The FP Canada Standards Council™ Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (DRP) are the procedures that guide how the Standards Council conducts initial reviews and investigations into complaints involving FP Canada certificants. The DRP also sets out the procedure before Discipline Hearing and Appeal Panels where allegations are made by the Standards Council that a certificant engaged in conduct that breaches the Standards of Professional Responsibility.
Allegations relating to misconduct on certification examinations administered by the FP Canada Standards Council, are dealt with in accordance with the FP Canada Standards Council Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Examination Misconduct (DPEM).
Intake and Initial Review
The Standards Council receives complaints from a number of sources including the public and other regulatory bodies. In addition, the Standards Council may initiate complaints following review of declarations and self-reports from FP Canada certificants, regulatory notices, and media news releases.
All complaints are subject to an initial assessment to:
- Determine whether the issues fall within the Standards Council’s jurisdiction (the allegations must relate to an individual who was an FP Canada certificant at the relevant time).
- Evaluate the level of potential risk to the public.
- Substantiate the complaint.
- Assess whether the complaint may be suitable for resolution at the initial review phase.
- Determine whether a formal investigation is warranted.
The FP Canada Standards Council Executive Director has the authority to instruct investigations where there is a reasonable suspicion that a certificant engaged in conduct that may breach the Standards of Professional Responsibility.
Investigations may be initiated on the basis of:
- Any acts or omissions that may violate the provisions of the Code of Ethics; Rules of Conduct; Fitness Standards and/or Practice Standards; or
- Any acts or omissions amounting to significant misconduct or that have the possibility to bring the reputation of FP Canada or the Certification Marks into question.
Where it is determined that there are sufficient grounds to commence an investigation, the certificant who is the subject of the complaint is notified and invited to respond to the allegations.
If you are the subject of a complaint, please review Responding to an Investigation.
The Conduct Review Panel
The Conduct Review Panel (CRP)—an independent Panel composed of CFP professionals and members of the public—determines the appropriate disposition of complaints, in the public interest.
The CRP may, in the case of an alleged breach of the Code of Ethics, Practice Standards and/or Rules of Conduct:
- Dismiss the matter;
- Dismiss the matter with a letter of Guidance and Advice; or
- Refer the matter to a Hearing Panel.
In the case of an alleged breach of the Fitness Standards, the Conduct Review Panel may:
- Allow the certification where it is determined the conduct is not a bar to certification and, where appropriate, recommend Guidance and Advice; or
- Deny certification and refer the matter to a Hearing Panel.
Disciplinary Hearings (as directed by the CRP)
FP Canada Standards Council Hearing Panels consist of three members of the Hearing Panel Roster and include, at a minimum, two CFP professionals.
FP Canada certificants are afforded a full opportunity to respond and participate in the hearing process. Certificants are afforded an opportunity to challenge the allegations before the Hearing Panel and to submit evidence to the Hearing Panel, either directly or with the assistance of counsel.
Where there is a finding of misconduct, the Hearing Panel may:
- Issue a Letter of Admonishment;
- Impose a remedial action plan;
- Temporarily suspend the right to use the Certification Marks;
- Issue a temporary or permanent ban from seeking renewal or reinstatement of certification;
- Permanently revoke FP Canada certification and the right to use the Certification Marks; and
- Award costs of the proceeding against the certificant.
In accordance with the FP Canada Standards Council Policy on the Publication of Disciplinary Information, all decisions issued by a Hearing or Appeal Panel are published on FP Canada’s website. A certificant’s disciplinary history is also linked to the Find a Planner or Certificant tool on FP Canada’s website. The Standards Council has published guidelines to assist participants in understanding the expectations when participating on electronic proceedings.
Where a certificant fails to respond to communications from FP Canada or its Divisions and/or cooperate with an investigation by the Standards Council, staff may refer the matter to a Hearing Panel for consideration of the allegation that the certificant has contravened Rule 35 and/or Rule 36 of the Rules of Conduct, for failure to cooperate. A Hearing Panel finding that the certificant failed to cooperate may result in a permanent suspension of certification.
Duty to Report
All FP Canada certificants have a professional obligation to provide complete and accurate Declarations to FP Canada when completing their annual renewal form and to report any changes to prior Declarations to FP Canada in writing, within 15 days of becoming aware of a change. This reporting obligation is an ongoing obligation.
Failure to accurately complete your annual Declarations and/or to notify FP Canada of an update to your Declarations may be a breach of Rule 33 of the FP Canada Standards Council Standards of Professional Responsibility.
Interim Suspensions and/or Disclosure of Investigations
Pursuant to the Standards Council Policy on the Disclosure of Investigations and Interim Suspensions, the Standards Council has the ability to obtain interim suspensions and/or seek permission to disclose an active investigation, in exceptional circumstances and as necessary to protect the public. All interim suspensions are noted on a certificant’s profile on the Find A Planner Tool.