Introduction to Minimum Competency  

The Minimum Competency Code 2011 (MCC) sets out minimum professional standards for persons providing certain financial services, in particular when dealing with consumers. It aims to ensure that consumers obtain a minimum acceptable level of competence from individuals acting for and on behalf of regulated firms in the provision of advice and associated activities in connection with retail financial products. The MCC was developed following a review of the Minimum Competency Requirements, introduced in 2007, which included a public consultation with interested stakeholders.

The MCC came into effect on 1 December 2011 and applies to regulated firms and persons carrying out controlled functions within those firms who:

  • provide advice to consumers on retail financial products,
  • arrange or offer to arrange retail financial products for consumers, including any amendments to insurance cover and the restructuring or rescheduling of loans, or
  • undertake a specified function.

In addition, those persons are required to undertake a programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

The MCC is issued, in part, under Section 50 of the Central Bank Reform Act 2010 and is closely linked to the Fitness and Probity regime.

Addendum to Minimum Competency Code 2011 for Debt Management Services

The Central Bank of Ireland published an Addendum to the Minimum Competency Code 2011 (MCC) on 31 March 2014.  The Addendum amends the MCC to include standards for persons providing debt management services and follows consultation with interested industry stakeholders and professional education bodies.

The amendments to the MCC are as follows:

  • including the provision of debt management services as a specified function subject to our minimum competency requirements;
  • specifying the competencies that must be met by individuals performing debt management services and including a list of qualifications that will be recognised as meeting those competencies; and
  • setting out transitional arrangements for individuals already providing debt management services prior to 1 August 2013. 

The amendments set out in the Addendum will take effect from 1 June 2014.  Individuals providing debt management services will be required to commence working towards obtaining a qualification recognised for the purposes of the MCC and those availing of the transitional arrangements will be required to have obtained that qualification by 1 August 2017.

Minimum Competency 

The Minimum Competency Requirements and any documents or other information published by the Central Bank of Ireland in connection with these Requirements are set out below:

Minimum Competency Code 2011 Addendum for Credit Servicing | pdf 640 KB Minimum Competency Code 2011 Addendum for Debt Management Services | pdf 698 KB Minimum Competency Code 2011 | pdf 1173 KB Letter issued to regulated entities re Minimum Competency Code 2011 | pdf 138 KB Minimum Competency Requirements | pdf 926 KB Public Response to the Consultation on Minimum Competency Requirements (Consultation Paper 14) | pdf 388 KB Addendum to the Minimum Competency Requirements | pdf 178 KB Letter to industry on the introduction of the Consumer Protection Code and Minimum Competency Requirements dated 21 July 2006 | pdf 30 KB Letter to industry on the Addenda to the Consumer Protection Code and Minimum Competency Requirements dated 23 May 2008 | pdf 25 KB