Education, Accreditation & Regulation Projects

Education, Accreditation & Regulation Projects

These projects deal with knowledge, skills and abilities – for financial professionals and consumers. Measuring and improving performance are the main themes.

Mortgage Broker Accreditation Study [Regulator]

Working in cooperation with Benchmark (Toronto), we helped create standards for the accreditation of mortgage brokers across Canada. Our role in this project was primarily concerned with standards for examinations and testing within mortgage brokerage programs.

Strategy for Investor Outreach [FAIR Canada]

The aim of this study is to support FAIR’s policy initiatives by helping to improve its investor outreach. The study was not aiming to build a strategic plan for FAIR Canada as a whole, but it did confirm the value of FAIR Canada’s role in critiquing securities policy and regulation. Using a mixture of secondary research and interviews with appropriate experts, we developed a phased strategy to help FAIR reach more of the right audiences with its messages.

Assessment of Preparation of Licensed Public Accountants [Public Accountants Council]

Following a process designed by The Brondesbury Group, we are involved in an ongoing assessment of the suitability of preparation of licensed public accountants in Ontario. One of the projects recently led to approval of an additional accounting body in Ontario, while a more recent project focuses on reviewing an existing provider. Our work focuses on both examinations, and the integration of information related to education and work experience with exams. This is a team project involving the use of many outside experts identified by our firm.

Mutual Fund Fee Research [OSC/CSA]

We carried out an extensive review of both academic literature and relevant public sector reports to assess the extent to which commission-based versus fee-based compensation changes the nature of advice and outcomes for investors. The study draws clear conclusions about the impact of embedded commissions.

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Review of Certification Exams [Insurance Institute of Canada]

A major insurance education organization offers more than a dozen courses for training people in various aspects of insurance. Each course has an exam, and taken together, far more than 10,000 exam papers are written each year. Our role was to assess the quality of the exams in each course, as well as the systems which support the exam process, starting with the earliest stages of exam development and following the entire process right through to its end. The work provided the organization with suggestions for future improvements, as well as providing a base for building an item bank.

Cost and Performance Disclosure [OSC/CSA]

On behalf of a major securities regulator, we investigated consumer understanding of disclosure information, as well as their preferences for getting information. Preferences include usefulness of information for decision-making, timeliness, convenience, and delivery methods.

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Creating a Financial Literacy Index [Big Five Bank]

On behalf of a major bank, we developed a financial literacy index to use for ongoing tracking. The index is based on content domains identified in a wide range of global research as translated into the Canadian environment.

Upgrading the AMP Credential [CAAMP]

We worked with the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP) to upgrade their AMP designation for mortgage brokers. This involved updating course and exam contents, as well as changes to work experience requirements.

Advisor Needs for Client Education [Investor Education Fund]

These in-depth interviews with financial advisors focused on the kinds of learning their clients need, as well as the best way to create the necessary learning and deliver it through advisors and their firms.

Talent Gaps in the Financial Services Marketplace [CoE]

The base of the study is an analysis of information on workforce size and characteristics in the Toronto CMA. This is combined with information on talent supply to identify emerging gaps in talent by sector. The study sets out a model of the financial services workforce, as well as strategies for developing more refined assessments of talent gaps.

Opportunities in the Insurance Industry [CoE]

Opportunities for growth in both the Life and the P&C markets were assessed for the Toronto region with an assessment based on both market structure and dynamics. Ultimately, the study aimed to identify the types of talent needed to support specific types of market expansion.

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Advice on Creation of a New Licensure Exam [CAAMP]

Working with a professional association, which is now responsible for education and licensure of individuals seeking to run offices in this area of financial services. Our role was to help them create exam items and a coherent exam, as well as reviewing the items they create for compliance with item development standards.

Review of Changes in Licensure Examination Procedures [Major life insurer]

Licensing bodies in several provinces are considering the possibility of moving from a single licensure exam with a single pass score to a model that has a separate exam for each content domain. Candidates will need to pass each and every exam with the same score. This paper examines the positive and negative impacts of this approach, as well as strategies for mitigating some of the potential problems.

Youth Financial Literacy Survey [Investor Education Fund]

This study, a repeat of a 2009 survey, monitors high school students financial confidence and behaviour, as well as their preferences for financial education and the financial topics most likely to engage their interest. The survey shows that by the time Ontario students finish high school, most will have experience at earning money, but they are not prepared with the skills they need to manage money for the future.

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Investor Knowledge [Investor Education Fund]

How much do people in Ontario know about money and investing? That was the big question Investor Education Fund tackled recently. In October 2010, The Brondesbury Group developed a study of investor knowledge on behalf of the IEF and managed a survey of 1,000 people across the province. The survey included more than 20 questions about investing, borrowing and financial planning. The focus was knowledge that an informed citizen might be expected to know rather than basic questions of financial literacy.

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Opportunities to Spur SME Investment in the Exempt Market [OSC/CMA]

The Exempt Market for securities is an investment market where businesses can be funded without a prospectus if they meet regulatory criteria. With the rise of crowdfunding and the need for capital in the SME market, this study looks at the strategies that can be used to spur investment in SME while still ensuring investors are adequately protected.

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Finding Financial Information [CDIC]

People have a variety of different ways of finding information about money matters. The kinds of information people seek, their choice of methods, and their receptivity to information all have an impact on the best ways to communicate with them, especially at different ages. The findings from this work have strategic implications for media and public relations strategy.

Knowledge of Selected Regulatory Matters Among Bank Branch Staff

Developed and analyzed a study to assess knowledge of selected regulatory matters among bank branch staff using mystery shopping techniques. The study looked at both staff direct knowledge and knowledge of how to refer people to appropriate sources that could provide needed information.