Enforcement Process

Professional Misconduct

The FP Canada Standards Council Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (DRP) guide how FP Canada Standards Council conducts investigations and hearings into actions by FP Canada certificants that may represent a breach of the Standards of Professional Responsibility.


Misconduct on FP Canada Certification Examinations

Cheating or other instances of examination misconduct on certification examinations delivered 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). Please refer to the DPEM which guides how the Standards Council conducts investigations and hearings relating to misconduct on FP Canada Certification Examinations

The following outlines the enforcement process under the DRP where concerns are raised about a certificant’s conduct:

Intake and Initial Review

All complaints are subject to an initial assessment to determine if the complaint raises allegations that may, if shown to be true, demonstrate a potential violation of the Standards of Professional Responsibility.

The purpose of this stage is 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 early resolution; and

  • Determine whether a formal investigation is warranted.

The Standards Council receives and initiates complaints from a number of sources including: complaints directly from the public, attestations and self-reports from FP Canada certificants, regulatory notices/agreements with regulatory bodies; and from media news releases.

 

Investigations

Investigations may be commenced:

  1. By the FP Canada Standards Council, as a result of an alleged breach of the FP Canada Standards Council Code of Ethics or Rules of Conduct;

  2. By the FP Canada Standards Council, as a result of a presumptive bar under the FP Canada Standards Council Fitness Standards1; or

  3. As a result of a public complaint to the FP Canada Standards Council.

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. For additional information if you are the subject of a complaint, please review Responding to an Investigation.

1A presumptive bar to continued certification may come to the attention of FP Canada staff as a result of a self-declaration by an FP Canada certificant (in accordance with the professional obligations to report) or as a staff member proactively identifying a triggering circumstance. FP Canada proactively monitors a number of regulatory feeds.

 

Review by the Conduct Review Panel

The Conduct Review Panel (CRP)—an independent Panel composed of CFP professionals and members of the public—meets approximately every two months to determine the appropriate disposition of complaints, in the public interest.

The CRP has the authority to dismiss complaints, issue letters of Guidance and Advice and refer complaints to Discipline Hearing Panels.

 

Disciplinary Hearings (as directed by the CRP)

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.

 

Interim Suspensions and/or Disclosure of Investigations

Pursuant to the FP Canada Standards Council Policy on the Disclosure of Investigations and Interim Suspensions, the Standards Council staff have the ability to obtain interim suspensions at the investigation stage, in exceptional circumstances and as necessary to protect the public. Any certificant that has been placed under an interim suspension is designated as such on FP Canada’s website under the Find A Planner Tool and is noted as such for public protection.

 

Cooperation

In addition, where a certificant fails to respond to the Standards Council’s communications or cooperate with an investigation, staff may refer the matter to a Hearing Panel. A Hearing Panel finding that the certificant failed to cooperate may result in a permanent suspension of certification.