As of 1 July 2010, some Societe Generale Group employees are required to undergo a professional certification process that will prove that they have the expertise required for their positions.
The professional certification process
The professional certification system, instigated by the AMF, is based on the implementation of a process which obligates investment service providers (ISPs) to confirm that employees carrying out certain key functions (negotiators, salespeople, financial analysts, fund managers, employees responsible for clearing and back-office functions, employees responsible for the compliance of investment services, etc.) have "appropriate qualifications and expertise as well as an adequate level of knowledge".
To this end, the employer may:
- either carry out this confirmation process internally, using its own methodology, albeit one that should be formalised (in this case, confirmation of knowledge levels is neither reusable at other ISPs nor is it "exportable");
- or have its employee certified through an external examination endorsed by the AMF that will give the employee a professional "passport" in the event of being moved abroad (with the prospect of mutual recognition of qualifications by other countries).
The minimum level of core knowledge used by the AMF is identical for all the above-mentioned functions and is based on the regulatory and ethical financial environment as well as on technical knowledge.
A so-called "grandfather" clause allows any employee in his/her position on 1 July 2010, carrying out one of those functions considered as being a key function, to be regarded as having the minimum required knowledge.
After this date, ISPs will have a period of six months to confirm knowledge levels and, where necessary, train any new person recruited to these key positions as of his/her joining date (with appropriate supervision being mandatory). The employee has an unlimited number of attempts to pass the exam but, if they do not have this knowledge, they cannot be appointed to one of the functions affected by the process.