Professional Standards and Enforcement

For CFP® Professionals


Professional Standards & Enforcement

CFP Board’s ethical standards and their enforcement are an important element of the public's trust and confidence in CFP® professionals.

New Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, Effective Oct. 1, 2019

On March 29, 2018, CFP Board announced that its Board of Directors unanimously approved a new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct (“Code and Standards”), which sets forth the ethical standards for CFP® professionals. On November 27, 2018, CFP Board announced technical revisions to the Code and Standards that provide clarity to several sections of the document.  The new Code and Standards replaces CFP Board’s current Code of Ethics, Rules of Conduct, Financial Planning Practice Standards and Terminology, effective October 1, 2019. The enforcement date for the new Code and Standards is June 30, 2020.

Review the new Code and Standards

Previous Standards of Professional Conduct

CFP Board’s current Standards of Professional Conduct were adopted in May 2007, with an effective date of July 1, 2008 and an enforcement date of January 1, 2009. The new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct will replace the Code of Ethics, Rules of Conduct, Financial Planning Practice Standards and Terminology in the previous Standards of Professional Conduct, effective October 1, 2019.  For conduct that occurs between October 1, 2019 and June 29, 2020, CFP Board will continue to enforce violations of the Standards of Professional Conduct. Starting June 30, 2020 and onward, CFP® professionals may then be subject to potential disciplinary action for violations of the new Code and Standards.

Review the previous Standards of Professional Conduct 


Enforcement of the ethical standards for CFP® professionals is one of the key elements that distinguishes the CFP® certification from other financial credentials, and CFP Board is committed to maintaining a disciplinary process that is fair to the CFP® professionals whose conduct comes under scrutiny and one that is credible to the public. CFP Board’s ethical standards for CFP® professionals are enforced through an investigative and disciplinary process described in the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures and Appeal Rules and Procedures.

Learn about CFP Board’s Enforcement Processes

Anonymous Case Histories

CFP Board publishes detailed summaries of actual cases heard by CFP Board’s Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, the body charged with hearing allegations of misconduct by CFP® professionals. These Anonymous Case Histories enable CFP® professionals and members of the public to identify specific types of activities that CFP Board deems to be contrary to its ethical standards, and they may also be useful to a CFP® professionals preparing to appear before the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, given the precedent of past decisions.

Search the database of Anonymous Case Histories

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