Conduct Rules Training Extension
As we get closer to the end of 2020, it’s tempting to put preparations for 2021 on the backburner. However, the new year is just around the corner, and keeping Q1 2021 deadlines in mind, especially in the current climate, is the first step in ensuring that we don’t fall foul of the regulator’s increased supervisory focus.
The date for which the Conduct Rules come into force for solo-regulated firms has been extended to 31 March 2021, meaning that the deadline for completing Conduct Rules training for all other staff who are not senior managers or certification staff has also been extended. However, the extension is designed to aid firms that are struggling to get the infrastructure in place due to the challenges posed by the Coronavirus, and so that firms do not have to choose between meeting their regulatory deadlines and properly implementing the Conduct Rules. The Regulator encourages firms to meet the original deadline if possible.
No additional conditions or thresholds need to be met to use the extension, but firms should assess whether they need to use the extension period.
The Conduct Rules are a set of enforceable rules, consisting of two tiers. Tier two applies only to Senior Managers. Tier one applies to almost all staff within a firm, to Senior Managers, to Certified staff, and to all staff undertaking financial services work. The only staff that are exempt from the Conduct Rules are those who do not do financial services work, such as receptionists, print room staff, and security staff.
The aim of the Rules is to set a baseline level of conduct and to encourage good behaviour in those working in financial services.
Conduct Rules Training can be delivered online – which is great news for firms that are concerned about delivering in-person or large-scale training prior to April 2021. Training on the Conduct Rules should be able to effectively embed the need for good behaviour and must cover the individual rules in some level of detail, so that staff come away with a good understanding around how the Rules can be applied in their own work.
Before the deadline of 31 March, firms need to:
Clearly identify which staff the Conduct Rules applies to, and which ancillary staff the rules do not apply to, and document this
Create or choose the training package to be rolled out to staff in advance of the deadline
Understand the reporting requirements
Understand the documentation and record keeping that is needed to be able to demonstrate compliance to the Regulator
Communicate the changes to all affected staff, well ahead of time
Ensure that Senior Management are actively engaged in the communication and roll-out of the Conduct Rules
With only six working weeks of 2020 left, and with ongoing changes and updates to Regulator rules and guidance in light of Covid-19, compliance training can get overlooked, but the Regulators’ focus on the fair treatment of customers during this difficult period highlights just how important it is to ensure that staff are clear about what’s expected of them and that they understand how to identify and support those customers who need a little extra help from financial firms.
We offer two online Conduct Rules courses, which allow Senior Managers and Certification and all other staff to access and complete the training at their own convenience, ideal for those who want to complete the training in their own time, and to come back to it to refresh later on. They provide clear and comprehensive training in the Rules, including a mix of videos, small amounts of text and plenty of scenarios to demonstrate how the rules apply practically.
We also offer two dedicated online training courses on the fair treatment of vulnerable customers and financial difficulties. Each online course, priced at just £15, is accessible at the delegate’s convenience, and provides a certificate upon successful completion, allowing firms to track and record each user’s progress.
For large groups, we can offer a simplified enrolment service and pricing, simply email Robert.firstname.lastname@example.org.