How to become IIROC licensed

Advisors need to comply with IIROC’s requirements before they can receive the regulator’s approval

How to become IIROC licensed

The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) checks advisors’ backgrounds and makes sure they are properly trained before they can work at IIROC-regulated firms. IIROC‘s registration department performs a gatekeeper function by considering advisors’ personal, professional and financial background to ensure that they have the necessary experience and qualifications to perform the function or position for which they are being approved. Gatekeeping is one of the ways IIROC promotes high industry standards and protects investors at the same time.

Below are the steps that advisors need to take to become IIROC licensed:

Get to know IIROC’s individual approval categories

IIROC uses the term “advisor” to refer to a number of official regulatory approval categories such as the following:

  • Registered Representative (RR) – An employee or agent of an investment dealer who is approved by IIROC to trade and advise on securities, options, and futures contracts/futures contract options with the public in Canada

  • Investment Representative (IR) – An individual who is approved by IIROC to trade in, but not advise on, securities, options, and futures contracts/futures contract options

Comply with the proficiency requirements

The proficiency requirements vary according to the products and/or customer types (retail or institutional) that advisors deal with. As per IIROC Rule 2900, the proficiency requirements for RRs and IRs are the successful completion of:

  • the Canadian Securities Course, the Conduct and Practices Handbook Course, and a 90-day training program (for RRs dealing with retail customers) or a 30-day training program (for IRs) during which time they have been employed with a dealer member firm on a full-time basis

    • or the New Entrants Course for a person who was registered or licensed with a recognized foreign self-regulatory organization (SRO) within three years before applying with the corporation

  • the Wealth Management Essentials Course within 30 months after the approval of an RR dealing with retail customers, which requires approximately 110-160 hours of study and has two three-hour exams

Meanwhile, for RRs and IRs dealing only in mutual funds, the proficiency requirements are the successful completion of the Canadian Securities Course, the Canadian Investment Funds Course administered by the Investment Funds Institute of Canada (IFIC), and the Investment Funds in Canada Course and the Principles of Mutual Funds Investment Course administered by CSI Global Education Inc.

Complete and submit the registration form

The information that an advisor needs to provide in the registration form, called Form 33-109F4 (Registration of Individuals or Review of Permitted Individuals), includes the following:

  • Name (legal name; other personal names; use of other names)

  • Residential address

  • Individual categories for which an advisor is seeking registration or review

  • Address and agent for service

  • Proficiency (course, examination or designation information and other education; student numbers; exemption refusal; relevant securities industry experience)

  • Current employment, other business activities, officer positions held and directorships

  • Previous employment and other activities

  • Resignations and terminations

  • Regulatory disclosure

  • Criminal disclosure

  • Civil disclosure

  • Financial disclosure (bankruptcy; debt obligation; surety or fidelity bond; garnishments, unsatisfied judgments or directions to pay)

  • Ownership of securities and derivatives firms

Advisors can submit the form in two ways:

  • In the National Registration Database (NRD) format: Submit it at the NRD website.

  • In a format other than the NRD format: Send it to the relevant regulator(s) or, in Quebec, the securities regulatory authority, SRO or similar authority. The number of originally signed copies of the form that an advisor needs to submit depends on the province or territory, and the regulator, securities regulatory authority or SRO.

Pay the registration fees

Fees apply to all initial individual submissions, reactivation of registration, registration with an additional sponsoring firm, registration in an addition jurisdiction and some jurisdictions, surrenders, and reinstatements. In certain jurisdictions, certain circumstances will also trigger a fee for a change of category submission.

For both new applications and change of approval category, the IIROC fee varies across provinces and territories.

Initial type submission fees (initial, reactivation, add sponsoring firm, add jurisdiction):

  • British Columbia = $0

  • New Brunswick and Saskatchewan = $15

  • Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon = $20

  • Alberta = $60

  • Ontario = $200 or $100 (depending on the category)

  • Quebec = $250 or $125 (depending on the category)

Change of category fees:

  • British Columbia = $0

  • New Brunswick and Saskatchewan = $15 or $0 (depending on the category)

  • Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Northwest Territories, Nova Scotia, Nunavut, Prince Edward Island, and Yukon = $10

  • Alberta = $60 or $0 (depending on the category)

  • Ontario = $200, $100 or $0 (depending on the category)

  • Quebec = $150

Confirm approval with IIROC's AdvisorReport

Advisors who are currently approved to work at an IIROC-regulated firm are listed in the IIROC AdvisorReport. The report lets the public research an advisor’s current approval status (and any terms and conditions on that status), current categories of IIROC approval, employment history with IIROC-member firm(s) since 2003, educational background, and disciplinary record with IIROC.