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CFP Board to Revise Standards of Conduct

The CFP Board announced Wednesday it will review and revise its standards of professional conduct that regulate advisor certification.

The organization has formed a 13-person commission to evaluate the CFP Board’s standards, which lay the foundation for its code of ethics, rules of conduct, practice standards and terminology to which advisors with the certification are held.

“CFP Board’s professional standards are at the core of CFP certification. These standards separate CFP Board from other financial services designations and instill trust and confidence among the public,” said Richard P. Rojeck, current chair of the organization’s board of directors.

Led by former chairman Ray Ferrara, the committee will include Merrill Lynch’s head of global client strategy Allison Bishop, Vanguard’s David Foegal and the Consumer Federation of America’s director of investor protection Barbara Roper, as well as several current CFP holders and former regulators.

“The board has given fairly specific instructions to me as CEO as to how to constitute the commission and the work that we will do,” CFP Board CEO Kevin Keller said.

The process, which will start in January with nine public town hall events, could last up to 24 months. The meetings will allow commission members to receive input from current CFP holders, industry participants, investors and the public on the organization’s current standards.

Once the town hall meetings conclude at the end of February, the commission will begin revising the standards. Once the recommendations are complete, the commission, with the help of the CFP’s general counsel, will submit the changes to the CFP’s board of directors. The board will review the changes and either suggest additional modifications or send out the changes for public comment.

The CFP Board last reviewed its standards during 2007 and 2008, with new guidelines implemented in January 2009. 

“We obviously know that things are evolving within the industry and the profession—different methods of the delivery of advice, practice modality, the different models, for those and other reasons, we just felt it was time to act,” Rojeck said.

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