FCA Continual Professional Development - The Requirements in a Nutshell

In recent times Continual Professional Development (CPD) requirements have received renewed importance as a result of the Retail Distribution Review, which was first consulted on by the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

Prior to the new requirements being fully implemented numerous advisers needed to carry out “qualified gap-fill” CPD.  This saw some older generation advisers and those who conducted lower levels of business leaving the industry altogether.

As the new regulator tries hard to clean up the industry, the importance of CPD should not be under estimated. 

Taken from the FCA CPD webpage we have set out the key factors:

  • 1. CPD is different for every adviser.
  • 2. Advisers must undertake a minimum of 35 hours CPD.
  • 3. The 35 hours CPD must be attained per year.
  • 4. 21 hours of which must be structured CPD.
  • 5. Structured and unstructured CPD hours must be recorded and verified.
  • 6. Structured hours consist of: Seminars (Online or in person); Lectures; Conferences; Workshops; Courses; and E-learning
  • 7. Unstructured CPD can consist of self-study and reading.
  • 8. Individual activities must include engagement by the adviser for 30 minutes minimum.
  • 9. CPD does not include research on products and services for customers.
  • 10. Documentary evidence of CPD should show what CPD needs are required, how the adviser meets these needs and confirmation of how the needs were met.
  • 11. Employers are responsible for ensuring advisers have met and maintain CPD requirements.
  • 12. Employers are responsible for monitoring advisers to ensure they maintain CPD requirements.
  • 13. Employees need to make an annual declaration to an accredited body.
  • 14. Accredited bodies will check 10% of advisers to ensure CPD is being met.

Accredited bodies are currently listed on the FCA website as:

  • 1. CFA Society of the UK;
  • 2. The Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI);
  • 3. The Chartered Institute of Bankers in Scotland (CIOBS);
  • 4. The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII);
  • 5. The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW);
  • 6. The Institute of Financial Planning (IFP);
  • 7. The Institute of Financial Services (IFS); and
  • 8. The Pensions Management Institute.


Finding relevant CPD events fitting adviser needs is a difficult task and one that involves trawling of various event pages on numerous event organisers websites to find the event that fits all their needs.

Industry Events Online can help you find free and paid for events that meet your annual CPD requirements.  Just simply use the search facility to find the topic, sector, location to find all events that match your needs.


IEO Team.

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