Society Members –
I hope your summer is going well. I want to update you on a few items. As you may have noticed we are asking you to perform a few actions this summer – voting on our bylaws, renewing your membership and voting on our board candidates. We sincerely appreciate everyone who has taken the time to tackle all three issues, and I ask (actually beg and plead) the rest of you to make sure you participate in both votes and the membership renewal before our annual meeting on August 17th.
I also want to raise an issue with you that I am sure you will hear discussed soon by the CFA Institute. The topic is Continuing Professional Development (CPD), aka continuing education. Currently as CFA Charterholders we are not required to do any CPD, though we are asked each year to certify that we have performed a minimal amount of CPD. As members who hold other certifications can attest the CFA Institute is one of the few professional organizations in the world that does not require some kind of CPD. That was fine when we were a very small organization and nobody outside of investment management knew what CFA stood for, but now we are a global body of more than 100,000 charterholders, and work in roles that face clients and prospects much more frequently than we used to. Many of us get asked by clients and prospects to describe the rigor of the examinations, which is equal to or higher than most any other designation, but also to describe our continuing education program, which can be an embarrassing topic to address.
The current President of the CFA Institute, Paul Smith, CFA has stated, on more than one occasion, that he wants to address CPD before he retires from his role. It has been a decade or more since we have addressed continuing education as a global body and it is a good time to revisit the issue. Many of the arguments against CPD in the past, such as the difficulty in recording credits (currently a manual process completed by CFAMN staff) and in finding events that qualify for CPD, are now being resolved by the Institute. The new member app and other technologies will make finding classes, articles and webinars that qualify for credit much easier, and will automatically record credits as you complete the reading or event, which together will make achieving your learning goals much less burdensome.
Please let me know if you have thoughts or suggestions related to CPD and the best way to implement it if we move forward with a CPD requirement.
Josh Howard, CFA
President, CFA Society Minnesota