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With the introduction of the Financial Services Board regulatory examinations (RE) comes much doubt and confusion. The exams, which are being established to ensure that those operating in the financial services industry, including brokers, are both competent and knowledgeable, are coming into effect later this year.
To assist financial intermediaries with these exams, CIB Insurance Solutions (CIB) is in the process of facilitating a series of preparation workshops to make the process easier.
Cisco van Doorn, skills development facilitator at CIB, believes that such initiatives are crucial in ensuring that the brokers are successful when taking these exams. “As a product provider, we have certain responsibilities to our brokers, who market and sell products on the company’s behalf, to ensure that they are fully prepared when they enter the examination centre.”
“Our dedicated training department, in partnership with a well reputed service provider, will be offering our brokers a preparation workshop, as well as the necessary regulatory examination information that will assist with the various exams.”
Van Doorn says that it is of utmost importance that brokers familiarise themselves with their obligations in terms of these exams. Key individuals and representatives will have to write a minimum of two exams. Level 1 (RE 1) will cover general compliance while the Level 2 exams (RE 2) is product-specific. The deadline for RE1 is December 2011 and the deadline for RE 2 is December 2013.”
He goes on to say that it is highly advisable that financial service providers keep themselves informed of the latest developments pertaining to this topic, and that brokers should aim to write these exams as soon as possible, in case there is any need to repeat them.
CIB will offer continued support and advice on the various topics through initiatives such as the Training Information Network (TIN), which strives to provide staff and business partners with access to information and relevant training materials.
Van Doorn says that in terms of the registration for these exams, financial service providers should take care to ensure that the exam body they select caters for their individual needs.
“Ideally one should be able to register online or telephonically, and have a choice between a written paper or an online examination.
“Although there is concern as to whether the almost 70 examination centres across South Africa will be easily accessible to 13 867 financial service providers, as reported on 31 March 2010 by the FSB, we are confident that examination bodies should be able to pull it off through attention to industry needs and innovative thinking.”
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