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SPS

Statement of Professional Standing

Apply for an SPS for the year you require:

SPS 2023 (1 Jan 2023 - 31 Dec 2023)

SPS 2022 (1 Jan 2022 - 31 Dec 2022)

 

About Statements of Professional Standing (SPS)

Since 1 January 2013, all retail investment advisers must obtain a Statement of Professional Standing (SPS) from an FCA-Accredited Body in order to practice.

A CFA UK SPS certificate is valid from the date of application (1st application) or for 12 months from 1 January (renewal) - to 31 December and requires renewal on an annual basis. 

 

Eligibility Criteria 

CFA UK will issue Statements of Professional Standing for advising and dealing in securities and/or derivatives to members who comply with the RDR requirements and the conditions below:

  • You hold the correct RDR-approved qualifications and have completed the relevant gap-fill (if applicable)
  • You are a fully paid-up member of CFA UK for the current membership year
  • Have paid the SPS application fee - 2023 SPS application fee is £40
  • Be certified as 'fit and proper' by your firm 
    • If regulated under the FCA, you must be issued with an Individual Reference Number (IRN) and have an active FCA directory entry that confirms you have been certified and assessed by your firm for the relevant FCA RDR activities. 
  • You adhere to the CFA Institute or CFA UK Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct and remain a member ‘in good standing’
  • You adhere to the CFA UK SPS terms and conditions
  • You comply with the FCA's Code of Conduct (COCON) or with FCA’s Code of Practice for Approved Persons (APER), whichever is relevant to your role
  • Completed the required continuing professional development (CPD) hours for your type of application between 1 November and 31 October – see further below for more information. 
  • If your last SPS certificate was issued by another accredited body, you must provide CFA UK with a copy of your most recently held SPS certificate.

An SPS certificate issued by CFA UK does not cover retail investment products (FCA RDR activities 4 and/or 6) because CFA UK qualifications do not cover the specialist standards required. Those looking to advise in retail investment products, should contact alternative accredited bodies.

 

Timing

2023 SPS application deadline is 30 November 2022*. 

CFA UK’s SPS year runs from 1 January to 31 December. All SPS holders need to renew their SPS certificate annually.

If you apply to renew after 1 January, and your application meets our eligibility criteria, you will receive your SPS certificate with a start date in accordance with our terms and conditions.

For first time applicants, your certificate start date is the date that you applied.

All applications will be processed within 1 month from the application date, subject to us being in receipt of all necessary information.

*If you apply to renew after the 30 November 2022 deadline, and your application meets our eligibility criteria, you will receive your SPS certificate in January 2023. 

 

RDR Requirements

Retail investment advisors must hold the relevant RDR qualifications to be eligible for an SPS certificate.

To see which CFA UK and CFA Institute qualifications you can use in combination to become RDR compliant to advise in securities (FCA RDR activities 2 & 12) and/or derivatives (FCA RDR activities 3 & 13), please head to our RDR webpage for further information.

If you are not sure if you are RDR compliant please email SPS@cfauk.org before proceeding with your application.

CFA UK recommends that that you contact alternative accredited bodies if you wish to give advice in retail investment products (FCA RDR activities 4 and/or 6).

 

FCA Directory

As of 31 March 2021, those who are regulated by the FCA are now required to have an active entry on the FCA register, with the relevant FCA RDR activities listed which they have been signed off to advise in.

The SPS applicants’ firms are responsible for registering the appropriate information on the FCA Directory related to those authorised individuals in their employment.

CFA UK is only able to award SPS certificates that cover FCA RDR activities 2 and 12 (advising on securities); and 3 and 13 (advising on derivatives). Our certificates do not cover FCA RDR activities 4 and/or 6 (advising in retail investment products) because CFA UK qualifications do not cover the specialist standards required.

See our RDR webpage for more information on the combinations of CFA UK qualifications that can be used to become RDR compliant.

CFA UK is not responsible for your FCA registration. If you are unsure of your FCA registered status, please contact your Compliance Officer.

If you or your compliance team are experiencing issues with updating your FCA directory entry, firms can email the FCA directly at firms.queries@fca.org.uk

CPD Requirements and Records

CPD requirements must be completed between 1 November to 31 October each year. 

SPS application type Minimum CPD
 First SPS  Zero hours CPD 
 First renewal of SPS  Prorated CPD from date of first SPS application to 31 October
 Subsequent renewal of SPS  Total 35 hours (of which a minimum 21 hours must be structured CPD) 

It is your responsibility to track your own CPD, and to plan in advance to meet any annual requirement. You must collect any evidence of your actual engagement for the full period of hours recorded in the CPD record/log. Proof of event attendance will be assessed as CFA UK deems appropriate. You are responsible for entering all the required data into your CPD log.

While we do not ask you to submit your CPD log at the point of applying for your SPS, it is essential that you maintain one in line with our policy, and to be issued with an SPS you must attest to having completed your CPD in line with these standards.

CFA UK CPD Policy

Please be aware that CFA UK audits 10% of SPS applicants annually to verify that CPD records are accurate, and that the continuing professional development undertaken by the member is appropriate. Therefore, you must be ready to submit your completed CPD log on request. CFA UK may withdraw an SPS where requirements have not been met.

CFA UK CPD Policy P12 - 17

 

Professional Conduct

You will be asked to confirm that you adhere to CFA Institute or UK Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct and are ‘in good standing’ when applying for your SPS.

You are asked to report any pending issues or actions in relation to your professional conduct to CFA UK at the time of submitting your SPS application and at any stage where an issue or action arises in the future.

SPS Certificates and Verifications

CFA UK issues SPS certificates in a digital format. Digital certificates will be sent directly to the SPS holder.

We no longer supply SPS certificates in paper format. If you require a verification of a previous SPS certificate, then please contact the Verifications team via email: verifications@cfauk.org.

Payment

We charge £35.00 (VAT not applicable) to issue an 2022 SPS certificate and £40.00 (VAT not applicable) to issue an 2023 SPS certificate. You must be an active member of CFA UK when you apply for your SPS.  CFA UK reserves the right to change the fee for future applications received after that period, and for future years.

If you wish to cancel your application, you must send us your formal request in writing within 14 calendar days of your application submission. A refund is not available after CFA UK has issued your SPS or you have not fully met the conditions listed above.