About CFP Board

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Common Questions

CFP Board has assembled the following answers to common questions received regarding the process of filing a complaint against a CFP® professional, and CFP Board's activities during the investigation of complaints. If you have additional questions, please contact CFP Board at 800-487-1497 or compliance@cfpboard.org.

How Long Does it Take?
The length of time it will take to deal with any particular grievance is difficult to determine in advance. A grievance regarding the handling of a complex estate would take more time to investigate than a grievance that someone accepted a retainer fee then failed to deliver the client’s plan.

CFP Board generally processes grievances in the order in which they are filed and as quickly as the process will allow and will notify you when it has received your information. Additionally, you will be notified when the matter has been concluded. CFP Board is not able to provide you with status updates while its investigation is ongoing.  CFP Board will only inform you of any public discipline imposed. You can help us by providing as much information as possible with your grievance.

Will You Only Look at My Grievance?
You should not expect that a grievance will be decided solely on the basis of what the complainant claims to have happened, just as the matter will not necessarily be decided solely on the basis of the answer submitted by the respondent. We will make a formal decision based on the weight of all available information.

Can CFP Board Return my Money?
You should not expect, as a result of your grievance to us, to receive monetary compensation through CFP Board. Disciplinary proceedings are restricted to the question of whether a CFP® professional violated CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct.

Can I File a Complaint Against Someone Who is Not a CFP® Professional?
No.  CFP Board can act only to enforce its Standards of Professional Conduct. Enforcement measures include private censure, public letter of admonition, suspension or revocation of the right to use the CFP® marks.

Report misconduct to CFP Board

Learn more about the ethical standards for CFP® professionals

Did You Know?

Among clients who work with an advisor, 87% of those working with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared with 72% of those who work with an advisor without certification.
Anyone can call himself a “financial planner.” Only professionals who meet CFP Board’s rigorous standards can call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.
The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings and investments than those without a plan.
Putting Your Needs First
CFP Board requires CFP® professionals to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own at all times.