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Compliance tip of the week: Keeping tabs on professional standards data

I would like to remind advisory firms they are required to submit a return to the FCA at the end of each quarter if there have been any changes to retail investment advisers registered with them. This needs to be submitted within 20 business days of the end of the quarter. Firms will need to complete a professional standards data form and send it via email to

The form is fairly self explanatory; however, some additional guidance is noted below:

·         IRN stands for Individual Reference Number and can be obtained from the FCA Register.

·         RIA stands for retail investment adviser (that is, all advisers registered as CF30 on the FCA website).

·         The qualification status will either be fully qualified (for Diploma qualified advisers) or partly qualified (for trainees).

·         The activity start date only needs to be completed for partly qualified advisers. It should be the date they started the activity of advising (they became trainee CF30s).

·         The subject line in the email should contain the firm reference number (the FCA number available on the FCA website under FCA register) and the words “PS DATA”.

The FCA will confirm when they have received it. 

Aileen Lynch is head of technical at Compliance First



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