Disclosure Guide

For CFP® Professionals


Disclosure Guide


The new Code and Standards takes effect Oct. 1, 2019, and includes a range of important changes, including expanding the scope of the fiduciary standard that requires CFP® professionals to act in the best interest of the client at all times when providing financial advice.  Learn More

CFP® professionals are required by CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct to make certain oral and/or written disclosures at certain times during client/prospect engagements. CFP Board developed this Disclosure Guide to assist CFP® professionals and their firms in determining when to make disclosures, what disclosures to make and which of their existing documents can be used to meet the disclosure requirements.

Download an electronic copy of the Disclosure Guide below.

Download the CFP Board Disclosure Guide

The Disclosure Guide is organized into two sections. The first is for financial planning engagements and the second is for all other engagements.

The organization of the guide focuses on five key areas:

When?: This column indicates the timing of when the disclosure is required.

How?: This column indicates the exact method of disclosure — oral or written. Please note that there is no requirement to provide these disclosures in a single disclosure document. This information can be provided in multiple documents or, in the case of non-financial planning engagements or prior to engaging in a financial planning arrangement, orally. As a best practice, we recommend that CFP® professionals make all disclosures in writing.

Rule: This column refers to CFP Board’s Rules of Conduct.

What?: This column provides a detailed summary of the information that is required to be disclosed. Use this section to ensure that the documents you are using contain all of this required information.

Documents used for compliance: You may need to supplement a firm’s disclosures with additional disclosure documents. For example, while Form ADV may assist a CFP® professional in making initial disclosures regarding the different types of compensation he or she may receive, the CFP® professional is required to supplement this disclosure with more detailed and specific disclosures regarding the compensation and costs a particular client may incur. In instances where disclosures can be oral, the "What?" column notes the items that must be discussed. CFP® professionals who do not use standardized disclosure documents such as Form ADV may use other documents provided by their firm or the documents referenced in the Disclosure Guide. CFP Board has developed sample disclosure forms and a sample engagement letter, which are referenced when applicable.

Access sample Disclosure Forms from CFP Board

Review additional resources related to compliance with CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct

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