The FCA will temporarily allow individuals to carry over uncompleted CPD hours to the next CPD year if their circumstances prevent them from carrying out CPD this year.
This will apply to CPD years ending before 1 April 2021.
Keith Richards, chief executive of the PFS which has 40,000 members and awards the Chartered Financial Planner designation, said: “We welcome this further acknowledgement from the FCA that some advisers will have genuine difficulties completing CPD at this time and it also means that we don’t have to add further stress or unnecessary pressure on individuals, just because the rules weren’t written for a pandemic.
“I believe this is a sensible position for the FCA to take as it allows flexibility and discretion but of course should not be seen (by firms or advisers) as an option not to complete their CPD obligations where possible.
“I am pleased to say that the majority generally exceed the minimum hours required annually, so even with the current impact may not have to rely on the flexibility introduced by the regulator and of course for others the current situation may mean that they have had more time to complete CPD activities.
The PFS had reminded advisers who need to defer CPD compliance into 2021 to bear in mind that any gap for 2020, will need to be made up during 2021.