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SPS & CPA Guide

Introduction

We support and promote professionalism in the regulated advice sector and the wider financial services industry.

We offer Statements of Professional Standing (SPS) as part of our responsibilities as an FCA Accredited Body, Financial Services Commission Isle of Man and Guernsey Financial Services Commission.  

We also offer Certificates of Professional Achievement to financial professionals who are not practicing financial advisers.


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What is an SPS?

A Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) is a document required by the FCA which confirms an adviser has:

An SPS is required by retail Investment advisers with an Active CF30 status on the FCA register and by practicing financial advisers working within banks and building societies.

If you have achieved the above requirements, but are not giving retail investment advice, you may wish to consider applying for our Certificate of Professional Achievement (CPA).

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What is a CPA?

Individuals who are not FCA / FSC / GFSC practicing advisers wishing to formally demonstrate their achievement of qualifications, ethical stance and commitment to on-going CPD, can apply for our Certificate of Professional Achievement (CPA).  Practicing financial advisers must hold an SPS rather than a CPA.

The CPA is awarded to those who have completed our higher level professional qualifications, met our CPD standards and adopt our Code of Ethics.  A CPA is formal recognition of academic attainment, ongoing learning and adherence to high ethical standards.


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SPS and CPA application process

Making an application

UK SPS and CPA applications can be made at any time through our secure online portal. Paper forms are available if required.  

Information required for an application

Making your online application will only take a few minutes. Where you already have an affiliation with us your personal details such as name, address and contact details will automatically be populated.

You will need:

  • your LIBF number and password
  • Individual FCA number and / or Firms FCA reference number – SPS applicants only
  • up to date contact details
  • credit or debit card details

Requirements for your first SPS or CPA

When applying for your first SPS or CPA we will need to confirm you hold an FCA appropriate financial adviser qualification or CPA suitable Level 4 qualification .

  • If this is our Level 4 DipFA® qualification we can check our records to verify your application (including, any necessary qualification top up CPD - gap fill)
  • If you hold a qualification from another provider we require you to provide durable, certified evidence that you have completed the qualification in question, including any qualification top up. You will be able to upload this as part of the online application process.
  • We check the qualification you hold is included in the list of approved qualifications in the FCA Handbook and may contact the relevant awarding body for verification.

Requirements to renew or replace an SPS or CPA

You can apply for a renewal of your SPS or CPA through our secure online portal. If you hold an existing SPS or CPA from us you can apply up to one calendar month prior to expiry of the existing certificate. Your renewal application will be processed within five working days of receipt and the new certificate dated for the day following expiry of your existing certificate to ensure continuity.

If you want to renew your SPS or CPA outside of this timeframe please contact us on +44 (0)12 2781 8609 for further assistance.

 

We will make the following verification for renewal / replacement Certificates:

  • Check your existing certificate against our internal records
  • If you are replacing an SPS issued by another provider we will require you to provide durable, certified evidence of your previous SPS. You will be able to upload this as part of the online application process
  • We may contact the relevant awarding or Accredited Body

Declarations required by all UK applicants

All SPS applicants will be required to declare that they have:

 

  1. completed an annual programme of CPD that meets FCA requirements - CPD records do not need to accompany your SPS application but may be required for audit at a later date. Please note, some CPD exemptions do apply – see the CPD Guide
  2. acted in accordance with FCA Statements of Principle for Approved Persons (APER) or Code of Conduct (COCON)
  3. agreed to adhere to our Code of Ethics 
  4. agreed to the SPS terms and conditions  and data protection statement 
  5. an active (CF30 status) on the FCA Register and supply their individual FCA number (IRN) OR  documentation from a "Relevant Authorised Person - RAP" which includes the firms FCA reference number (FRN), contact point and confirmation of the applicants adherence to COCON. RAPs are Banks and Building Societies under the new Senior Manager Regime ONLY

All CPA applicants will be required to declare that they have:

  1. completed an annual programme of CPD that satisfies us you have committed to a programme of maintenance or enhancement of your knowledge in the area of financial services. CPD records do not need to accompany your CPA application but may be required for audit at a later date. – Some exemptions do apply – see CPD Guide
  2. acted in the essence of the FCA Statements of Principle for Approved Persons (APER) or Code of Conduct (COCON)
  3. agreed to adhere to our Code of Ethics 
  4. agreed to the SPS / CPA terms and conditions  and data protection statement 

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Post-application processing

Once the all information has been completed and the appropriate application fee details made you will submit your application online. Any paper applications can be posted or emailed to us.

Provided our checks are successful the SPS or CPA will be issued within five working days of online applications and within ten days of receipt for paper applications. The SPS or CPA will be valid for twelve calendar months.

If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact us on +44 (0)12 2781 8609 or email us.


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Qualification top-up (gap-fill)

Any adviser who studied an FCA approved 'transitional' qualification prior to the final RDR exam standards being set in 2010, is required to fill any knowledge gaps between their qualification and the final standards, in order to have an appropriate qualification for giving financial advice.

To encourage advisers to make an early start on their studies the FCA introduced a 'no regrets' policy.

This policy means that any adviser who studied an FCA approved 'transitional' qualification prior to the final examination standards being set does not have to take more exams but instead can fill any gaps between their qualification and the final standards by undertaking 'top up' CPD.

This applies only to those who registered for The London Institute of Banking & Finance Level 4 DipFA® with a study session start date of April 2010 or before and to advisers who undertook other transitional qualifications.

We offer those with transitional qualifications a way to meet their 'gap-filling' needs which, once complete, will enable them to apply for a Statement of Professional Standing or Certificate of Professional Achievement.

For those who have, or wish to complete their gap-fill we provide a mapping tool for DipFA® holders based on the template provided by the FCA in its policy statement 11/1.

If you require a gap-fill solution, please contact us in the first instance.

If you are unsure whether you qualification meets the RDR requirements, please contact our Customer Services team on +44 (0)12 2781 8609 or email us and we will be pleased to help you.


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Guernsey - Statements of Professional Standing

We offer Statements of Professional Standing to eligible financial advisers in the Bailiwick of Guernsey (GsySPS).

The GsySPS is a regulatory requirement for Bailiwick of Guernsey advisers from 1 January 2016.

More information can be found in guidance notes provided by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) including what to do if this deadline is not achieved.

The GsySPS application is a simple process and you are not required to be a member in order to apply.

Eligible advisers will:

  • Be a financial adviser in a financial services firm licensed by the GFSC;
  • Hold a qualification appropriate for those engaged in the delivery of advice on controlled investments or long term insurance products to retail clients;
  • Have completed a programme of CPD that meets the GFSC requirements and commit to maintaining professional knowledge and skills by following our CPD scheme;
  • Agree to adhere to our Code of Ethics.

The certificate is valid for a period of 12 months. You can find our latest SPS fees and charges on our website. 

Applicants are able to download a paper application form  here to complete and forward to us. Clarification will be sought from the Licensee and subject to receiving their response, applicants should allow up to 10 working days to process the application.

If you have any other questions regarding the GsySPS, please contact our Customer Services Team on +44 (0)12 2781 8609 or email us and we will be pleased to help you.


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Isle of Man - Statements of Professional Standing

We offer Statements of Professional Standing to eligible advisers delivering retail investment advice in packaged products on the Isle of Man (IOMSPS).

The IOMSPS is a regulatory requirement for Isle of Man advisers from 1 January 2015.

The IOMSPS application is a simple process and you are not required to be a member in order to apply.

Eligible advisers will:

  • Be a stockbroker or Financial Adviser in a financial services firm licenced by the Financial Supervision Commission (FSC) on the Isle of Man;
  • Hold a qualification appropriate for those engaged in the delivery of retail investment advice;
  • Have completed a programme of CPD that meets the FSC requirements and commit to maintaining professional knowledge and skills by following our  CPD scheme
  • Acted in accordance with FSC Fit & Proper Person criteria;
  • Agree to adhere to our Code of Ethics 

The certificate is valid for a period of 12 months.  You can find our latest SPS fees and charges on our website. 

Applicants can download a paper application form, to complete and send to us. Please allow up to 10 working days for your application to be processed.

If you are unsure whether or not your qualification meets the eligibility requirements or have any other questions regarding the IOMSPS, please contact our Customer Services Team on +44 (0)12 2781 8609 or email us and we will be pleased to help you.


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