In 2015, the CFP (Certified Financial Planning) Board announced that it was updating its Standards of Professional Conduct effective January 1, 2019. The last standards changes were undertaken in mid-2008.

“The draft proposal, titled Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, is a significant revision to the Standards with a range of important changes, including broadening the fiduciary standard for CFP® professionals—effectively requiring CFP® professionals to put a client’s interest first at all times. The revised proposal includes changes to some of the disclosure and other requirements in the initial proposal, in recognition of the need to be practical in considering changes to CFP Board’s Standards and to ensure the revised proposal focuses primarily on standards governing the provision of Financial Advice to actual Clients.

“CFP Board’s Board of Directors will consider the feedback received during this comment period with the expectation that it will approve and release a final version of the Code and Standards by the end of the second quarter of 2018. Pending the outcome of the second comment period, CFP Board intends for the final Code and Standards to have an effective date of January 1, 2019.”

The revised proposed Code and Standards has been through one round of public comments, and the CFP Board requests public comments on the second draft through February 2, 2018. Comments may be submitted by email to or by clicking here to their public comment form. All comments are dated and posted publicly on their website along with the name of the commenter.

Here is the most recent version of the Standards of Conduct being proposed:—professional-standards-enforcement/2017-proposed-standards/CFPBoard_Revised_Proposed_Standards

Here is the redlined comparison between the two versions:—professional-standards-enforcement/2017-proposed-standards/CFPBoard_Revised_Proposed_Standards_Redline

History of CFP

The creation of the CFP Board took place fairly early in the development of the financial planning profession, starting with a group of 13 men in Chicago in 1969 who saw a need for integrating knowledge from the fragmented financial services industry in order to offer comprehensive, professional assistance to consumers. From this meeting, the seed concepts for the International Association for Financial Planners (IAFP) and the College for Financial Planning were born.

By 1972, the IAFP enrolled its first group of students at the College for Financial Planning, and a group of 35 students became Certified Financial Planners. More than a decade later, in 1985, the current CFP Board was established.

“Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) was founded in 1985 as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that serves the public interest by promoting the value of professional, competent and ethical financial planning services, as represented by those who have attained CFP® certification.  CFP Board sets and enforces the requirements for CFP® certification, including: Education, Examination, Experience, Ethics”

Related Links

First comment-period response from Michael Kitces:

Top schools for financial planning / CFP-board registered degree programs:


If you are considering new accreditations or licensing in 2018, Shurwest can help. We offer discounted rates for the required educational coursework to our financial advisor partners.

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