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Continuing Education – FAQs



1. What are the course requirements?

2. How do the cycles work?

3. Is there any grandfathering?

4. I have been in the securities industry for many years. Do I qualify as being continuously approved and am I eligible for the grandfathering from the Professional Development requirement?

5. If I have just started to work in the securities industry, when will I be required to start taking CE courses?

6. Does the course used to complete the IIROC's post licensing requirement count towards CE?

7. I have just changed categories. What are my CE requirements?

8. What kinds of courses can I take to satisfy my CE requirements?

9. Do the courses I use for IIROC approval satisfy my CE requirements?

10. I received a brochure for a course or seminar which implies the course meets CE Requirements. Can I assume that completion of this course or seminar will meet IIROC CE requirements?

11. Do Road Shows count for CE?

12. What if I do more than one qualified course during a cycle? Will I get credit for the second course?

13. I have 14 hours of Compliance, and need 2 hours of Professional Development. Since some courses can be counted for either, can I transfer the extra hours?

14. If I am approved during the last six months of a CE cycle and take a course before I am required to participate in CE, can I carry that course forward to meet the requirement of my first CE Cycle?

15. I am also registered in the U.S. and participate in the U.S. CE program. Can I apply these US courses, or any foreign courses, to meet IIROC's CE requirements?

16. If an employee teaches a financial course or writes a finance-related book or article, does he/she receive CE credits for this?

17. Do I qualify for voluntary participation in the CE program? For how long?

18. What are the Ethics Courses that can be repeated for CE credit?

19. What happens if I change firms in the middle of a CE cycle?

20. How do I report course completions?

21. When do CE completions need to be reported to IIROC?

22. What happens if I don't complete my CE requirements on time?

23. Do I pay the fines or does my firm?

24. What can I do to have my registration reinstated? Can I begin my course work immediately?

25. What if I can't fulfill my CE requirements due to illness or what if I am currently on long term disability? Can I get a deferral?

26. How does a Dealer Member file a CE Hardship Exemption or Extension for a registrant who is unable to complete their CE requirement(s) in a cycle?

27. Do Chief Financial Officers (CFO) have CE requirements?



1. What are the course requirements?

The CE Program operates on two-year cycles. All Approved Persons are on the same schedule. The first two-year cycle began January 1, 2018. The latest cycle commenced on January 1, 2020. 

For each CE cycle, and depending upon their Approval Category, individuals must complete 

  1. At least 10 hours of a Compliance course; or

  2. At least 10 hours of Compliance courses and at least 20 hours of Professional Development course

A course can be a single course or a series of pertinent courses, seminars, presentations, webcasts, programs, or alternate activities to meet the minimum time/content requirement. Please consult the CE Requirements by Approval Category in IIROC’s CE Rules in order to determine your requirements. Individuals approved in more than one Approved Person Category must complete the more onerous CE requirements.

 

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2. How do the cycles work?

The first three-year cycle began on January 1, 2000. Effective January 1, 2018, IIROC transitioned to a two-year cycle. Each cycle runs for two years.

 

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3. Is there any grandfathering?

There is no grandfathering for the Compliance course requirement. 

For the Professional Development course requirement, individuals who are approved as either Registered Representatives or Supervisors, and have been continuously approved in a trading category with a Self-Regulatory Organization (i.e.: IIROC, TSE, ME, or TSX Venture Exchange including any of its predecessors), from January 1, 1990 or earlier, will not be required to take Professional Development courses for CE. However, these individuals must still complete the Compliance course requirements during every two-year cycle.

 

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4. I have been in the securities industry for many years. Do I qualify as being continuously approved and am I eligible for the grandfathering from the Professional Development requirement?

The grandfathering provision was a one-time offering when the CE program started on January 1, 2000. Individuals only qualified for grandfathering from the Professional Development requirement if they met both of the following:

  • have been approved in a trading capacity by a Self-Regulatory Organization, prior to January 1, 1990, and

  • have been approved continuously since that time (for example any gaps in approval, including transferring from one IIROC Dealer Member firm to another, must have been no longer than three months.)

 

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5. If I have just started to work in the securities industry, when will I be required to start taking CE courses?

If you have no prior IIROC approval, you will enter the CE Program and be subject to the applicable CE requirements immediately following your IIROC approval, unless your approval is in the last six months of a CE Program cycle. In these circumstances, your CE requirements will begin at the start of the following CE Program cycle.

 

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6. Does the course used to complete the IIROC's post licensing requirement count towards CE?

Registered Representatives dealing with retail clients in securities are required to complete the Wealth Management Essentials Course (WME) within 30 months of approval. As a Registered Representative, you may also use the WME for CE credits in the same CE cycle you completed the WME. For example, you complete the WME on January 18, 2020. As this date falls in CE cycle 8 (January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2021), you may use the WME to satisfy your Professional Development requirement in CE cycle 8 only.


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7. I have just changed categories. What are my CE requirements?

Your CE requirements will depend on when in the CE program cycle you make this change and whether your change in category results in an increase or decrease in your CE requirements.

If you change categories in the first 18 months of the CE program cycle, you will immediately be subject to the CE requirements of your new Approved Person category. 

For changes that happen in the last six months of the CE program cycle, your CE requirements will be as follows: 

  • If your change in category results in an increase to your CE requirement, your CE requirement is for the previous position in the current CE cycle. Your new additional requirements will begin in the following CE cycle. For example, you change your category from an Investment Representative (IR) to Registered Representative (RR) in the last month of the CE cycle. As a result, you are required to complete your CE requirement for the IR position in the current CE cycle. In the following CE cycle, you will be subject to the CE requirements (compliance and professional development) for the RR category.

  • If your change in category results in a decrease of your CE requirement, you are immediately subject to the CE requirement of your new Approved Person category. For example, you were an RR and changed to an IR in the last month of the CE cycle. You would only be required to complete the CE requirement for the IR category (compliance CE only) in the current CE cycle subject to the information provided to IIROC as described below.

    T
    o ensure that your change is not in an effort to avoid completion of a CE requirement, your firm must provide IIROC with a letter of explanation. The letter should explain the reasons for your change in category, providing confirmation that you were not trying to avoid completion of a CE requirement. Your firm can send the letter of explanation to IIROC Registration for review. IIROC Registration staff may request additional information if the explanation is not satisfactory. Similarly, if in the first six months of the following cycle you make any changes back to a category that requires both Compliance and Professional Development CE, your firm will need to provide IIROC with another letter of explanation.


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8. What kinds of courses can I take to satisfy my CE requirements?

There is considerable flexibility built into the program. IIROC issued guidance on December 19, 2019 (IIROC Notice 19-022 Guidance on IIROC’s Continuing Education Program) of acceptable continuing education course content. Your firm will determine courses eligible under the Members CE program based on this guidance and the IIROC CE Rules.

In addition, you could take:

It is important to be sure that the course you are interested in satisfies the guidance issued by IIROC. Once you provide your firm with the necessary information, your firm will decide on its eligibility as a CE course. Alternatively, your firm may request that the course provider submit the course for official accreditation through IIROC’s official accreditation process (CECAP).


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9. Do the courses I use for IIROC approval satisfy my CE requirements?

You may not use baseline licensing proficiencies, which include the CSC, CPH, and 30 or 90-day training programs, to satisfy your CE requirements. Other licensing courses (e.g. DFC, OLC, PDO, etc.), subject to your firm’s approval, may be used for CE credit.


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10. I received a brochure for a course or seminar which implies the course meets CE Requirements. Can I assume that completion of this course or seminar will meet IIROC CE requirements?

Courses used to satisfy CE requirements for other designations and licenses may not necessarily qualify as courses to meet IIROC CE credits.

Each member firm is responsible for designating an individual to review courses and seminars to ensure they meet the requirements set out in the applicable IIROC Rules. Please consult with this individual at your firm to ensure that the course or seminar you plan to take is eligible for IIROC CE Credits.


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11. Do Road Shows count for CE?

Purely promotional road shows, such as the launch of particular products or services, are not acceptable for CE.

If the presentation and/or road show includes some educational element regarding the general product group relevant to your type of business and this enables you to provide a better and more informed service and/or advice to your clients, it may be considered acceptable, as long as your Member Firm determines that it is acceptable for CE. In such cases, it is advisable that you provide a brief explanation of how the presentation and/or road show enables you to provide a better and more informed service and/or advice to your clients for your firm's records.

The CECAP Process uses the following guidelines to assess the portion of a road show that is applicable:
The particular product portion of the presentation is granted 50% of the actual time while the general education portion will be granted full time (i.e. a two-hour session with one hour of general education and one-hour issuer-specific product can be granted up to 1 ½ hours of CE).


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12. What if I do more than one qualified course during a cycle? Will I get credit for the second course?

You may carry forward a maximum of 10 hours of Professional Development CE credits into the following CE program cycle, if all of the following are met:

  • the course completed qualifies for 20 hours or greater in professional development CE credits

  • you completed the course in the last six months of the current CE program cycle

  • you already satisfied the professional development CE credits for the current CE program cycle

IIROC does not permit individuals to carry forward any courses for the Compliance CE requirement.


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13. I have completed 14 credits for Compliance, and need 2 CE credits for Professional Development. Since some of the courses I completed qualify for Compliance or Professional Development, can I transfer the 2 extra credits to count for Professional Development?

No, you cannot transfer the extra credits. For courses that qualify for both Compliance and Professional Development CE credit, you may only use the courses in its entirety to count as one type of CE. You cannot split credits in any given course and transfer the excess credits to the other CE requirement.

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14. If I am approved during the last six months of a CE cycle and take a course before I am required to participate in CE, can I carry that course forward to meet the requirement of my first CE Cycle?

If you are approved during the last six months of a CE cycle, you are not subject to any CE requirements until the following CE cycle. Any courses you complete before you are subject to any CE requirements cannot be carried forward as CE credits to the following CE cycle.

One exception is if you had been previously approved in the same CE cycle and were already subject to CE requirements. In this circumstance, when you return as an Approved Person in the same CE cycle, regardless if it is in the last six months of the cycle, you would be subject to the applicable CE requirements upon your return. In these instances if you took a CE course during your absence from being an Approved Person, you would be able to use this course to meet your CE requirement in the current cycle.


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15. I am also registered in the U.S. and participate in the U.S. CE program. Can I apply these US courses, or any foreign courses, to meet IIROC's CE requirements?

You may use US or other foreign courses you completed for the U.S. CE program towards your CE requirements for IIROC, if they meet IIROC’s CE Rules. In general, IIROC may accept courses offered by a foreign securities regulator, dealer, or external course provider, if the following is met:

  • Courses for the Compliance CE requirement should include training covering ethical issues, regulatory developments and rules governing investment dealer conduct. You may only use a maximum of 5 hours of these courses as CE credits towards your IIROC CE Compliance requirement.

  • Courses for the Professional Development CE requirement should foster learning and development in areas relevant to the investment dealer business. You may use up to 20 hours towards your IIROC CE Professional Development requirement.


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16. If an employee teaches a financial course or writes a finance-related book or article, does he/she receive CE credits for this?

If the content of the course, book, or article qualifies as CE under the applicable IIROC Rules, the individual who taught or wrote this material may be able to use this activity towards their CE requirements subject to approval by the sponsoring member firm. The applicable time may include the preparation time, in addition to the time spent in the classroom. Please note that the same course or piece of writing may be applied towards CE only once in the individual's career. The onus is on the individual Approved Person to provide sufficient documentation to enable the member firm to validate IIROC's qualification for CE.


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17. Do I qualify for voluntary participation in the CE program? For how long?

You can voluntarily participate in CE if you meet the following:

  • You were previously registered as an Approved Person in a category requiring the CSC, and

  • Your CSC expired or will expire in the current CE cycle

To participate, individuals are required to take a course or courses on the list of approved courses from IIROC. Learn more about the courses approved by IIROC.

Completing the voluntary participation course or courses will extend the validity period of your CSC until June 30th of the first year of the next CE cycle. Participation is limited to one CE cycle only.


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18. What are the Ethics Courses that can be repeated for CE credit?

IIROC publishes a list of approved ethics courses, which relate principally to ethics, ethical conduct, professionalism, and professional responsibility. Individuals who complete an approved ethics course in one CE program cycle, may also choose to complete the same course in another CE program cycle to count towards the Compliance requirement in each of the respective CE cycles. An individual does not have to complete the course in two consecutive CE program cycles. Learn more about the list of approved ethics courses.

Course providers and Dealer Members, must submit courses to IIROC for approval if they wish to have a course included on our list of approved ethics courses. Courses must meet the requirements discussed in our Guidance on IIROC's Continuing Education Program, Appendix E.


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19. What happens if I change firms in the middle of a CE cycle?

Your firm may accept the CE courses that you completed while employed with your previous firm. As they may require proof of successful completion of those CE credits from your previous firm, you should retain any status reports or other proof of completion(s) received. The onus rests with you to provide the required documentation.

If you have enrolled but have not completed a course and change firms, it is advisable that you contact your new firm's CE Administrator to confirm their acceptance of your chosen course for CE. If, however the uncompleted course was an internal program offered only to employees from your former firm, it is unlikely your new firm will recognize these credits.


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20. How do I report course completions?

You should advise your firm when you have completed your course(s). You do not have to advise IIROC, your firm will advise IIROC directly.

We recommend that you also keep proof of completion for your CE courses.


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21. When do CE completions need to be reported to IIROC?

Dealers are required to update this information on IIROC’s CE reporting system located in IIROC Services. Dealers must notify IIROC of its CE Participants’ CE completions within ten business days after the end of the CE cycle. Dealers also have the option of reporting CE completions, at any time, throughout the CE cycle if they choose to for operational efficiency.


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22. What happens if I don't complete my CE requirements on time?

CE should be timely and relevant. It is very important that you complete your required CE by the end of the CE cycle. Failure to do so, will result in penalties and/or possible suspensions.

IIROC will impose the following penalties for late non-completions of CE requirements and/or for late filings:

  • $100 fee for each business day of non-completion of CE or late filing of CE for each CE Participant; IIROC will begin to impose this fee 10 business days after the end of the CE cycle. This daily fee will continue until the Dealer Member reports to IIROC the CE Participant’s completion of his or her CE requirements, or until the last business day of that month, whichever is later, and

  • If on the last business day of the first month of a CE cycle, the Dealer Member has not reported the required completion of the CE Participant’s CE requirements, we will suspend the CE Participant’s approval. The CE Participant will be required to cease all registerable activities immediately upon suspension.


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23. Do I pay the fines or does my firm?

The fines are levied against your firm, but your firm may choose to collect them from you.


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24. I am suspended due to non-completion of my CE requirements, what can I do to have my registration reinstated?

You must notify your firm once you have completed your CE requirements. You will be reinstated and the suspension will be lifted shortly after your firm reports your completion of the CE course requirements to IIROC.


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25. What if I can't fulfill my CE requirements due to illness or what if I am currently on long-term disability? Can I get a deferral?

IIROC Rules permits the relevant District Council, or its delegate, to grant a hardship extension or exemption from the requirement to fulfill the course requirements under the following two circumstances:

  • if you are unable to complete the requirements due to an illness, your firm may seek on your behalf, a hardship extension or,

  • if you are on leave for an indefinite period, your firm may seek on your behalf, a hardship exemption.

In both circumstances, a request for a hardship extension and/or exemption must be filed via NRD.  

If the request is from completing the requirements within a two-year cycle, the request must specify:

  • the reason for the hardship, and

  • a proposed date by which the requirements will be completed.

If granted the extension, you will be required to complete the CE requirements for the current cycle by the agreed upon date. The extension does not affect or delay your CE requirements for the following CE program cycle. You will still be required to complete these requirements as normal by the end of the CE program cycle.

If the request is from completing the requirements indefinitely, the request must specify that your leave is for an indefinite period, including reasons for the request. If granted the hardship exemption, upon your return to the industry, you may be required to re-write the CSC and CPH. Please refer to the applicable IIROC Rule for further details.

There is no fee for processing these requests.


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26. How does a Dealer Member file a CE Hardship Exemption or Extension for a registrant who is unable to complete their CE requirement(s) in a cycle?

Dealer Members are to submit a CE Hardship Exemption or Extension via the Apply for an Exemption submission in NRD. 

Although there are no fees associated with such requests, NRD automatically pulls a fee of $250 for any exemption submissions. As a work-around, firms should link these submissions to any previous submissions filed for that particular individual. In the event the Dealer Member omits to link the Exemption submission to another submission, the Dealer will need to complete and send a NRD – Request for Refund Form to the applicable IIROC office.


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27. Do Chief Financial Officers (CFO) have CE requirements?

Individuals approved in the categories of an Executive (Non-Trading) and CFO only, do not have any CE requirements. However, individuals approved in a trading capacity or another approved person category that has CE requirements will be subject to the more demanding CE requirements. Learn more about the CE Requirements by Category.

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