The initiative is free, open to all and allows those in the industry to study a range of modules - all of which have been formally accredited under the globally recognised CPD scheme. As a business, CMC Markets is determined to share its knowledge with the wider FX and CFD industry. Moves like this also have the potential to help improve understanding of this often fast-changing market with participants, regardless of whether they are current institutional clients of CMC Markets or not. To understand more about this unique initiative, we spoke with Institutional Services Manager and education lead, James Shanks.
What is CPD?
CPD stands for Continuous Professional Development. It’s an internationally recognised standard that encourages professionals to undertake learning activities, helping them to develop their skills and knowledge. Many professional bodies and companies alike require that their members or employees accrue CPD points over the course of a year, typically to allow them to maintain professional qualifications such as a Chartered Financial Adviser, or as one of their internal KPIs. Keeping abreast of the latest industry intelligence benefits the individual, whilst also providing invaluable sharing of knowledge internally.
Why has CMC Markets decided to pursue this route?
The CPD concept is very well aligned with the Connect brand in our commitment developing and maintaining long-term partnerships. It provides us with a unique opportunity to engage with stakeholders in a new format, helping them to expand their knowledge of the industry - whilst doing so in a quantifiable way.
The way individuals learn and develop has changed significantly. Where you previously needed to attend an in-person training course, typically at a huge expense to you or your business, this no longer needs to be the case. The wealth of online learning resources available provides motivated individuals more knowledge than they could ever hope to absorb. By putting a formal structure around the type of educational and thought leadership content that is written by the team at CMC as part of our everyday observations of the market and its increasingly complex infrastructure, we allow members of the industry to stay up to date on key trends and updates while also supporting a formal qualification.
What can participants expect to learn?
We have developed a number of educational modules covering a range of subjects we believe will be of value to our institutional customers and network. These include topics such as ESG investing, the role of the blockchain in digital settlement, the importance of minimising market impact, along with a series of interviews with high profile industry leaders.
We don’t expect each module to be of relevance to every participant, but this provides a solid foundation for us to form another tangible bond with counterparties. Equally, participants aren’t constrained to the content produced by CMC Markets Connect, as we’re hosting this on a platform that is also used by others in the financial services industry.
Why is that important?
As CMC Markets continues to grow its institutional footprint, we want to ensure we take a position of leadership within the industry. Offering free, accredited educational content allows us to build a platform where we can help promote best practice - and in turn, enhance the reputation and quality of the market.
How much content do you have available?
So far, we have created 14 accredited modules. Studying each module and completing the accompanying test correctly will see participants awarded between 0.25 and 1.00 CPD credits, depending on the expected time taken. We will be reviewing the existing modules on a regular basis to ensure accuracy, as well as adding new content over time to make this a go-to point of learning for the industry.
How does this fit with your wider CMC Markets Connect growth strategy?
I believe the activity will help us deliver against our brand awareness ambitions. The CPD concept is perfectly aligned with the Connect brand in our commitment to being a ‘complete partner’ for the organisations - and individuals - we work with, developing and maintaining relationships for the long-term.
The fact that the CPD Hub gives professionals from many different sectors of finance and indeed other industries the opportunity to learn not only about their own core areas of business but also to expand their knowledge into peripheral subjects acts as another key differentiator. This is after all a fast-moving industry and as we have seen with our recent evolution into the liquidity provision space, one where the CMC Markets Connect offering is now of relevance to a far wider audience than was the case ten or twenty years ago.
Have you built this in-house?
No, we have partnered with CPD Hub, a specialist content provider who has built an entire framework and educational repository for quality CPD content. This is sourced from multiple industry experts who collectively cover a wide range of topics and categories, so it allows us to be part of a far richer learning solution, rather than this simply being a CMC-centric resource.
Furthermore, the CPD hub is structured to allow participants to track their progress from a wide range of sources, save learning outcomes and check their own knowledge, all in one place.
As the team at CPD Hub put it, they are aiming to revolutionise the ecosystem for professional learners and content creators, focusing on turning the creation and consumption of learning into a professional strength. That ambition, combined with the inevitable change we are seeing now in the way we work - and learn – adds to our conviction that this will provide significant value to our institutional customers and prospects alike.
How can I find out more?
Our content is hosted on www.cpdhub.co, which is free to use - all you need to do is sign up for an account. The platform will track your ongoing development and generate the necessary reports to pass onto line managers, HR departments or professional bodies as necessary.
Initiatives such as this are significant as they show a genuine desire from one of the industry’s biggest players to invest back into the sector. The way we all work – and learn – seems set to evolve quite dramatically off the back of the global health pandemic. With that in mind, the idea of offering free, globally accredited training from an organisation such as CMC Markets – right alongside other financial industry heavyweights – is a truly innovative outcome for all involved.