The FCA requires all regulated businesses to address training and competence. This in itself won’t be new to most funeral planning organisations. 

There are a number of key regulatory elements which firms will need to adhere to.  Firstly, there is a high-level competence requirement called the ‘competent employee rules’ that applies to persons involved within regulated activities.  It requires firms to ensure that the employee has the competence, skills and ability to undertake the role they are performing.

Competence is often defined as the application of skills and knowledge, and the funeral planning organisation can determine appropriate methods in determining employee competence.

In some cases, staff will need specific qualifications to perform certain customer facing advisory roles.  These are normally defined within the FCA’s training and competence sourcebook.

In order to prepare for FCA regulation a funeral planning company will now need to address:

Assessment of competence needs, maintenance of training and competence

Supervision and supervisory competence

Qualification requirements for any specific regulated activities

Obligations upon any retail investment advisors

Maintenance of adequate records

Knowledge of any specific Directives

Competence includes participating in good ethical practices, which should be born out of the SMCR (Senior Managers Certification Regime) discussed in a previous blog. In addition, any specific Codes of Conduct (COCON) must be observed. There must be a programme to monitor and review competence needs. ISO9001 affords a good framework for competence management, and we can assist with such programmes if required.

For certain regulated activities within the TC programme certain qualification requirements exist. If funeral planning businesses are caught by TC Appendix 1 then an appropriate qualification may be sought. The rule books for the funeral planning sector are yet to be finalised, but the author can advise on typical arrangements. 

In essence the job you perform rather than the title is the clue to the type of training and any qualifications needed.

The FCA list a range of accredited bodies that often provide good industry training and qualification programmes. Again, this is yet to be fully determined for funeral planning companies, but we are happy to provide insights into appropriate routes for qualifications.

For further information and to book your training & competence survey please contact: Mo Arshad LLB LLM at Thamer James Ltd. Email: mo@thamerjames.co.uk

Mo has a specialism in FCA regulation and has worked with a broad range of financial services organisations including the funeral planning sector.  He has provided advice across the regulatory spectrum including the implementation of the Senior Managers and Certification regime, General Data Protection Regulation as well as guiding firms through the FCA regulatory approval process and associated notifications.

Mo holds a Law Degree, a Master’s in Law as well as the respected Diploma in Governance, Risk and Compliance from the International Compliance Association.