The probationary certificate is an official document issued by the AMF. It includes the information necessary to identify the candidate and the information related to the validity of the probationary certificate. A probationary certificate confers on the applicant the title of trainee for the duration of the probationary period. To be eligible for a probationary certificate, a candidate must, in particular:
have passed each of the examinations prescribed by the AMF, and such examinations must be valid at the time the probationary period is undertaken;
hold the necessary authorizations issued by the competent authority, where applicable, for employment in Québec;
not be in any of the situations set out in sections 219 and 220 of An Act respecting the distribution of financial products and services.
The employer must submit an Application for Authorization of Probationary Period in order to obtain a probationary certificate for a candidate.
The AMF requires 5 business days at the most – plus mail time if AMF E-Services is not used – to process a duly completed application, make the necessary verifications and issue the probationary certificate.
Every time a cabinet prepares an application for authorization of probationary period or modification of probationary period (including extension and change in supervisor), the trainee must take note of the application submitted by the firm and fill out the statement of applicant. Following this, the AMF will confirm the start date of the probationary period or modified probationary period when issuing the probationary certificate.
During the probationary period, a trainee must, in particular:
- present himself publicly as a trainee;
- comply with all laws, by-laws, regulations and codes of ethics governing representatives;
- notify the AMF of any change to the information or a document that he has furnished within five days of such change, where such change occurs during the probationary period;
- upon first meeting a client, give the client a document, such as a business card, which indicates the information prescribed by the Regulation respecting the issuance and renewal of representatives’ certificates, or, if the trainee deals with the client other than in person, he must provide him with this information, at his request, when initially sending other documents;
- not be in any of the situations referred to in section 56 of the Regulation respecting the issuance and renewal of representatives' certificates.
The holder of a probationary certificate may, with supervision, perform professional acts, which vary according to the sector or sector class in which he wishes to be certified as a representative.
Throughout the probationary certificate validity period, the trainee will be listed in the AMF's public register. This register confirms to consumers that the trainee is authorized to pursue activities as a trainee. If the validity period of the probationary certificate is extended or shortened, the information in the public register will be updated automatically.
- In the insurance of persons or group insurance of persons sector:
The trainee may gather information, conduct needs analyses and propose to his supervisor the products or services that may be adapted to the client’s needs, before proposing and selling them to the client;
- In the personal-lines damage insurance sector:
The trainee may gather information, and propose and sell to the client the products, coverages or guarantees adapted to his needs;
- In the commercial-lines damage insurance sector:
The trainee may gather information and propose to his supervisor the products, coverages or guarantees that may be adapted to the client’s needs, before proposing and selling them to the client;
- In the claims adjustment sector:
The trainee may gather information, propose to his supervisor the components of a claims investigation, the assessment of damage or the negotiation of a settlement, present to the insured the components of the negotiation of a settlement once they are approved by the supervisor and assist his supervisor in negotiating a settlement.
The 12-week probationary period may not last more than 14 weeks. Trainees may take up to 2 weeks of vacation during this period. The 6-week probationary period may not last more than 7 weeks. This allows trainees to take one week of vacation.
If the trainee didn’t notify the AMF at the time of applying for a probationary certificate, the application to modify probationary period (paper), together with the required fee, must be sent to the AMF before the start of vacation. This application cannot be submitted via AMF E-Services.
The firm, supervisors or trainee may submit an application to interrupt the probationary period.Once the application for interruption has been processed by the AMF, the firm may submit an application to extend the probationary period if the interruption does not exceed 4 weeks. The application to extend the probationary period is accepted only under circumstances that are beyond the parties’ control. Supporting evidence of the cause of the probationary period interruption must be provided by the trainee when filling out his statement.
Representatives’ activities are regulated by the AMF. No person may act as or purport to be a representative without holding the appropriate certificate issued by the AMF. The AMF may issue a probationary certificate to a trainee whose professional activities are overseen by a supervisor authorized by the AMF. Individuals who perform professional activities reserved for a representative without holding a valid probationary certificate or representative’s certificate will be charged with illegal practice by the AMF. If found guilty, the individual's eligibility for a representative's certificate could be compromised.
During the probationary certificate validity period, the trainee's activities are covered by the professional liability insurance of the firm or supervisor, as well as by the Fonds d’indemnisation des services financiers. A probationary certificate issued by the AMF protects consumers by allowing them to be compensated in the event they incur damages as a result of errors, omissions, fraud or embezzlement committed by a trainee.
The Probationary Period Guide provides tips to help ensure a successful probationary period.
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