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Why would a firm need a ‘performance snapshot’?

To open the doors and trade, a broker must be authorised and in order to be authorised, they will have had to tick any number of boxes in terms of their processes and procedures. The firm will also need to have all the necessary measures in place that any business will need, such as PI cover, employers’ liability, etc.

Having jumped through all of these hoops, the firm may choose to engage a compliance consultant or join a network, to ensure that they stay on track with regards to regulatory compliance.

So, after doing all of this, why would the firm need to then get a performance snapshot report by completing a Gilchrist Standard assessment?

Here are four key additional benefits that an annual Gilchrist Standard assessment offers:

  1. The outcomes contribute towards maintaining an understanding of the firm. The regulator would expect a firm’s SMFs to maintain an understanding of their business. Gilchrist Standard provides a fresh perspective, while efficiently highlighting both strengths and any weaknesses and helps towards maintaining an overall understanding.

  2. The process can validate the existing compliance status. The self-assessment process can quickly provide third-party validation of a firm’s existing compliance provision (internal or external) without the need to change provider. Validating compliance will either provide confirmation or highlight areas to be addressed.

  3. The provides an opportunity to record CPD. Respondents can record the time taken to complete and review the process as CPD (providing it meets key criteria, e.g. learning from the activity, capturing a reflection statement, etc.)

  4. The annual Gilchrist Standard report can be submitted as supporting documentation during PI renewal. In a hardening PI market, supporting documentation that can inform an underwriter about a firm’s professional practices, documentation and conduct standards, may help with renewal premium pricing.

Gilchrist Standard is a high-level assessment, which uses a firm’s responses to a questionnaire to produce a report. The questionnaire is not an exhaustive deep-dive into every area of a firm’s compliance obligations, but it does highlight areas in need of review and allows a firm to benchmark themselves anonymously against peers.