In Canada, people must be licensed by and registered with their provincial securities commission in order to sell securities. People restricted to just selling mutual funds can take a course with IFIC and be registered with fewer requirements, but someone who wants to sell stocks, bonds, specialty products (limited partnerships), and any other securities must become an RR, a registered representative.

Registration has numerous requirements and constraints on behaviour. Registrants must submit to an extensive background check, and must take the Canadian Securities Course, the Conduct and Practices Handbook Course, and within 30 months of their initial registration must take the CIM or another advanced financial planning designation course from the Canadian Securities Institute. Additionally, they must participate in a certain number of continuing education courses each year.

RRs must be supervised by an approved compliance officer, and abide by the many, many rules in the Securities Act for their province, such as the KYC/suitability rule and many others relating to disclosure & representation. There are strict rules about how an RR can present themselves to the public (right down to the spacing on their business cards), including signage, advertising, and how they can discuss financial instruments with their clients.

It's a lot of hassle for the investment advisor, but it helps weed out a lot of deadbeats.

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