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Ethics CE Sponsors

Ethics Continuing Education (CE) Sponsors submit program applications to CFP Board to verify that the content meets CFP Board's standards.

To register as an Ethics CE Sponsor, an organization must first complete and submit an Ethics CE Sponsor Registration Agreement (PDF, 363KB). Once active, sponsors can submit Ethics CE Program Applications in order to register their courses. The program application includes content, learning objective, and instructor eligibility requirements as described in the sections below. Ethics CE Sponsor and Program applications detailed below can be emailed, faxed or mailed to CFP Board.

Ethics CE Sponsor Registration

Quick Links: Content Requirements | Learning Objectives | Instructor Eligibility Requirements | Attendance Reporting | Program Records | Questions

CONTENT REQUIREMENTS

Ethics CE Programs must focus exclusively on CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct for a minimum of 100 minutes.

Sessions must focus on the required learning objectives detailed below. Programs may make use of case scenarios 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. In addition to the standard CE Program format requirements, for Self-Study and Live programs, Ethics CE Programs must also meet the following requirements:

  • Live Format:
    • A description of how attendance will be monitored.
  • Self-Study Format :
    • A minimum of 40 assessment questions with an 80% passing score.
    • The exam questions must relate to the required learning objectives. 
Programs, including all related materials, must use the most updated version of CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct, with updates to be made no later than six weeks after notification of changes to those standards. The ethics program learning objectives are routinely reviewed and updated every two years.

Ethics CE Program Registration

Sponsorship and Program Renewal


LEARNING OBJECTIVES

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.
    • 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 relevancy and consistency with CFP Board’s ethical standards.


INSTRUCTOR ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

Effective January 2014, instructors of Ethics CE programs registered with CFP Board must now 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.


ATTENDANCE REPORTING

Ethics CE Sponsors must submit attendance lists to CFP Board using CFP Board's specified Attendance Reporting Form, detailed in the link below, within four weeks of a program's completion. Completed Attendance Reporting Forms must be submitted by email to cereport@cfpboard.org.

Attendance Reporting


PROGRAM RECORDS

Ethics CE Sponsors agree to maintain records for a period of four years following the date each Program is presented:

  • The date and location of the Program presentation(s).
  • The name(s) of each instructor or discussion leader.
  • The list of CFP® professionals attending each Live Program presentation and/or the list of CFP® professionals successfully completing each Self-Study Program.
  • The written outline of the Program presentation(s).


QUESTIONS?

Contact CFP Board's Continuing Education Staff directly at 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.