The Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada (MFDA) is asking for input from stakeholders on whether it should continue to directly accredit continuing education (CE) courses or delegate it outside the self-regulatory organization.

In a recently released discussion paper, the MFDA says its staff may not have the time to process what could be a “significant” number of requests to accredit CE content in addition to looking after its own CE program.

So it is now asking for public opinion on whether it should continue to accredit CE activity or delegate it to a third party. It is also asking for details of alternatives it should consider.

Delegates would have regular reviews of its requirements

Under the proposals, a delegate would make recommendations to the MFDA, but wouldn’t be able to make a final decision. The delegate would also undergo an ongoing review of its requirements, similar to those set up for third-party accreditation and member self-accreditation, says the paper.

The delegate “would also be required to be an experienced accreditor with established policies and procedures, and be knowledgeable of the securities industry and regulation. To address potential conflicts of interest, the MFDA Delegate could be prohibited from being a Third Party Accreditor, or being associated with an education provider.”

CSF would get automatic recognition

The requirements adopted under this proposal resemble those already adopted by the Chambre de la sécurité financière (CSF), which is recognized as a self-regulatory organization (SRO) under provincial securities legislation in Quebec. Since the MFDA already has a co-operative agreement with the CSF it is proposing to grant it automatic recognition as a third-party accreditor.

The paper notes that while the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) is also recognized as an SRO under provincial securities legislation, it outsources the evaluation and administration of CE credits. As a result, the MFDA proposal does not contain automatic recognition of IIROC as an accrediting body.

The deadline for comments is September 20, 2019.