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01. Conducting a ‘Fit & Proper’ assessment

One of the core elements of SM&CR is the requirement for firms to conduct detailed annual Fit & Proper assessments (F&Ps) for all Senior Managers (SMs) and Certification Staff (CRs). This requirement means that you need to record and manage up to several hundred data points for each SM and each CR.

It also means that you need to analyse these data points to come to an overall determination of whether or not your SM or CR is fit & proper enough to work in an FCA-regulated firm. If they are not, you may have to dismiss them so the stakes are very high. Corterum allows you to quickly and easily conduct and store F&Ps. Here is how you do it:

  • Click Workbench and then Datasets.
  • Click Certification Regime and then click on the Fit & Proper Assessment dropdown.
  • Click on Honesty and Integrity and then click on Civil Proceedings.

Historic civil proceedings

If your employee has any historic civil proceedings, you need to capture all the information to effectively conduct a Fit & Proper assessment:

  • Click on the Historic Civil Proceedings (Non-insolvency) dataset and then click on the circular Plus symbol next to the dataset title.
  • The Historical Civil Proceedings dataset will pop up.
  • Assign the Historic Civil Proceedings dataset to a user by clicking on the Name dropdown box and clicking on the relevant Person entity.
  • Then go through each field in turn, entering in all relevant information you know about your employee’s historic civil proceedings.
  • This dataset will ask you about historic civil proceedings against your employee, proceedings against a firm that your employee previously held a position of authority in, as well as current or intended civil proceedings against them. Make sure that you have detailed information about all of this.
  • In the box at the end of the dataset titled Assessment, you must determine whether the information you have on the employee’s civil proceedings makes them fit and proper for the role you have employed them for.
  • After this, click Save and then close the dataset.

Historic criminal offences

If your employee has any historic criminal offences, you need to capture all the information to effectively conduct a Fit & Proper assessment:

  • Click on Criminal Proceedings.
  • Then click Historic Criminal Offences. Click on the circular Plus sign next to the dataset title. The Historic Criminal Offences  dataset will pop up.
  • Assign the Historic Criminal Offences dataset to a user by clicking on the Name dropdown box and clicking on the relevant username.
  • Then go through each field in turn, entering in all relevant information you know about your employee’s historic criminal offences.
  • This dataset will ask you about historic dishonesty offences as well as financial crime, misconduct, and other offences and associated investigations.
  • It will also ask you about offences allegedly or actually committed against a firm where your employee previously held a position of control or authority. Make sure that you have detailed information about these things.
  • In the box at the end of the dataset titled Assessment, you must determine whether the information you have on the employee’s historic criminal proceedings makes them fit and proper for the role you have employed them for.
  • After this, click Save and then close the dataset.

Current criminal proceedings

Here is where you record all information on any current or in-progress criminal proceedings that have yet to be concluded:

  • Click on Criminal Proceedings.
  • Then click Current Criminal Offences. Click on the circular Plus sign next to the dataset title. The Current Criminal Offences  dataset will pop up.
  • Assign the Current Criminal Offences dataset to a user by clicking on the Name dropdown box and clicking on the relevant username.
  • Then go through each field in turn, entering in all relevant information you know about your employee’s current criminal offences.
  • This dataset requires a detailed explanation of any ongoing criminal proceedings against your employee. Make sure you have this information.
  • In the box at the end of the dataset titled Assessment, you must determine whether the information you have on the employee’s current criminal proceedings makes them fit and proper for the role you have employed them for.
  • After this, click Save and then close the dataset.

Disciplinary proceedings

Here is where you record all information on any current or in-progress criminal proceedings that have yet to be concluded:

  • Click on the Disciplinary Proceedings dataset and then click on the circular Plus sign next to the dataset title.
  • The Disciplinary Proceedings dataset will appear.
  • Assign the Disciplinary Proceedings dataset to a user by clicking on the Name dropdown box and clicking on the relevant username.
  • This dataset will ask you to comprehensively detail any disciplinary investigations or actions that have been made against your employee by either your firm or by any firm that previously employed them.
  • It will also specifically ask you if your employee has ever broke an FCA/PRA Conduct Rule or been sanctioned for serious misconduct. Make sure that you have all this information.
  • In the box at the end of the dataset titled Assessment, you must determine whether the information you have on the employee’s disciplinary proceedings makes them fit and proper for the role you have employed them for.
  • After this, click Save and then close the dataset.

Directorships and positions of trust

This part of the assessment covers whether or not your member of staff has ever been forced to resign from a company directorship or from a position of trust:

  • Click on the Directorships and positions of trust dataset and then click on the circular Plus sign next to the dataset title.
  • The Directorships and positions of trust dataset will appear.
  • Assign the Directorships and positions of trust dataset to a user by clicking on the Name dropdown box and clicking on the relevant username.
  • This dataset will ask you to detail whether your employee has ever been forced to resign as a company director or from a position of trust, and to comprehensively describe the circumstances around this. Make sure that you have all this information.
  • In the box at the end of the dataset titled Assessment, you must determine whether the information you have on the employee’s directorships and positions of trust makes them fit and proper for the role you have employed them for.
  • After this, click Save and then close the dataset.

Character and professional references

This part of the assessment covers the character and professional references your member of staff has received from their previous employer(s) and their impact on the staff member’s Fit & Proper assessment:

  • Click on the Character and professional references dataset and then click on the circular Plus sign next to the dataset title.
  • The Character and professional references dataset will appear.
  • Assign the Character and professional references dataset to a user by clicking on the Name dropdown box and clicking on the relevant username.
  • This dataset will ask you to document your employee’s character and professional references from their previous employer(s) and then to decide whether these affect your determination about the fitness & proprietary of your employee.
  • After this, click Save and then close the dataset.

Competence and capability

  • Following this, you need to click Competence and capability and then fill in the seven associated datasets that follow:
    • Adviser qualifications
    • Areas of authorisation
    • Performance reviews
    • Portfolio of achievement
    • Professional bodies
    • Qualifications
    • Training record
  • Open each of these datasets in turn by clicking on the circle ‘Plus’ symbols next to each dataset title.
  • Answer all the questions and remember to fill in all applicable dataset fields concisely and comprehensively, remembering to apply all information to the overarching question of whether your employee is sufficiently fit & proper to do the job you have employed them for.
  • After completing each dataset, click Save and then close the dataset.

Financial soundness

  • After this, click the Financial Soundness dropdown and then fill in the Financial Soundness Assessment and Financial Soundness Information datasets in turn.
  • Open them by clicking on the circular ‘Plus’ signs next to each respective dataset title.
  • In these datasets, you will need to fill in detailed information about your employee’s solvency, bankruptcy history, debt judgements and any financial penalties and debt repayment plans, as well as more fundamental information about their income, assets and liabilities.
  • You will also need to record any information you know about the financial soundness of other firms in which your employee previously held a position of authority.
  • Conclude whether this information affects your employee’s fitness & propriety and then save and close each dataset.

Regulatory issues

  • Next, move on to the Regulatory Issues dropdown and then fill in the Regulatory Contraventions and Censure and Regulatory Dealings and Investigations datasets in turn.
  • Open them by clicking on the circular ‘Plus’ signs next to each respective dataset title.
  • In these datasets, you will need to fill in detailed information about any instances where your employee, or a firm where your employee previously held a position of authority in, has been investigated or punished for breaking the rules of a statutory regulator.
  • Conclude whether this information affects your employee’s fitness & propriety and then save and close each dataset.

Screening checks

  • Now click on the Screening Checks dropdown and fill in each dataset that collapses down in turn.
  • These datasets are all-encompassing so do not feel required to fill in information that has already been captured in exactly the same way by another dataset.
  • However, you must be as detailed as possible, remembering to respond carefully and comprehensively to each field unless you are sure that doing so would unnecessarily duplicate information.
  • Note: Corterum is in beta, so some of these datasets cannot yet be accessed and filled.
  • Conclude whether this information affects your employee’s fitness & propriety and then save and close each dataset.

Register of directorships

  • Click next on the Register of Directorships dataset and then click on the circular Plus sign next to the dataset title.
  • In this tabular dataset, you need to fill in detailed information about any current and previous directorships held by your employee at your firm or elsewhere.
  • You must also detail the significant responsibilities associated with these directorships.
  • Conclude whether this information affects your employee’s fitness & propriety and then save and close each dataset.

Final outcome

  • Finally, click on the Overall Certification Regime Status dataset and then click on the circular Plus sign to open it.
  • This dataset requires you to conclude, based on all information considered in the fit & proper test, whether your employee is sufficiently fit & proper to do the job you have employed them for
  • Make this decision very carefully, but impartially.
  • If you judge your employee not to be fit & proper, this will have negative consequences for their employment prospects at your firm and in all other FCA-regulated firms.
  • Likewise, if you certify them fit & proper when they are not, this could land your firm in serious trouble with the FCA.
  • Once done, save and close the dataset.
Next 02. Recording significant harm functions
In this article..

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