Proposed Standards

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Proposed Standards

Second Proposal of Revisions to CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct

On December 20, 2017, CFP Board released a second draft of proposed revisions to its Standards of Professional Conduct and requested feedback during a public comment period that ended February 2, 2018.

CFP Board’s standards for ethics and practice are an essential part of the CFP® certification and an important element of the public’s trust and confidence in CFP® professionals. Through a deliberate and inclusive process, CFP Board has developed a second draft of proposed revisions to the Standards that is intended to enhance the integrity and value of CFP® professionals to the clients and communities they serve.

The draft proposal, titled Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, is a significant revision to the Standards with a range of important changes, including broadening the fiduciary standard for CFP® professionals—effectively requiring CFP® professionals to put a client’s interest first at all times. The revised proposal includes changes to some of the disclosure and other requirements in the initial proposal, in recognition of the need to be practical in considering changes to CFP Board’s Standards and to ensure the revised proposal focuses primarily on standards governing the provision of Financial Advice to actual Clients.

CFP Board’s Commission on Standards and Board of Directors are now considering the feedback received with the expectation that the Board will approve and release a final version of the Code and Standards by the end of the second quarter of 2018. Pending the outcome of the second comment period, CFP Board intends for the final Code and Standards to have an effective date of January 1, 2019.

Public Comments

The public comment period for the revised proposed Code and Standards ended on February 2, 2018. All comments submitted to CFP Board are posted on our website with the name of the commenter and date submitted.

Review Comments Received


In order for individuals to receive CFP® certification from CFP Board, they must agree to the high standards for competency and ethics that are set forth in the Standards. CFP Board periodically reviews the Standards to maintain the value, integrity and relevance of the CFP® certification. The current version of the Standards has been in effect for compliance purposes since January 2009.

In December 2015, CFP Board announced that a Commission on Standards was formed for the purpose of reviewing and recommending to the Board of Directors proposed changes to the Terminology, Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct, and Financial Planning Practice Standards sections of the Standards. After receiving feedback during a series of public forums and holding discussions with interested organizations and individuals, the Commission developed recommendations that are incorporated in the proposed revised Standards, which the Board of Directors has approved for public comment. The revisions strengthen the Standards, for the benefit of the public.

CFP Board issued an initial proposal of revisions to the Standards on June 20, 2017, for a 60-day comment period. CFP Board received more than 1,300 comments. After reviewing the comments, which generated material changes to the initial proposal, CFP Board’s Board of Directors decided to issue this revised proposal for additional comment. The revised proposal was released on December 20, 2017.

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