SPARK FINANCIAL GROUP – CPD POLICY

Spark Financial Group’s Education policy will apply per Financial Year i.e. 1 July, through to 30 June.

Spark FG considers a Relevant Provider’s CPD hours a means for each relevant provider to further their knowledge & prowess, and also extend each Relevant Provider’s personal & professional confidence & proficiency through higher learning.

Spark FG will provide a panel of approved education provider/s for each Relevant Provider to access, subscribe to and avail of, qualifying CPD hours in terms of their individual CPD requirements as set by FASEA

Spark FG will also make available an annual Conference and/or State Based Professional Development Days per annum that each Relevant Provider can attend in order to accumulate qualifying CPD hours as set by FASEA.

Spark FG will provide monitoring oversight for each Relevant Provider on a quarterly basis and provide feedback to each relevant provider, as to their progressive total of approved accumulated qualifying CPD hours per financial year either face-to-face or in written or email form.

Each Relevant Provider is expected to complete 40 qualifying CPD hours per Financial Year in line with set FASEA requirements as follows:

(a)  a minimum of 5 hours in the CPD area of technical competence; and
(b)  a minimum of 5 hours in the CPD area of client care and practice; and
(c)  a minimum of 5 hours in the CPD area of regulatory compliance and consumer protection; and
(d)  a minimum of 9 hours in the CPD area of professionalism and ethics.

With all (100%) of the minimum number of hours spent on qualifying CPD activities as approved by Spark FG.

In addition, in any CPD year, each relevant provider must complete:

(a)  no more than 4 hours of an activity that consists of professional or technical reading; and (b)  no more than 30 hours of activity that constitutes formal study as referred to in subsection 7(4) of the FASEA Corporations Determination (CPD) 2018.

Spark FG considers qualifying CPD hours as those that comply with FASEA qualifying boundaries as listed below:

(1)  An activity is a qualifying CPD activity if all the following requirements are   satisfied:

(a)  the activity is in one of the CPD areas in the table to this section (the areas are referred to by the names in column 3 of the table below);
(b)  the activity has sufficient intellectual or practical content;
(c)  the activity primarily deals with matters related to the provision of financial product advice, financial advice services and financial advice business;
(d)  the activity is led or conducted by 1 or more persons who are appropriate, and have sufficient standing, expertise, academic qualifications and/or practical experience;
(e)  the activity is designed to enhance relevant providers’ knowledge and skills in areas that are relevant to the provision of financial product advice and financial advice services.

(2)  Paragraph (1)(d) does not apply to an activity that consists of professional or technical reading. (3)  If a CPD activity is able to count across more than 1 CPD area, it may be counted as being in the CPD area to which it predominantly relates, as long as there is no double counting of hours. (4)  Formal relevant education provided by an education provider, which may    include any of the following:

(a)  a degree or equivalent qualification approved under the Corporations (Relevant Providers Degrees, Qualifications and Courses Standard) Determination 2018; (b)  a course determined in a legislative instrument under paragraph 1546B(1)(b) of the Act; (c)  education or training provided or approved by a professional association; (d)  formal education or training study towards qualifications or designations relevant to practice as a relevant provider.

Item Column 2 Column 3
  Content of CPD activity CPD area
1 The activity is designed to enhance participants’ technical proficiency and ability to develop and provide advice strategies that are appropriate to the objectives, financial situations and needs of different classes of retail clients. Technical competence
2 The activity is designed to enhance participants’ ability to act as a client-centric practitioner in advising retail clients. Client care and practice
3 The activity is designed to enhance participants’ understanding of applicable legal obligations and how to comply with them. Regulatory compliance and consumer protection
4 The activity is designed to enhance participants’ capacity to act as an ethical professional. Professionalism and ethics
5 The activity is designed to maintain and extend participants’ professional capabilities, knowledge and skills, including keeping up to date with regulatory, technical and other relevant developments, but is not in an area referred to in another item of this table. General

Each Relevant Provider may prepare their own CPD Plan and submit that plan in writing to Spark FG’s nominated Education Manager for approval, STRICTLY before the commencement of the CPD year i.e. prior to 1 July annually.

Otherwise they will be required to comply with the Spark FG designated default CPD Plan, as per the Spark FG CPD policy submitted & approved by Kaplan.

Amendments may be made by a Relevant Provider to their approved CPD Plan, however these must also be communicated to Spark FG’s training Manager in written form, and approval provided by Spark FG.

Spark FG’s assessment & approval of each Relevant Provider’s CPD plan will be in accordance with the required FASEA CPD hour categories as noted above.

Approval of each Relevant Providers CPD Plans will be communicated individually in written or email form no later than 30 days from receipt of the Plan by Spark FG.

Spark FG will ensure each approved Education panel member provides access to FASEA accredited & approved courses/articles for each Relevant Provider to complete along with the CPD category the study relates to.

Each Relevant Provider is responsible for recording their own CPD training and submitting evidence (i.e. the relevant CPD Certificate) to Spark FG’s Training                Manager as proof of the acquired qualifying CPD. If a Relevant Provider fails to do          so, then their CPD hours will not be assessed as qualifying CPD hours.

Recorded information should contain:

(a)  the qualifying CPD activities the relevant provider undertakes; and (b)  when they are undertaken; and (c)  the number of hours spent on each activity; and

Where a Relevant Provider attends external briefings, the Relevant Provider will be required to enter details of that Briefing into the approved Education Provider’s data entry system, and submit the related CPD Certificate to the Spark FG Training Manager for verification of its qualifying status. Spark FG’s Training manager will only confirm if the submitted training does NOT qualify under the FASEA qualifying framework.

In the event a Relevant provider fails to complete their 40 qualifying CPD hours within the set Financial Year, Spark FG reserves the right to apply individual sanctions or suspend the Relevant Provider from practicing as a licensed advice professional.

This Education & CPD Policy should be read in conjunction with the FASEA Corporations Determination (CPD) 2018 paper, which is stored in the Spark FG Google Drive under “AuthorisedRepresentativeResourceLibrary/Resource/FASEA” folder. In addition, a Professional Development Plan Template & CPD Record Template are also made available in the Spark FG Google Drive under

“AuthorisedRepresentativeResourceLibrary/Resource/TemplatesNCalculators folder.