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CFP Board
April 30, 2012


Dear Colleague,

CFP Board requests comments on proposed Sanction Guidelines for use in hearings before the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission and the Appeals Committee of the Board of Directors. The complete proposal is available at www.CFP.net/downloads/CFPBoard_Sanction_Guidelines_Proposal_2012-04.pdf.

Overview of Proposed Sanction Guidelines
The mission of CFP Board 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. CFP Board enforces its ethical and practice standards by investigating incidents of alleged unethical behavior, following the procedures established in CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. In cases where violations are found, CFP Board may impose discipline ranging from a private letter of censure or public admonition to suspension or revocation of the right to use the CFP® marks.  

CFP Board’s enforcement process includes written notice to individuals under investigation, the opportunity to respond to the matters under investigation, the opportunity to appear at a hearing to address allegations of misconduct, the right to be represented by legal counsel and introduce witnesses and evidence, and the right to appeal decisions involving discipline.

CFP Board has developed the proposed Sanction Guidelines to assist the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission (“Commission”), the group charged with conducting disciplinary hearings in accordance with CFP Board’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures, in maintaining consistency regarding the imposition of sanctions for similar offenses. The proposed Sanction Guidelines would also be used by the Appeals Committee of the Board of Directors, which considers appeals of Commission decisions.

The Sanction Guidelines identify specific conduct that is a violation of CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, the sanction guideline for that conduct and policy notes for the Commission to consider when imposing the appropriate sanction. The Commission and Appeals Committee are not bound by the Sanction Guidelines, which are intended, along with the Anonymous Case Histories, to guide the decision making of the Commission and Appeals Committee. When considering the appropriate sanction in a particular case, the Commission and Appeals Committee may deviate from the sanction guideline if there are aggravating facts that warrant a more severe sanction or mitigating factors that warrant a less severe sanction.

The full proposed Sanction Guidelines is available on CFP Board’s website at www.CFP.net/downloads/CFPBoard_Sanction_Guidelines_Proposal_2012-04.pdf.

Comment Submission Guidelines
CFP® professionals wishing to comment on the proposed Sanction Guidelines should submit written comments no later than May 30, 2012 June 14, 2012. Comments may be sent to CFP Board by email to compliance@cfpboard.org or by mail to:

CFP Board
c/o Michael P. Shaw, Esq.
1425 K Street NW #500
Washington, DC 20005

Comments received will be reviewed and considered by CFP Board and will be posted on CFP Board’s website in their entirety. Final proposed changes are expected to be presented to CFP Board’s Board of Directors for approval in July 2012.

Background on Comment Periods
CFP Board periodically reviews its rules, processes and procedures to ensure that they are aligned with changes in regulations that impact CFP® professionals and reflect best practices of established professions. To that end, CFP Board has and will continue to seek comment from CFP® professionals on a number of initiatives.

In April 2012, following review of comments received during public comment periods, CFP Board announced changes to its experience requirement, a new procedure to disclose bankruptcy filings to the public, and several proposed amendments to the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Later this year, CFP Board will seek comment on several additional initiatives, including: proposed changes to the Continuing Education standard; proposed amendments to the Rules and Procedures of the Appeals Committee; and additional proposed amendments to the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures to strengthen its notice provisions.

We appreciate the opinions of all CFP Board's stakeholders and welcome your comments on this and future proposals.



P 800-487-1497 • F 202-379-2299 • CFP.NET
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Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. 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 initial and ongoing certification requirements.

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