Universities and Colleges Express Support for CFP® Certification and Fiduciary Advice

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Universities and Colleges Express Support for CFP® Certification and Fiduciary Advice

Jan 25, 2018

In open letter, institutions encourage students to work at firms supporting certification, fiduciary advice

Leading academic institutions that offer financial planning education programs are voicing support for CFP® certification and fiduciary advice, encouraging their students and graduates to work at firms that support the CFP® marks and its high standards.

Twenty-one academic leaders who oversee the nation’s top baccalaureate degree-granting financial planning programs at universities and colleges express their support in an open letter that will appear in a CFP Board-sponsored advertisement in the January 29 print edition of InvestmentNews.

The directors of these programs note that they “applaud CFP Board for its work to uphold high ethical standards for CFP® professionals, and to lead the industry toward a fiduciary standard for financial advice.”

“We strongly encourage our students and graduates to pursue careers at financial services firms that support the high standards of CFP® certification and embrace fiduciary advice,” the letter concludes.

CFP Board-Registered Programs are central to CFP® certification. Candidates for certification must successfully complete CFP Board's education coursework requirement in order to sit for the CFP® certification exam. To become certified, candidates must also hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher), undergo and pass a background check and have two to three years of professional experience related to financial planning.

The advertisement is being released as CFP Board is proposing revisions to its Standards of Professional Conduct, which set forth the ethical requirements for more than 80,000 CFP® professionals. Under the proposed revised Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, CFP® professionals would be required to adhere to a fiduciary standard whenever they are providing financial advice – not just when providing financial planning services as is required now.

A second version of the proposed Code and Standards is currently out for public comment. The Board of Directors is expected to approve and release a final version of the Code and Standards by the end of the second quarter of 2018.  

“We are grateful to our Registered Programs for their support of financial planning education. Not only do their important programs satisfy requirements for CFP® certification – they are a foundation of the financial planning profession,” said Kevin R. Keller, CEO of CFP Board. “The opinions of our academic leaders have great influence within the profession, and we appreciate their support of the certification and a fiduciary standard that puts a client’s interests first at all times.”


The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board’s mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 80,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S. For more information about CFP Board, visit www.CFP.net

CONTACT:  Daniel F. Drummond, Director of Communications, CFP Board and Center for Financial Planning, P: 202-379-2252 M: 202-243-8621 E: ddrummond@cfpboard.org
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Did You Know?

Among clients who work with an advisor, 87% of those working with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared with 72% of those who work with an advisor without certification.
Anyone can call themselves a “financial planner.” Only professionals who meet CFP Board’s rigorous standards can call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.
The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings and investments than those without a plan.
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