Become a CFP® Professional

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Professional Standards & Enforcement

The final component of the initial CFP® certification process is the ethics requirement. CFP® certification requires you to agree to adhere to CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct – including the Code of Ethics and Professional ResponsibilityRules of Conduct, and Financial Planning Practice Standards – and to acknowledge CFP Board's right to enforce them through itsDisciplinary Rules and Procedures. By signing the CFP® Certification Application, individuals agree to be bound by CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Practice Standards. This demonstrates to the public that you have agreed to provide personal financial planning in the client's best interest and to act in accordance with the highest ethical and professional standards for the practice of financial planning.

Before being authorized to use the CFP® certification marks, and each time you renew your certification, you must disclose whether you have ever been involved in any criminal, civil, self-regulatory organization or governmental agency inquiry, investigation or proceeding. You must also acknowledge the right of CFP Board to enforce its Standards of Professional Conduct.

Applicants for CFP® certification are required to pass CFP Board’s Fitness Standards for Candidates and Professionals Eligible for Reinstatement, which describe conduct that: 1) is unacceptable and will always bar an individual from becoming certified; and 2) is presumed to be unacceptable and will bar an individual from becoming certified unless the individual successfully petitions CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission for consideration.

Please be aware that, if you disclose matters on your CFP® Certification Application, or if CFP Board discovers that you have been involved in matters that are presumed unacceptable under the Fitness Standards or that may reflect adversely upon the profession or the CFP® certification marks, your certification may be delayed pending CFP Board's review of the matters. Additionally, if the matters involve serious misconduct, CFP Board reserves the right to permanently deny you the right to obtain the CFP® certification. All such ethics reviews will be conducted in accordance with CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.

Verification of Data

CFP Board may verify your employment record, qualifications and disciplinary history through FINRA's BrokerCheck® database. All disciplinary information obtained will be reviewed by CFP Board. The length of the review process varies depending on the circumstances being investigated, and may take anywhere from several weeks to one year. In general, you will not be authorized to use the CFP® marks during CFP Board's review process.

If you have questions about the effect of any of your past or pending disciplinary actions, or your authorization to use the CFP® marks, contact CFP Board at 800-487-1497 or initialcert@cfpboard.org. Because of changing codes or regulations and the fact that every situation contains unique variables, CFP Board cannot provide you with an advance judgment of your situation. However, historical case studies of disciplinary actions taken by CFP Board against those it has certified are available from CFP Board. Review Anonymous Case History records

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