Firm Obligations FAQ - CFP Board

For CFP® Professionals


Firm Obligations


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

This section clarifies CFP Board’s enforcement activity regarding employers and firms.

CFP Board wants all CFP® professionals to have a thorough understanding of the Standards of Professional Conduct. Questions not answered in these FAQs may be sent to for consideration and possible inclusion in future revisions of this document.

Question 10-1: Are firms required to ensure that their employees and representatives who hold the CFP® certification adhere to CFP Board’s ethical standards?

No. CFP Board certifies individuals, not firms. As a condition of CFP® certification, CFP® professionals are required to abide by CFP Board’s Standards. While firms themselves are not required to abide by the Standards, many have undertaken efforts to assist the CFP® professionals they employ, or with whom they are affiliated, to comply with their responsibilities as CFP® professionals. The Standards specifically note that a CFP® professional will be considered in compliance with the Standards if the CFP® professional’s employer has completed the required actions on his or her behalf. [See Introduction to the Standards]

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CFP Board welcomes questions about specific aspects of the Standards of Professional Conduct and their application to specific situations.

CFP Board will consider all questions submitted and draft a response where it determines that interpretation of the Standards is needed.  For responses that it believes would be helpful to all CFP® professionals, CFP Board will publish its response in CFP Board’s newsletters and on CFP Board’s website.

Send your questions and requests for guidance documents to CFP Board at

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