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Bulletin #0928-ME

For further information, please contact:

Brett Konyu
Director, Member Education and Membership Services
Member Education
For Distribution to Relevant Parties within your Firm

Continuing Education (CE) Program Update

MFDA Rules 1.2, 1.2.6, and Policy No. 9 (collectively the CE requirements) came into effect on December 1, 2021. This Bulletin summarizes the highlights of the first year of the CE Program and the next steps to be undertaken by stakeholders.

Participants are reminded that they must meet the CE credit requirements for the first CE cycle by November 30, 2023. Please also note that the CE requirements for mutual fund dealing representatives will remain the same under the Interim Rules for the New Self-Regulatory Organization of Canada (“New SRO”). For additional information and guidance on CE requirements, please visit the Continuing Education section of the MFDA website. For additional information on the Interim Rules for the New SRO, please visit the New SRO Interim Rules FAQ page on the New SRO website.

CE Program Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

As the CE requirements and the use of the CE Reporting and Tracking System (“CERTS”) are new, MFDA staff have received and answered a number of questions over the first year of the CE Program. In response, the MFDA, in consultation with the Chambre de la sécurité financière (CSF), has published FAQs on the CE Program Requirements and FAQs on CERTS.

CERTS

Over the past year, the MFDA completed the onboarding of all Member Administrators, over 60,000 Participants, and 40 third party education providers onto CERTS.

Due to the above noted volume of users of a brand new system, with different needs and access types (Participants, Members and Providers), MFDA staff has received suggestions for improvement from various CERTS users. MFDA has undertaken a number of enhancements to CERTS as a result of this valuable feedback.

Accreditor Options

In addition to permitting accreditation to be completed by Members, the MFDA recognizes the Chambre de la sécurité financière (CSF) and the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) as accreditors. MFDA has also recognized the following third party accreditors:

  • FP Canada;
  • the Institute for Advanced Financial Education; and
  • the Canadian Institute of Financial Planning.

MFDA Compliance Credit (MCC)

MFDA issued the first of the two mandatory MFDA Compliance Credits (the 2022 MCC), in both English and French. Participants must log in to CERTS in order to take the MCCs for credit. The 2023 MCC will be issued in early 2023.

Next Steps

Members and Participants must report completion of CE credits on CERTS no later than ten business days following the November 30th cycle end. For the first CE cycle ending November 30, 2023, the deadline to report completion of CE credits on CERTS is December 14, 2023. Members and Participants should be reviewing progress reports on CERTS on an ongoing basis to monitor completion of CE credit requirements.

Members

To facilitate compliance with the CE requirements, Members should ensure their Approved Persons are actively working towards completing the requirements before the end of the cycle. To work towards this Members:

  • Should review the requirements and guidance and develop procedures appropriate for the Member;
  • Need to keep the primary email addresses for each of its Participants accurate and updated on CERTS in order to enable Participant access to the system. This is especially important for Participants who registered with, or were designated by, the Member after the CE requirements came into effect;
  • Should consider viewing and exporting reports on the progress of their Participants using the Compliance Status section of the CERTS Dashboard. A more detailed report can be created and exported under the Participants Tab using the CE Summary Details search;
  • Should consider reminding their Approved Persons of their CE requirements;
  • Must accredit (or have accredited) Member CE activities and post them on CERTS for their Participants to be able to report attendance at these Member CE activities;
  • Must report Participant CE activity completion/attendance where Members are undertaking this on the behalf of their Participants;
  • Must enter leaves of absences for Participants where these occur; and
  • Must ensure all designated Branch Managers, Alternate Branch Managers or Alternate Chief Compliance Officers are captured on CERTS. Such individuals would be on CERTS if they are registered in another category (such as mutual fund dealing representative) or have been entered on NRD under these designations. If any of these individuals are not on CERTS, please contact the MFDA via ce@mfda.ca.

For questions, please reach out to us at ce@mfda.ca.

Participants

In order to work towards satisfying the MFDA CE requirements by the end of the cycle Participants:

  • Should review your Member’s CE policies and procedures to understand your responsibilities, including, if applicable, the responsibility to post attendance at CE activities you completed;
  • Should review the Continuing Education section of the MFDA website;
  • Should follow-up with Providers if your CE activity is not reflected on the CERTS system;
  • Should log into CERTS and use the report CE attendance functionality to report completed activities. The CE Details page/tab will allow you to view what your requirements are, what attendance and credits have been entered towards meeting these requirements and what your outstanding credit requirements are. While entering attendance does not apply to Participants whose Member is posting all attendance on their behalf (again, please refer to your Member’s specific policies and procedures on CE), you are still strongly encouraged to log in to confirm your progress towards meeting the CE requirements; and
  • Must take the mandatory MFDA Compliance Credit (MCC) activities that make up part of your requirements. As previously noted, the 2022 MCC was issued earlier in 2022. If you cannot recall if you have obtained this required credit, check under the CE details page/tab for completed activities. Participants must log into CERTS to register for and take these required credits.

Providers (non-Members)

In order to assist Participants in meeting the CE requirements based on the Provider’s CE activities the Provider:

  • Must have CE activities accredited and post them on CERTS; and
  • Can report Participant CE activity completion/attendance on behalf of Participants.

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