• INDI Part 4.1 INDI Part 4.1 Assessment of individuals for customer-facing function

    Note

    Principle 3 of the principles on training and competency (see rule 5.1.3) requires an authorised firm to undertake initial and ongoing assessments of each individual's competencies to perform the customer-facing function.

    Derived from QFCRA RM/2014-5 (as from 1st January 2015)

    • INDI 4.1.1 Customer-facing function — firms' competence and fitness assessments

      (1) An authorised firm must be satisfied, on reasonable grounds after making appropriate inquiries, that an individual who performs, or is proposed to perform, the customer-facing function:
      (a) has the competencies required to do so;
      (b) is a fit and proper person to do so; and
      (c) satisfies any other requirements under these or any other Rules.
      (2) An individual must not perform the customer-facing function for an authorised firm unless the firm continues to be satisfied that he or she:
      (a) has the competencies required to do so;
      (b) is a fit and proper person to do so; and
      (c) satisfies any other requirements under these or any other Rules.
      Derived from QFCRA RM/2014-5 (as from 1st January 2015)

    • INDI 4.1.2 How firms to make competence assessments

      In deciding whether an individual has the competencies required to perform the customer-facing function, an authorised firm must take into account:

      (a) the customer-facing activities that the individual is to perform (and in particular whether the individual must exercise discretion or personal judgement);
      (b) the nature, scale and complexity of the firm's business, including:
      (i) the products and services that it offers or provides, or proposes to offer or provide; and
      (ii) changes to those products and services and to the market;
      (c) the firm's customers; and
      (d) the regulatory system, including any recent, or reasonably expected, changes to it.
      Amended by QFCRA RM/2019-4 (as from 1st January 2020).

    • INDI 4.1.3 INDI 4.1.3 Competencies

      (1) The competencies for the customer-facing function are the elements of skills, knowledge and experience that make an individual competent to perform the function.
      (2) Subject to subrules (3) and (4), an individual who is to perform the customer-facing function is expected to have the competencies set out in Schedule 2.
      (3) An individual who will perform the customer-facing function with retail customers must have the qualifications set out in Schedule 2 as knowledge competencies for the function before he or she can be assessed as competent to perform the function.
      (4) In assessing an individual's competencies against the relevant requirements in Schedule 2, the level of the competencies that the individual must have must be commensurate to the nature and complexity of his or her role in the firm.

      Example

      An individual who will perform the customer-facing function only in relation to advising on motor vehicle insurance policies need be assessed for the skills, knowledge and experience required only for that limited role.

      Amended by QFCRA RM/2018-1 (as from 1st May 2018).

      • INDI 4.1.3 Guidance

        1 The 3 kinds of competency elements against which an individual is to be assessed as competent or not are:
        •   the individual's skills (what he or she ought to be able to do)
        •   the individual's knowledge (what he or she ought to know or to have by way of qualifications)
        •   the individual's experience (what he or she has previously done, if anything).
        2 The competency elements are to be used in making assessments under rule 4.1.1 (Customer-facing function¡Xfirms' competence and fitness assessments)
        3 The firm must decide whether the individual has the competencies required to perform the function, taking into account the circumstances of the case and the individual's role.
        4 The following are examples of levels of experience that the firm may use when assessing the individual's competence:
        •   for a junior role — up to 2 years' experience performing the function or a similar role
        •   for a mid-level role — more than 2 years', and up to 10 years', experience
        •   for a senior role — more than 10 years' experience.
        Derived from QFCRA RM/2014-5 (as from 1st January 2015)

    • INDI 4.1.4 Qualifications that are appropriate or equivalent

      (1) If Schedule 2 specifies a particular qualification as a knowledge competency, but allows an authorised firm to assess another qualification as being appropriate for an individual's role, the firm must hold appropriate evidence about the appropriateness of the other qualification.
      (2) If Schedule 2 specifies a particular qualification as a knowledge competency, but allows an authorised firm to assess another qualification as being equivalent, or that the qualification is unnecessary, the firm must hold appropriate evidence, or must otherwise demonstrate, that the other qualification is equivalent, or that the qualification is unnecessary, as the case may be.
      (3) In considering whether a qualification is equivalent to a qualification specified in Schedule 2, or is appropriate for an individual's role, an authorised firm may take into account qualifications that are recognised as appropriate for the role by another regulator.

      Examples of other regulators

      •   the Financial Conduct Authority (UK)
      •   the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
      •   the Financial Markets Authority (New Zealand)
      •   the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (USA)
      •   the Securities and Futures Commission (Hong Kong)
      •   the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
      (4) The firm must record its assessment, and any supporting evidence, in the record about the individual required by rule 1.1.6 (Record-keeping).
      Derived from QFCRA RM/2014-5 (as from 1st January 2015)

    • INDI 4.1.5 How firms to make fitness assessments

      (1) In deciding whether an individual is a fit and proper person to perform the customer-facing function, an authorised firm must take into account:
      (a) the individual's honesty, integrity and reputation; and
      (b) the individual's financial soundness.
      (2) For paragraph (1) (a), the firm must take into account the following matters about the individual's honesty, integrity and reputation:
      (a) any past, ongoing or pending legal proceedings, whether civil or criminal, relating to or involving the individual;
      (b) any investigation undertaken, disciplinary action taken, or sanctions imposed, in relation to or on the individual by a court, tribunal, regulatory or governmental agency, body or authority, exchange, clearing house, self-regulatory body or other professional body;
      (c) any complaint against the individual relating to, or any contravention by or involving the individual of, any financial services legislation (including any regulations, rules, statements of principle or codes of practice made by an exchange, clearing house, self-regulatory body or other professional body);
      (d) any complaint made about the individual's standard of conduct in relation to activities subject to regulation inside or outside the QFC;
      (e) the individual's involvement with any business that:
      (i) was wound up or put into liquidation, placed in receivership or administration, ceased trading, negotiated a settlement with creditors, or became insolvent:
      (A) while the individual was involved with the business; or
      (B) within 1 year after that involvement ended;
      (ii) had any approval, authority, licence, registration or other permission to conduct business removed, restricted or suspended;
      (iii) has been refused any approval, authority, licence, registration or other permission to conduct business;
      (iv) has been expelled by any regulatory or governmental agency, body or authority; or
      (v) has been investigated, criticised, disciplined, censured or suspended by any regulator, professional body or tribunal, whether publicly or privately;
      (f) whether the individual has been dismissed, or has been asked to resign and has resigned, from a position of trust or fiduciary appointment;
      (g) the effect that the individual's reputation may have on the authorised firm and the QFC;
      (h) whether the individual has been candid and truthful in dealing with the authority.
      (3) For paragraph (1) (b), the firm must take into account the following matters about the individual's financial soundness:
      (a) whether the individual is able to pay debts as they fall due;
      (b) any arrangement that the individual has made with creditors;
      (c) whether the individual has filed for bankruptcy, been served with any bankruptcy petition or been subject to any bankruptcy order;
      (d) whether the individual has had assets seized, confiscated or frozen.
      (4) In deciding whether an individual is a fit and proper person to perform the customer-facing function, the firm may also take any other relevant matter into account.
      Derived from QFCRA RM/2014-5 (as from 1st January 2015)

    • INDI 4.1.6 Retail customer-facing function — non-discretionary customer-facing activities

      (1) An authorised firm may designate an individual to perform only non-discretionary customer-facing activities.
      (2) For this rule, customer-facing activities are either discretionary or non-discretionary. Non-discretionary customer-facing activities are customer-facing activities that meet all of the following requirements:
      (a) the activities are in relation only to general insurance contracts or pure protection contracts (or both);
      (b) the activities are in relation only to retail customers;
      (c) the activities either:
      (i) do not require the individual who performs them to exercise discretion or personal judgement; or
      (ii) require him or her to do so only in relation to routine activities.
      Examples of non-discretionary customer-facing activities
      •   using a sales process that involves putting scripted questions to retail customers
      •   the use of prepared answers or scripted responses for retail customers by call centre staff
      •   routine data collection from retail customers in filling out policy documentation
      •   giving routine assistance with claims management to retail customers.
      (3) An individual who is designated by an authorised firm under subrule (1) may perform only non-discretionary customer-facing activities for the firm.
      (4) An authorised firm may designate an individual under subrule (1) only if the firm:
      (a) has systems, controls, policies and procedures to ensure that individuals who are designated to perform non-discretionary customer-facing activities do not perform discretionary customer-facing activities;
      (b) has at least 1 individual who performs the customer-facing function who has obtained the CISI Regulatory qualification; and
      (c) has systems, controls, policies and procedures to ensure that only an individual who has obtained the CISI Regulatory qualification performs discretionary customer-facing activities.
      Examples of discretionary customer-facing activities
      •   providing advice to retail customers based on personal judgement or discretion
      •   answering technical questions — for example, in relation to an insurance contract's exclusions or terms and conditions
      •   undertaking non-routine activities relating to arranging a contract or in support of the performance of a contract.
      (5) A person who is designated under subrule (1) and is performing non-discretionary customer-facing activities is performing the customer-facing function, and rule 4.1.1 (2) applies to him or her.
      Derived from QFCRA RM/2014-5 (as from 1st January 2015)

    • INDI 4.1.7 Firms to maintain publicly available registers

      (1) Subject to subrule (6), an authorised firm must maintain a register of all the individuals who perform the customer-facing function for it.

      Note An individual designated under rule 4.1.6 to perform only non-discretionary customer-facing activities is performing the customer-facing function — see rule 4.1.6 (5). Therefore, the obligation under this rule applies in relation to such an individual.
      (2) The register must contain, for each individual:
      (a) the individual's name;
      (b) the date on which he or she began to perform the function, and (if applicable) the date on which he or she ceased to do so; and
      (c) any restriction on the customer-facing activities that he or she can perform.

      Examples
      •   "designated to perform non-discretionary customer-facing activities only"
      •   "to perform customer-facing activities for business customers only"
      (3) The firm must keep the register up to date.
      (4) The firm must make the register available for access by the public generally, and may do so either at its office or the office of a representative, or by means of a website.
      (5) The firm must retain the entry in the register for an individual who no longer performs the customer-facing function for the firm for at least 3 years after the individual ceases to do so, and must note in the register that the individual has so ceased.
      (6) The firm need not make an entry in the register for an individual who:
      (a) is employed by a related firm, or is employed by the firm but is not ordinarily resident in Qatar; and
      (b) performs the customer-facing function for the firm:
      (i) only in relation to business customers; and
      (ii) only infrequently, and in any event in no more than 3 transactions in any 1 calendar year.
      Amended by QFCRA RM/2019-4 (as from 1st January 2020).