For Education Partners


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. 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

UPDATE: 2016 Ethics CE Renewal

The 2016 Ethics CE Program registration renewal period is October 21, 2015 through December 31, 2015.

The Learning Objectives for Ethics CE Programs have been updated, effective January 2016, and Ethics CE Programs renewed for 2016 must demonstrate updated content coverage by December 31, 2015.

Authors and instructors of Ethics CE Programs are required to view a webinar outlining the updated Learning Objectives and submit a corresponding attestation form.

View the 2016 Ethics CE Learning Objectives Webinar


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


Effective January 2016, Ethics CE programs registered with CFP Board must be designed to accomplish the following required learning objectives.

Upon successful completion of the program, the student should be able to: 

  1. Define and discuss a financial planning engagement, material elements of financial planning, and the financial planning process.
  2. Analyze specific fact patterns to determine if a financial planning relationship exists.
  3. Differentiate between the standards of care set forth in Rules 1.4 and 4.5 of the Rules of Conduct, and apply each standard of care to specific factual situations.
  4. Apply each Practice Standard set forth in the Financial Planning Practice Standards to a hypothetical financial planning engagement.
  5. Identify the information that must be disclosed to the client in writing by a CFP® professional who is engaged in a financial planning relationship or providing material elements of financial planning.
  6. Define the required information that must be disclosed to clients and prospective clients, when that information must be disclosed, and apply each disclosure requirement to specific factual situations. (This includes but is not limited to the compensation and conflict-of-interest disclosure requirements set forth in Rule 2.2 of the Rules of Conduct and Practice Standards 100-1, 400-3, and 500-1.)

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.


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 and author webinar.


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

Attendance Reporting


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).


Contact CFP Board's Continuing Education Staff directly at

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CFP Board’s Council on Education advises CFP Board on the development and clarification of all educational policies related to the CFP® certification process.