Insurance intermediaries in Hong Kong have been granted a one-year transition period to meet an increase in the number of continuing professional development (CPD) hours they must complete.
The Hong Kong Insurance Authority (HKIA) consulted on a range of changes in October 2018, with additional CPD requirements being a key proposal.
Currently, intermediaries have to complete just 10 hours per year.
This is already significantly below other regions, such as Singapore which has a 30-hour minimum and the UK where advisers need 35 hours.
The change, which comes into force from 1 August 2021, will take the CPD requirement to 15 hours, to include three mandatory hours on ethics or regulation.
Online courses will be accepted for a maximum of five hours per year.
Passing the test
The HKIA will take over the regulation of insurance intermediaries on 23 September 2019.
On top of rolling out greater CPD requirements, it will introduce additional fit and proper and education requirements from that date.
Local intermediaries must attain Level 2 or above in five subjects in the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination.
Mandatory subjects include Chinese or English language and mathematics.
The HKIA added that it will also accept a range of professional and other education qualifications as alternatives.
Older advisers operating in the market, however, will be exempt from the proposed minimum education requirements.