Continuing Education FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Continuing Education (CE)

  1. I just started working in the securities industry. How soon do I need to start taking CE courses?

    Your CE requirements start immediately. However, if you are approved in the last six months of a CE cycle, your CE obligations start at the beginning of the next cycle.

  2. Can I carry forward a CE course I completed six months before my CE requirements are scheduled to begin?

    Any course you complete before your CE requirements begin cannot be carried forward. 

  3. I have been in the industry for a long time. Am I eligible for a grandfathering exemption from CE?

    If you are either a Registered Representative or Supervisor who has been continuously approved in a trading capacity since January 1, 1990 or earlier by IIROC, the Toronto Stock Exchange, the Montreal Exchange, or the TSX Venture Exchange and any of its predecessors, then you do not have to complete the Professional Development (PD) course requirements.

    You are still required to complete your Compliance course requirements every cycle.

  4. Can IIROC’s post-licensing course requirement count towards CE?

    Yes. Registered Representatives dealing in securities for retail clients are required to complete the Wealth Management Essentials Course (WME) within 30 months of approval. As a Registered Representative who completes the WME to meet this requirement, you may apply the course towards your CE requirements but only in the same CE cycle. For example, if you complete the WME on January 18, 2020, then you may apply the WME towards your Professional Development requirements in CE cycle 8 only (as this date falls between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2021).

  5. Can any licensing course I complete in order to be registered also satisfy my CE requirements?

    You cannot use the Canadian Securities Course (CSC), Conduct and Practices Handbook Course (CPH) or 30 or 90 day training programs towards your CE requirements. 

    However, you can count other licensing courses, for example the Derivatives Fundamentals Course (DFC), Options Licensing Course (OLC), Partners, Directors and Officers Course (PDO) or Branch Managers Course (BMC) towards your CE requirements, subject to your firm’s approval.

  6. I have just changed categories. How are my CE requirements affected?

    If you change categories in the first 18 months of a CE cycle, you must then meet the CE requirements for your new category. 

    If you switch from a category with both Compliance and Professional Development (PD) course requirements to one with only Compliance course requirements in the last six months of a cycle, then your firm will have to provide IIROC with a letter explaining the reason for the change. The same applies if you switch back within the first six months of the next CE cycle. 

    All letters must be sent from either your firm’s Chief Compliance Officer or your Supervisor.

  7. I received a brochure for an industry CE event. Can I assume that it meets IIROC’s CE requirements?

    No. Many courses, seminars and events used to satisfy CE requirements for some industry bodies may not be eligible for CE credit with IIROC.

    If you’re not sure, check with the individual at your firm responsible for reviewing CE. IIROC requires every firm to have one.

  8. Can I receive CE credit for attending a road show?

    Purely promotional road shows, such as the launch of a particular product or service, are not acceptable for CE. 

    If the presentation or road show includes some educational content, your firm can determine which components may be acceptable for CE. 

  9. I have completed 12 Compliance hours, but I still need more Professional Development (PD) hours. Can I apply my two extra Compliance hours towards PD?

    No. Compliance hours cannot be counted towards PD. For any course that may qualify for either Compliance or Professional Development, you can only apply it towards one category or the other, but the course cannot be split across both categories.

  10. Can I count U.S. or other foreign CE courses towards my Compliance hours?

    Yes, up to 5 hours of U.S. and other foreign CE courses can be exclusively applied towards Compliance hours. These courses should include training covering ethical issues, regulatory developments and rules governing investment dealer conduct.

  11. Does teaching or writing on a topic relevant to the industry count towards CE?

    Yes, but only if the course or publication is approved by your firm. For courses, you may include preparation time in addition to teaching time.

  12. What is voluntary participation?

    Voluntary participation in the CE program involves completing certain course to keep your CSC course valid until June 30 of the first year of the next cycle.

    This is only available to you if you were previously registered in a category requiring the CSC, and it has or will expire in the current cycle. You can also only extend your CSC validity once using voluntary participation.

    IIROC publishes the list of courses it recognizes for Voluntary Participation in the CE Program

  13. 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. You may also need to provide proof of successful completion. It is your responsibility to provide the required documentation.

    If you have enrolled in, but not completed, a course and then change firms, you should contact your new firm’s CE administrator to confirm their acceptance of your chosen course.

  14. How do I report course completions?

    You should advise your firm when you have completed your courses. You do not have to advise IIROC because your firm must advise IIROC directly.

    We recommend that you also keep proof of completion.

  15. What happens if I don’t complete my CE requirements on time?

    If you don’t complete your CE requirements by the end of a CE cycle, penalties include fines payable for every business day of non-completion, and suspension.

  16. 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. 

  17. If I am suspended, what can I do to have my approval reinstated?

    To lift your suspension, you must immediately notify your firm once you have completed your CE requirements. Your firm can then notify IIROC in writing, and request to have your approval reinstated.

  18. Can I defer my CE requirements because of either short-term illness or long-term disability?

    If you cannot meet your CE obligations because of short-term illness or an indefinite period of absence from work, your firm may apply for a hardship extension or exemption.

  19. Do Chief Financial Officers have CE requirements?

    No, unless they are also approved in a trading capacity or another category with mandatory minimum CE course requirements. Learn more about the CE Requirements by Category.