In Canada, individuals who sell financial products, such as: mutual funds, insurance, securities or stocks, options, futures, OR have specific duties within a financial services company, such as portfolio management or supervisory responsibilities are required to meet educational, employment and work experience criteria in order to be licensed. Once the licensing requirements have been met, the application for registration is handled by either your employer or, if you are working independently by a sponsoring financial services firm. After you are licensed you may also be required to take further educational courses (continuing education) to maintain your license.
Below is general information about each of the licensing bodies or regulators. To find out about specific licensing requirements please check directly with the various regulators.
IIROC is the regulatory body for all securities firms in Canada. It sets the proficiency requirements for individuals who sell securities such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options and/or futures. In addition, IIROC regulations require that those who have specific roles within the member firms (all securities firms are IIROC members), such as portfolio management or supervisory roles such as branch management, meet defined educational and work experience criteria.
The MFDA is formally recognized as an SRO in Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Saskatchewan, New Brunswick and Manitoba and is currently pending approval in Newfoundland Labrador. The MFDA has also entered into a co-operative agreement with the Autorité des marchés financiers and actively participates in the regulation of mutual fund dealers in Quebec. The MFDA member rules reflect the mutual fund sales licensing proficiency requirements determined by the provincial securities commissions under National Instrument 31-103. In addition to the base requirements set by the commissions, the MFDA sets proficiency requirements for its members for individuals who supervise those who sell mutual funds.
Within the Province of Quebec, the Authorite des Marches Financiers oversees the proficiency requirements for the distribution of financial products including mutual funds and insurance.
The ultimate authority for the licensing requirements of all individuals selling any type of securities rests with each provincial securities commission. In the case of IIROC member firms, IIROC is responsible for the filing with the appropriate provincial securities commissions. Mutual fund companies file directly with the commissions. The Canadian Securities Administrators website provides links to each of the Securities Commissions.
Each province has either an insurance regulator or a department within the government that takes care of registration and oversight of licensed insurance sales persons. The firms must file directly with each regulator. The Canadian Council of Insurance Regulators website provides links to each of the provincial insurance regulators.
The following are the CSI courses that meet the educational requirements for positions regulated by IIROC, MFDA, Provincial Securities Commissions and the Provincials Insurance Regulators. Please note that in addition to these educational requirements, these positions may have additional requirements such as work experience.
Securities Sales Licensing under the Investment Industry Organization of Canada (IIROC):
- Investment Representative
- Registered Representative - Retail: (Also referred to in the industry as an Investment Advisor)
- Canadian Securities Course (CSC)
- Conduct and Practices Handbook Course (CPH)
- Wealth Management Essentials (WME)
- The New Entrants Course (NEC) may be taken by individuals registered in a recognized foreign jurisdiction in lieu of the CSC and CPH (in conjunction with completion of a recognized foreign registration examination).
- Registered Representative - Institutional
- Registered Representative - Portfolio Management
- Registered Representatives registered to sell additional products:
- Commodities, Futures Contracts Futures
- Supervisor (Depending on Category of oversight)
- Executive or Director
- Chief Compliance Officer
- Chief Financial Officer
- Securities Trader
Mutual Fund Sales Licensing under the Canadian Provincial Securities Regulators
- Mutual Fund Chief Compliance Officer (under the Provincial Securities Commissions:
Mutual Fund Proficiency Requirements under the Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada
- Mutual Fund Branch Manager (MFDA only)
Licensing under the Canadian Provincial Securities Commissions (CSA)*
Exempt Market Dealer
- Dealing Representative:
- Chief Compliance Officer:
- Associate Advising Representative or Advising Representative