Do your ethics make the FPSC grade?

By Staff | December 15, 2011 | Last updated on December 15, 2011
2 min read

You have to place your client’s interests ahead of your own.

That requirement is the most noticeable change in a fresh set of standards of professional responsibility that will be applied to CFP designees and candidates registered to earn the designation, according to the Financial Planning Standards Council.

“These standards, and their active enforcement, are integral to making this credential worthy of client confidence, and serve as a testament to why millions of Canadians trust CFP professionals to guide them towards their life goals,” says John Wickett, senior vice-president, standards and certification, FPSC.

Through consultation with CFP professionals, industry, educators, regulatory bodies and the public, FPSC revalidated the standards (the CFP Code of Ethics including the embedded Rules, and the CFP Financial Planning Practice Standards) and then compiled the new versions, as well as the Fitness Standards, into a single document. FPSC revisits and revalidates its core resources every five years to ensure relevance.

A notable change to the FPSC Code of Ethics is the ‘Client First’ principle, which now explicitly states the obligation to place the client’s interests ahead of the planner’s. Earlier this year, the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) adopted this principle and both FPSC and IQPF have agreed to a common set of principles within their respective codes of ethics.

“In an unregulated environment where anyone can call himself a financial planner without possessing any qualifications, Canadians are not protected from unqualified, unethical individuals,” says Wickett. “The CFP marks indicate that the practitioner is held to the highest standards of professional and ethical conduct, and is accountable to professional oversight.”

On December 13, FPSC also launched the revalidated CFP Professional Competency Profile, which details a CFP’s abilities and outlines the skills, knowledge, attitudes and judgments required for competent performance. staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.