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Certification Updates

CFP Board Seeks Comments on Proposed Changes to Certification Requirements, Disciplinary Rules

Aug 19, 2011

CFP® Professionals and Stakeholders Encouraged to Comment

Washington, DC, August 19, 2011 – Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. announced yesterday that it is seeking comments from CFP® professionals and stakeholders on proposed amendments to its experience requirement for initial CFP® certification and revisions to its Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (Disciplinary Rules).

“These proposed changes to initial certification and Disciplinary Rules are a continuation of CFP Board’s ongoing effort to fulfill our mission of benefiting the public by granting and upholding the CFP® certification as the recognized standard of excellence in personal financial planning,” said CFP Board Chief Executive Officer Kevin R. Keller, CAE.

“We believe that the proposed changes to initial certification will encourage more people who are providing quality financial planning services to the public, or who want to do so, to attain CFP® certification,” Keller said. “And our proposed changes to the Disciplinary Rules will provide clarification to our rules and procedures, strengthen our investigative and hearing processes and incorporate best practices of established professions that have a disciplinary process.”

Overview of Proposed Changes

Proposed Experience Requirement Amendments

Comment Notice: Comments may be received during a 30-day public comment period, which ends September 17, 2011. Comments received will be posted to CFP Board's website and reviewed by a working group and CFP Board staff. Any final proposed amendments will be presented to the Board of Directors for review and approval in November 2011.

CFP Board’s current experience requirement requires individuals seeking to attain CFP® certification to complete three years of full-time work experience related to the personal financial planning process. The details of CFP Board’s current work experience requirement are available at www.CFP.net/become/experience.asp.

CFP Board recently convened a working group to review the experience requirement. The working group, composed of a diverse group of CFP® professionals with a broad range of financial planning subject matter expertise, length of experience, business organizational models and academia, considered CFP Board’s history with this requirement and other professional certification organizations’ experience requirements. After substantive discussions, the group developed several recommendations for revising the experience requirement.

Among the revisions under consideration are:

  • Differentiating the number of years required to complete the experience requirement through personal delivery of financial planning services to clients (two years) from the years required to complete the experience requirement through the supervision, direct support or teaching of financial planning services to clients (three years).
  • Tightening the qualifying window for experience to five years before and after successful completion of the CFP® exam.
  • Given the proposed tightening of the qualifying window, eliminating the currency requirement that some experience be completed within six months of reporting work experience.
  • Affirming CFP Board’s support of internships, practicums and Residency Program opportunities as a valuable method of gaining financial planning experience.

To review the recommended revisions to CFP Board’s Experience requirement, please visit CFP Board's website at www.CFP.net/downloads/CFPBoard_Experience_Proposal_2011-08.pdf.

Those wishing to comment on the proposed revisions should submit written comments no later than September 17, 2011. Comments may be sent to CFP Board by e-mail to WEComments@CFPBoard.org or by mail to:

CFP Board
c/o Michele M. Warholic, Esq., CAE
Managing Director, Education, Examinations and Talent
1425 K St., NW #500
Washington, DC 20005

Revisions to Disciplinary Rules

Comment Notice: Comments may be received during a 45-day public comment period, which ends October 3, 2011. Comments received will be posted to CFP Board's website and reviewed and considered by CFP Board staff, members of CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, and outside counsel conducting the review of CFP Board’s enforcement processes. Final proposed amendments will be presented to the Board of Directors for review and approval in November 2011.

If, based on the comments received, CFP Board determines that significant additional changes are needed to the Disciplinary Rules, it may be necessary to distribute a revised version of the Disciplinary Rules and to schedule a second comment period.

The Disciplinary Rules outline CFP Board’s procedures for enforcing its Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards, which establish standards of ethical conduct for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals. The Disciplinary Rules also apply to the Fitness Standards for Candidates and Registrants.

As part of a comprehensive review of CFP Board’s enforcement process, which is being conducted by outside counsel experienced in securities regulation and administrative enforcement processes, CFP Board is proposing revisions to the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.

The revisions, which have been reviewed by and are supported by CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, are intended to clarify ambiguities, incorporate best practices of established professions that have a disciplinary process, and generally strengthen CFP Board’s investigative and hearing processes. It is not anticipated that the proposed revisions will impact the business operations of CFP® professionals or the firms with which they are associated.

To review the recommended revisions to CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures, please visit CFP Board's website at www.CFP.net/downloads/CFPBoard_DRP_Proposal_2011-08.pdf.

Those wishing to comment on the proposed revisions should submit written comments no later than October 3, 2011. Comments may be sent to CFP Board by e-mail to compliance@CFPBoard.org or by mail to:

CFP Board
c/o Michael P. Shaw, Esq.
Managing Director, Professional Standards and Legal
1425 K St., NW #500
Washington, DC 20005

Note Regarding Comments: Comments received will be reviewed and considered by CFP Board and will be posted to CFP Board’s website in their entirety. If you wish for your comment to remain confidential, please omit any personally-identifying information from your comment or include in your comment a clearly-stated request that it not be published.

Review comments on the Proposed Amendments to the Experience Requirement >

Review comments on the Proposed Amendments to CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures >


ABOUT CFP BOARD: The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board's mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® certificants and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 63,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States.

CONTACT:
Dan Drummond, Director of Public Relations
P: 202-379-2252
M: 202-550-4372
E: ddrummond@CFPBoard.org
Twitter: @CFPBoardmedia

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