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CFP Board

In This Update:

February 2, 2012

CFP® Certification Examination

Exam results for the November 2011 CFP® Certification Examination were recently released to exam takers. Of the 4,064 individuals who sat for the November 2011 exam, 2,465 passed, representing a pass rate of 60.7%. The number of individuals who took the November 2011 CFP® exam set an all-time record for an administration of CFP Board’s exam, exceeding the previous record of 3,637 set in November 2006. View historical exam statistics >

The CFP® Certification Examination will be administered during 2012 on March 16-17, July 20-21 and November 20-21. The March 2012 CFP® exam will be the first to address the Job Task Domains identified through CFP Board's 2009 Job Analysis Study.

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Request for Comments:
Proposed Non-Disciplinary Public Disclosure of Single Bankruptcy Filings

On January 18, 2012, CFP Board issued a request for comments on proposed changes to the way it addresses bankruptcy filings by CFP® professionals and candidates for CFP® certification. Comments will be accepted through February 17, 2012. Read the proposal and submit a comment >

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Fee Increase for Self-Reported Continuing Education Programs

Effective May 1, 2012, the processing fee for self-reporting continuing education (CE) programs not registered with CFP Board will increase from $20 per CE program reviewed to $25 per CE program reviewed.

The self-reporting fee applies only to instances when a CFP® professional reports a CE program that is not registered with CFP Board at the time the program is completed. CFP® professionals may continue to self-report completion of CE programs that the CE Sponsors have registered with CFP Board at no charge.

The processing fee for self-reported CE programs is used to defray part of the administrative costs associated with CFP Board’s review of the programs and evaluation of their compliance with CFP Board’s continuing education standards. Self-reported CE programs are subject to the same time-intensive review and evaluation applied to CE programs that CE Sponsors submit to CFP Board for registration. While CFP Board increased fees for CE Sponsors in 2010, an increase in the self-reporting fee was delayed until 2012.

CFP Board encourages CFP® professionals to avoid paying the self-reporting fee by completing CE programs that are already registered with and accepted by CFP Board. More than 1,000 CE Sponsors currently offer CFP Board-accepted CE programs on a wide range of topics, in live and self-study formats. Completion of these CFP Board-accepted CE programs provides assurance that the hours you devote to continuing education will be accepted by CFP Board. Your completion of these registered CE programs is also reported to CFP Board directly by the CE Sponsor.

To find CFP Board-accepted CE programs, visit our website at www.CFP.net/sponsors.

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Display the CFP® Marks with Pride

In April 2011, CFP Board initiated a multi-year public awareness campaign to raise awareness of CFP® certification. As part of the campaign, CFP Board will be placing advertisements in national cable television, print and online media channels, as well as engaging in extensive public relations and consumer outreach activities in support of the campaign. The campaign includes a toolkit of resources available free of charge to CFP® professionals who wish to extend the reach of the campaign in their local communities. Access the Public Awareness Campaign Toolkit >

A variety of products featuring the new CFP® (with plaque design) mark highlighted in CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign are now available through a new online store.

Visit www.CFPBoardstore.com, where you’ll find golf apparel, business accessories and other items with the CFP® marks.

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CFP® Certificant Connections in Atlanta, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale
February 9-10

CFP Board’s CFP® Certificant Connections continue in 2012 with events in Atlanta, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale on February 9-10, 2012. Hosted by Alan Goldfarb, CFP®, 2012 Chair of the Board of Directors, and Kevin R. Keller, CAE, CFP Board's CEO, these town-hall style events are held in an open format to allow CFP® professionals and other CFP Board stakeholders to address the issues of most concern to them, and to provide CFP Board’s leadership the chance to connect with local CFP® professional communities across the country. Learn more and register to attend >

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Business Update Webinar, March 9

Join CFP Board’s leadership for important updates on CFP Board's activities and accomplishments during CFP Board’s Business Update Webinar on Friday, March 9, 2012 at 1:30 p.m. (Eastern Time). This Webinar features Alan Goldfarb, CFP®, 2012 Chair, Nancy A. Kistner, CFP®, 2012 Chair-Elect and Kevin R. Keller, CAE, CFP Board's CEO, who will share the latest news on CFP Board recent activities, including the progress of CFP Board’s Public Awareness Campaign, public outreach activities and developments in CFP Board’s engagement with public policy. Register to attend >

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Volunteer Opportunities Related to CFP Board’s Enforcement Activities

CFP Board seeks volunteers for its investigative and enforcement-related initiatives. CFP® professionals and public representatives are eligible to serve as volunteers. CFP Board defines “public representative” as an individual who is not a CFP® professional and does not provide any of the following services to retail or institutional clients: financial planning, brokerage, investment advisory, or insurance. Potential “public representative” candidates include, but are not limited to, individuals who: (1) Have a background in public interest, certification and/or enforcement; (2) Have expertise in issues impacting seniors; or (3) Are professors of law, economics, finance or a related field.

All volunteers are required to pass an ethics background check and complete a conflicts questionnaire to ensure they do not know the CFP® professional or candidate for CFP® certification whose conduct is at issue. Additionally, all volunteers must agree to abide by CFP Board’s Conflict of Interest Policy and Code of Conduct and Ethics.

The volunteer opportunities are:

Disciplinary Hearing Panelist: (This is a two and one half day commitment to serve as a hearing panelist for hearings held in the Washington, DC area). Volunteers serve on a three-person hearing panel alongside Commission members. Hearing panelists: 1) hear testimony and/or review documentary evidence to determine whether a CFP® professional engaged in conduct that violates one or more of CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct; 2) render factual findings; and 3) where a violation of the Standards of Professional Conduct is found, determine the appropriate sanction, if any, that should be imposed against the CFP® professional. Those interested in serving on a hearing panel should complete a volunteer application form.
Subject Matter Expert: Once a CFP® professional has served as a volunteer hearing panelist, he/she is eligible to be added to the list of Subject Matter Experts. With the input of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, the staff determines whether a CFP® professional who has served as a volunteer hearing panelist possesses skills in financial planning, specific financial products and/or specific business practices that may be at issue in the case. If the volunteer is added to the list of Subject Matter Experts, he/she may be asked to assist the staff by reviewing an investigative file and render a written opinion to the staff indicating whether the alleged conduct could result in a CFP Board rule violation that would constitute grounds for discipline. CFP® professionals interested in learning more about CFP Board’s Subject Matter Expert process are invited to express their interest by sending an e-mail to dmorgan@cfpboard.org.
Disciplinary and Ethics Commission Member: (This is a four year commitment to serve as a hearing panelist during three hearings per year). Each year, there are two to three vacancies on the Commission, the body that administers CFP Board’s hearings. In addition to serving as hearing panelists, Commission members participate in a business meeting at the conclusion of each set of hearings to discuss issues related to CFP Board's investigative and hearing processes. Those interested in being considered to serve on the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission should complete a volunteer application form.

CFP Board’s establishment and enforcement of the Standards of Professional Conduct sets the CFP® certification apart from the many other designations in the financial services industry, assuring the public that those who hold CFP® certification are required to put the client’s interests first. CFP Board appreciates all who contribute to CFP Board’s investigative and enforcement-related activities. Learn more about these and other volunteer activities with CFP Board at www.CFP.net/aboutus/opportunities.asp.

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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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