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CFP Board Ethics CE Sponsor Registration Requirements

In January 2014, CFP Board announced updated program requirements for Ethics continuing education (CE) sponsors and programs. In order to offer Ethics Continuing Education, an organization must register as an ethics CE Sponsor by agreeing to the terms and conditions outlined in the Ethics CE Sponsor Registration Agreement. (PDF, 363 KB).

Upon acceptance of the Ethics CE Sponsorship, an organization may submit an Ethics CE Program Application.  Please note that ethics CE programs focus exclusively on CFP Board’s ethical standards.

The application includes, program content requirementslearning objectives requirements and instructor eligibility requirements as described in the sections below.


Content Requirements for CFP Board Ethics CE Programs

CFP Board’s standards for CE programs on CFP Board’s Ethical Standards outline several content requirements, including those below:

Programs are designed to satisfy the CFP® certification renewal requirement of 2 hours of continuing education on CFP Board’s Ethical Standards (which includes the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards).

Programs must consist of 100 minutes per session.

Sessions must focus on the learning objectives. Programs may make use of case studies taken from CFP Board’s Anonymous Case History and may also make use of fictitious scenarios that illustrate issues related to CFP Board’s Ethical Standards. However, fictitious scenarios may not be accompanied with predictions of actions CFP Board might take when presented with any fictitious scenario.

Programs, including all related materials, must use the most updated version of CFP Board’s Ethical Standards, with updates to be made no later than six weeks after notification of changes to CFP Board’s Ethical Standards.

For more detail on CFP Board’s standards for CE programs on CFP Board’s Ethical Standards, please consult the Ethics CE Sponsor Registration Agreement (PDF, 1,879 KB).


Learning Objectives for CFP Board Ethics CE Programs

Effective January 2014, Ethics CE programs registered with CFP Board must be designed to accomplish the following required learning objectives.

Upon successful completion of the course, the student should be able to: 

  • Define elements of the fiduciary standard. 
  • Determine when the fiduciary standard applies in a variety of financial planning contexts and scenarios.
  • Determine if a CFP® professional is providing financial planning services or material elements of financial planning services.
  • Explain CFP Board's compensation disclosure requirements to clients and prospective clients recommendations to the client/prospective client.
    • Note: This objective would require two disclosures: one at the beginning of the client engagement providing a general description of how the client would pay for all of the services of the CFP® professional; and one at the time the CFP® Professional makes specific recommendations to the client/prospective client. 
  • Communicate any potential conflicts of interest to a client at the initiation of client engagement. 
    • Note: This would require two disclosures -- one given at the beginning of the client engagement providing a general description of the CFP® professional's conflicts of interest; and a second disclosure provided if a new conflict arises.

Ethics CE programs may go beyond the learning objectives to include additional information specific to CFP Board’s ethical standards as outlined in the publication titled Standards of Professional Conduct. However, all Ethics CE programs must, at a minimum, address the required learning objectives.

CFP Board will evaluate the learning objectives every two years to ensure relevance and consistency with CFP Board’s ethical standards.


Instructor and Author Eligibility Requirements for CFP Board Ethics CE Programs

Effective January 2014, instructors of Ethics CE programs registered with CFP Board must meet the following requirements.

The instructor and author of an Ethics CE program must:

  1. Hold current CFP® certification, with all CFP Board continuing education requirements up-to-date and all CFP Board renewal and other fees paid in full.
  2. Have held CFP® certification for 5 years or more.
  3. Not be the subject of a pending investigation by CFP Board or any federal or state regulator.
  4. Not have been the subject of a CFP Board discipline (i.e. private censure, public letter of admonition, or suspension) received within the past five years.
  5. Complete CFP Board ethics instructor webinar.

Individuals who do not meet all of the above criteria may submit a Policy Exception Request (PDF, 60 KB) to CFP Board.


Register as a CFP Board Ethics CE Sponsor

Download and complete the Ethics CE Sponsor Registration Agreement > (PDF, 1,879 KB).

Review the CE Sponsor Fee Schedule (PDF, 53KB)


Questions?

Call CFP Board at 800-487-1497 or email cesponsor@cfpboard.org.

Council On Education
CFP Board’s Council on Education advises CFP Board on the development and clarification of all educational policies related to the CFP® certification process.