planners deal with one of the most personal and sensitive aspects
of people's lives: their financial security. As a result, trust
is at the heart of the financial planning relationship - trust in
the planner's competence, integrity and objectivity, and trust that
the planner will act first and foremost in your best interest.
Question and answer FAQ answers some frequently asked questions
about financial planners and financial planning. It is meant to
help you make the decision about using a financial planner and describes
the high standards of conduct you can expect from a Certified Financial
do the letters "CFP" mean?
A. The letters "CFP" stand
for Certified Financial Planner™. The CFP™ registered
certification marks identify individuals who are dedicated to a
high level of professionalism in providing financial planning advice.
The CFP credentials assure you that the individual using them has
agreed to adhere to the highest internationally recognized standards
of competence and ethical practice as set out by Financial Planners
Standards Council (FPSC).
can use the Certified Financial Planner or CFP credential?
A. Only individuals who have
met FPSC's rigorous pre- and post-certification standards and continue
to meet FPSC's annual licensing requirements are entitled to use
Certified Financial Planner, CFP or the CFP logo displayed on the
top left corner of this page.
Q. Why is it important
to deal with a CFP licensee?
A. Individuals who wish to
attain the CFP designation must meet education, examination, experience
and ethical requirements set by FPSC. These requirements are more
fully outlined below: Education · Successful completion of an approved
educational program. · Fulfilment of annual continuing education
requirements to keep abreast of planning strategies and financial
trends. Experience · A minimum of two years' work experience in
a financial planning related position. Examination · Successful
completion of a rigorous examination that covers the financial planning
process, income tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning,
investment planning, family law, risk management, general principles
including the Code of Ethics, and small business applications in
financial planning. Ethics · Adherence to a professional Code of
Ethics that requires all CFP licensees to act in an ethical and
professionally responsible manner in all professional services and
do I know I if my financial planner is a CFP licensee?
A. Look for the CFP certification
marks: our logo (pictured at top left), the initials CFP or the
words Certified Financial Planner. You can also ask to see the
planner's current wallet-size CFP licence or consult CFP Licensee
in Good Standing page or contact us by e-mail or use our toll
free phone number 1.800.305.9886 to verify a planner's status
as a CFP licensee. Only FPSC can authorize an individual to use
the CFP marks.
Q. What standards guide
the professional conduct of a CFP licensee?
A. CFP licensees must follow
a professional Code of Ethics (Code of Ethics). The Code is designed
to better serve you, the consumer, by requiring disclosure of
pertinent information about a CFP licensee and describing the
behaviour you should expect from your planner. A CFP licensee
is obliged to place the client's best interest first. He or she
must disclose relevant information that might affect the financial
planning relationship, such as sources of compensation including
fees or commissions, and any potential conflicts of interest that
might compromise the planner's objectivity.
FPSC accept complaints against CFP licensees?
A. FPSC will respond to alleged
violations of the Code of Ethics brought to its attention in writing.
If a CFP licensee fails to meet the high standards of the Code
of Ethics, appropriate disciplinary action will be taken by FPSC.
The most severe of these actions is the revocation of the CFP
do I find a CFP licensee?
A. CFP licensees work in
credit unions, brokerage firms, insurance companies, mutual fund
groups, banks, small and large financial services businesses and
for themselves. Many are listed in our Find a Planner database.
Consult it to begin your search for planners best qualified to
help you with personal or business finance issues.
CFP licensees found only in Canada?
A. The CFP is
an internationally recognized designation held by over 62,000 people
licensed to use the credentials by organizations in 15 countries
around the world. The International CFP Council, of which FPSC is
the second largest member having licensed more than 13,000 individuals
in Canada, is comprised of organizations dedicated to benefiting
the global community by establishing, maintaining and promoting
the professional standards in financial planning represented by
the CFP certification marks.