MyCPD to log your CPD hours.
We offer approximately 11 to 16 hours of structured CPD in financial protection in a variety of formats, including written, video and audio.
The number of hours varies because people study at different speeds. You can choose how long you spend on a topic.
Because the learning activities are online, you can access them 24 hours a day from anywhere with an internet connection. We’ve found that helps people fit their CPD around busy working lives.
At the end of an activity, you can use reflective exercises and testing to generate evidence of your CPD hours.