The FCA's policy is designed to provide so far as possible a level playing field for authorised and unauthorised members of the professions in relation to the carrying on of similar activities.
Subject to conditions (see PROF 2), members of designated professional bodies that are not authorised can carry on particular regulated activities, known as exempt regulated activities, and obtain the benefit of the exemption under section 327 of the Act from the general prohibition.
In contrast, non-mainstream regulated activities are particular regulated activities carried on by an authorised professional firm. If the professional firm were not authorised under the Act, these same activities would be exempt regulated activities which, if the firm could meet the necessary conditions in section 327, would enable it to benefit from the section 327 exemption.
A "non-mainstream regulated activity" is defined in the Glossary as "a regulated activity of an authorised professional firm in relation to which the conditions in PROF 5.2.1 R are satisfied". Conditions (1) to (6)2 of PROF 5.2.1 R replicate section 327(1)(b)(i), (3), (4), (5) and (6) of the Act, as if those conditions applied to an authorised professional firm.2