Before appointing a representative, make sure to verify their date of first appointment (DOFA). This is important as the amount of time available for them to meet the 'fit & proper' criteria depends on this date.

Dofa Date (The Date of First Appointment) marks when you’re officially appointed to act as a representative of an authorised Financial Services Provider (FSP). This also means you will be registered on the central representative register maintained by the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA). 

The date of registration for a financial services provider remains fixed regardless of the changes in staff or if someone registers late for additional product categories. This date does not change in any circumstance.

DOFA defines how soon a representative should meet certain qualifications standards. This includes passing the Regulatory Examination RE5 exam within two years and obtaining the required qualifications within six years from the DOFA activation date. One of such qualifications is Finlite’s Wealth Management NQF 5 qualification done over 12 months.

It is important to take note that several other conditions and requirements such as class of business training, product specific training, CPD (Continuing Professional Development) and experience are not necessarily determined from the DOFA date. Since this article focuses on the significance of the DOFA date, we will not elaborate on these any further. To submit Dofa list or check a representative’s Dofa, go to the FSCA’s e-portal.

Mr. A had served as a representative at Mantra Brokers from April 2014 to February 2015, before leaving the industry. Subsequently in August 2018, he applied at Life Brokers to be appointed for a similar position. He had however not completed RE5 when he left his previous role. Life Brokers were not able to hire the candidate due to him not having achieved RE5 qualifications by June 30th, 2016; consequently, the timeline in which he needed to meet the necessary prerequisites had expired.

For applicants who are not aware of their prior appointment as a representative, it is important to ask them for their DOFAs in order to verify the information. If you need to confirm if someone has a DOFA, you can reach out to the FSCA at fais.dofa@fsca.co.za or provide the FSP with permission to obtain this information on your behalf. The FSCA will handle all details confidentially and only authorize third parties that meet specific criteria to view it.

 When confirmation of a DOFA is requested, the report will reflect the following information:

  • Name and ID number;

  • Date of Initial Appointment as Representative

  • The date of initial appointment as Key Individual (if applicable).;

  • The category of the representative and the Financial Service Provider (FSP) that has appointed him/her.

  • Product sub-categories the representative was appointed;

  • This information includes the dates on which an individual was enrolled to receive advice and/or act as a mediator in product sub-categories.

Under no circumstances can the FSCA modify a DOFA report unless it is proven to contain inaccurate information. To dispute incorrect information on a DOFA report, an affidavit needs to be signed confirming it is false, as well as confirmation from the Key Individual of the FSP that the information associated with the person is incorrect. The Financial Sector Conduct Authority is able to ask for any additional information as necessary and will weigh all the facts before making a decision on changing the Date of Final Acceptance.

  • It is essential to let your staff know if you register them as official representatives with the FSCA. They should also be aware of the date of registration as well as any categories and sub-categories that apply. Employees must be aware of the repercussions of not meeting deadlines in order to maintain their job eligibility. The Key Individual is responsible for monitoring & tracking the competence requirements of the representative and making sure that these are achieved by the assigned dates. This ensures that all applicable regulations and standards are being followed. Not all employees will be able to successfully complete their FAIS qualification renewal in time. If the process cannot be finished by the due date, the employee must contact their employer as soon as possible and request to extend this deadline.

  • To request a deadline extension, the representative must submit the following information to their employer:

    1) The employee’s identification number;

    2) A description of the circumstances that led to the deadline being missed and why it is necessary for an extension to be granted (e.g. phone line not working, family emergency etc);

    3) An explanation of how long an extension would be needed (how many days or weeks). 4) The new due date for completing this process;

    4) A declaration signed by both parties.

This agreement must include what steps will occur if an extension is not granted, what it would cost for the extension to be granted and that any action taken against the employee for non-compliance of this agreement will be rescinded. The employee must also submit a completed Application to Extend FAIS Qualification Renewal Deadline form to their employer describing what would happen if a deadline extension is not granted and/or performance benchmarks are not met.

Performance reports must be filed with the employer throughout this time period in order to demonstrate that milestonesIf a representative is requesting an extension for more than two months, the following forms must be submitted to their employer: 

  • The completed Application to Extend FAIS Qualification Renewal Deadline form;

  • A declaration signed by both parties;

  • Defined steps of how and when performance will be measured in light of the requested extension.

  • The signed and dated extension agreement.

If the employer agrees to the requested extension, they must confirm that each of the steps outlined in the Application to Extend FAIS Qualification Renewal Deadline form are defined, signed and dated by both parties.

Financial Service Providers (FSPs) play a vital role in ensuring that their representatives are properly qualified to provide financial services. It is essential that FSPs adhere to the regulatory requirements of the Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) by notifying them of their representatives’ FAIS qualifications. This will ensure that all customers receive quality financial advice and services from properly qualified individuals. FSPs must take responsibility for informing the FSCA of any changes to their representatives’ qualifications, in order to comply with regulations and protect consumers from receiving inadequate advice or service.

Contact Finlite for any assistance with your FAIS qualification compliance.

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