Minimum Competency

The Central Bank’s Minimum Competency Code

The Central Bank introduced Minimum Competency Requirements on 1st January 2007. These requirements were updated and published as the Minimum Competency Code (MCC), effective from 1st December 2011. The MCC recognises certain designations (e.g. QFA, CUA, APA) as meeting the minimum competency requirements for one or more categories of retail financial product, subject to ongoing CPD requirments. Click here to view the full MCC document published by the Central Bank.

Designations

Certain qualifications and/or combinations of modules can lead to designations recognised by the Central Bank for minimum competency purposes e.g. Qualified Financial Adviser (QFA), Credit Union Adviser (CUA) or Accredited Product Adviser (APA). In order to use a designation, members must apply to LIA’s CPD Department within a specified time frame following successful completion of their final module. Once awarded a designation, members must comply with annual CPD requirements in order to retain the designation and continue to meet the requirements of the Central Bank’s Minimum Competency Code. Note that it is the designation and not the qualification that meets MCC.

Grandfathering

MCC allows for individuals to be accredited in one or more categories of retail financial product by means of experience (grandfathering) rather than by designation (see section 2.6 on page 20 of the MCC document). Individuals must be certified as grandfathered by their firm and must comply with ongoing CPD requirements. LIA offers a category of membership specifically for grandfathered individuals to assist with achieving and managing their CPD hours annually (see CPD Membership).

CPD

Those holding designations recognised by the Central Bank for minimum competency purposes, and individuals accredited by means of grandfathering, must undertake a number of CPD hours each year in order to retain their designation/accreditation. See our CPD section for more information on annual CPD requirements.