When it comes to protecting the public, employee supervision cannot be taken lightly. Though certified damage insurance employees are responsible for the activities they undertake as professionals, employers must establish the necessary measures to ensure the conformity of activities at their firm.
The obligations of certified professionals
Whether they are damage insurance agents, brokers or claims adjusters, certified employees must respect their code of ethics1. Their ethical obligations come before directives from an employer. In other words, certified professionals cannot accept tasks that go against their code of ethics, even if those tasks have been asked of them by their employer, manager or supervisor. Certified professionals must preserve their professional independence in order to maintain ethical conduct at all times.
Certified professionals who also work as managers or supervisors at a firm must respect their code of ethics in both their own activities and the tasks they ask of the employees they supervise, whether or not the employees in question are certified.
Responsibilities of both certified and non-certified supervisors
- Never give orders or tasks that go against a certified professional’s code of ethics.
- Ensure that employees are duly certified and that they are fulfilling their professional development obligations (see box below).
- Supervisors must monitor the conduct of their employees and ensure that they act in conformity with the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services and its regulations.
- In the case of an employee to whom section 5472 applies, a certified supervisor’s responsibility is no longer limited to establishing the appropriate oversight. They are directly responsible for that employee’s work. “547” employees can also be supervised by a colleague who is certified in damage insurance if their supervisor is not certified. The certified colleague is then responsible for the “547” employee’s work.
- They must respect their supervision obligations.
Employers can consult their employees’ training files by creating an Employer account on EduChAD. They can also consult their certified damage insurance employees’ professional development progress.
As the organization that regulates Quebec’s financial sector, the Autorité des marchés financiers (the Autorité) is responsible for overseeing and licensing companies in the financial sector, including damage insurance firms. To find out more, visit the Autorité website. Here is an overview of a few obligations firms have regarding employee supervision.
Firms must establish measures to control and monitor the activities of their employees. The goal of these measures is to guarantee that the firm’s professional activities are carried out in conformity with the Law and its regulations, including applicable codes of ethics.
Once these measures are put in place, the firm must ensure that they are effective and that everyone is aware of and respects them. It must also do the necessary follow-up.
Examples of methods firms can use in order to fulfill their supervision obligations:
- Control measures
- Written procedures, policies and directives
- File audits
- Listening to phone conversations
- Evaluating employees’ skills and knowledge
- Information meetings
- Internal or external training
2. Employees to whom section 547 applies do not have damage insurance certification, but they are authorized to undertake certain activities usually reserved for certified professionals under the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services.
A guide for registrants
All firms, independent partnerships and independent representatives must register with the Autorité in order to have the right to conduct their activities through certified representatives. The Autorité created the Registrant Governance and Compliance Guide in order to guide those who are subject to the Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services in terms of conformity.