September 24, 2009 – Toronto � The CLU Institute announced today that they have raised the bar for the quality of continuing education programs available to financial services practitioners in Canada. With the launch of the next generation in reviewing and approving continuing education programs, The CLU Institute�s Accreditation Service will supply continuing education providers with a detailed report confirming the specific knowledge, skills, and abilities addressed by the program.
“Consumers are better served if their financial services practitioner has taken learning programs that directly relate to the duties they perform,” said Taylor Train, chief operating officer of The CLU Institute. “As the needs of Canadians evolve, it is our responsibility to ensure that advisors and planners are ready to meet those needs. This is accomplished when advisors and planners have access to quality, relevant and current continuing education.”
The CLU Institute�s CE Accreditation Service provides an impartial third-party assessment of continuing education programs to ensure they meet the needs of the financial services practitioner audience. In order to be able to do this, The CLU Institute engaged industry practitioners to identify profiles of competencies that financial advisors and planners must have in order to effectively perform their various duties and tasks. Any program submitted for accreditation is compared against the audience profile and learning objectives of the program, as set out by the education provider.
“Given the fast pace of change within the industry, we need to help education providers ensure that their programs meet the needs of advisors and planners,” said Train. “Now, we can provide advisors, planners, education providers and, most importantly, regulators and designation-granting bodies with more thorough and defensible proof of the connection between what is required to do the job and the learning program.”
Toronto�s Seneca College is fully committed to The CLU Institute�s efforts to develop an accreditation review tool. The College�s Centre for Financial Services endorsement came after taking part in the lengthy external review process.
“The CLU Institute has gone to great lengths to ensure that their process stands the test of defensibility,” added Sam Albanese, Industry Director, Seneca College�s Centre for Financial Services. “We support the Institute�s initiative in developing, providing and maintaining a tool that will ensure an impartial review of the appropriateness of CE programs for financial advisors and planners that are aimed at maintaining and developing their competencies to effectively perform their duties.”
The CLU Institute is the professional standards body for Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, and is responsible for administering and enforcing Advocis� Code of Professional Conduct. The Institute is also the accreditation, education, disciplinary and marketing body for the CLU and RHU designations in Canada. CLU-designated advisors and planners are specialists in advanced life insurance applications, tax, estate planning and business succession solutions. Advisors and planners with the RHU designation have completed advanced educational courses in living benefits. For more information about the CLU Institute, please visit www.cluinstitute.ca.
Advocis, The Financial Advisors Association of Canada, is the oldest and largest voluntary membership association of financial advisors and planners in Canada. With more than 10,000 advisors and planners in 43 chapters across Canada, Advocis members provide financial advice, product service and employee benefit planning to millions of Canadians in a number of areas including estate and retirement planning, wealth management, risk management and tax planning. For more information about Advocis, visit www.advocis.ca.