Professional Standards

FP Canada certificants are required to adhere to rigorous standards that are set and enforced by FP Canada Standards Council. These standards are maintained by the Standards Panel. They are regularly reviewed to ensure their relevance in meeting the needs of Canadians and to keep pace with changes in the financial planning profession.
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FP Canada Standards Council Standards of Professional Responsibility

The FP Canada Standards Council Standards of Professional Responsibility includes the:

  1. Code of Ethics: The principles that guide the conduct of FP Canada certificants.
  2. Rules of Conduct:The specific standards of conduct expected of FP Canada certificants.
  3. Fitness Standards: The good character requirements and potential bars to new and continued certification with FP Canada.
  4. Practice Standards: The steps to be followed in a financial planning engagement.

All FP Canada certificants are held to the professional standards detailed in the Standards of Professional Responsibility.
View previous versions of the Standards of Professional Responsibility.


Reports on Disciplinary Actions

All decisions by a Hearing Panel, or Appeal Hearing Panel are published in accordance with the FP Canada Standards Council Policy on the Publication of Disciplinary Information.

 

Letters of Guidance and Advice

 

A Letter of Guidance and Advice may be issued by the Conduct Review Panel where the Panel has concerns about a certificant’s conduct but determines that a remedial approach, through the issuance of guidance, is appropriate in the circumstances. Letters of Guidance and Advice do not reflect a finding of professional misconduct. All Letters of Guidance and Advice are anonymized and published on FP Canada’s website to provide notice to certificants and the public regarding the type of conduct that is a concern to the Conduct Review Panel.

 

2019 | 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2011 | 2010

 

Notice to FP Canada Certificants

In December 2018, the Conduct Review Panel published a notice on Taking Instructions from a Third Party, to remind FPSC certificants of their professional obligations and provide additional guidance on handling individual and joint client relationships.

In the Fall 2016 issue of the FP Standard, the Conduct Review Panel published this notice regarding a recent pattern of allegations and the corresponding guidance to certificants to meet their professional obligations.

 

Responding to an Investigation

If allegations of professional misconduct have been made against you and an Investigation into your professional conduct has been started, FP Canada Standards Council will notify you that an Investigation has been instructed and provide information about the allegations under review. Regardless of your assessment of the severity or merits of the complaint, you have a professional obligation to respond to communications and to cooperate with FP Canada Standards Council’s Investigation. Read on to understand what to expect during an Investigation.

 

The Investigation

An assigned Investigator will contact you to request your response to the allegations under investigation. This is your opportunity to provide your side of the story and to provide additional information and details that you feel are important. You have a professional obligation to respond to the Investigator by the deadline set and to provide a complete response to the questions asked.

Following an exchange of written communications, you may be asked to participate in an interview. FP Canada Standards Council interviews are typically conducted by telephone but may be held in person. All interviews are digitally recorded.

The Investigator will gather and consider information related to the allegations under review, including:

  1. Documents, including electronic, in the FP Canada certificant’s or Complainant’s possession;
  2. Documents relating to parallel or related proceedings;
  3. Information from witnesses who have been identified by the Complainant, the Investigator and/or the FP Canada certificant; and
  4. FP Canada’s internal records.

 

Conduct Review Panel

Following the conclusion of FP Canada Standards Council’s Investigation, the Conduct Review Panel will consider the complaint and the appropriate outcome. All matters instructed for Investigation must be referred to the CRP for consideration as a matter of process, this is not an indication of escalation of the file. The CRP can:

  1. Dismiss the matter;
  2. Dismiss the matter with a letter of Guidance and Advice; or
  3. Refer the matter to a Hearing Panel.

You will be notified of the CRP’s decision in writing. Where the CRP resolves a matter with Guidance and Advice, you will receive a written letter of Guidance and Advice from the Chair of the CRP.

 

Duty to Cooperate and Respond

Regardless of your assessment of the severity or merits of the complaint, you have a professional obligation to respond to communications and to cooperate with FP Canada Standards Council’s Investigation.

Every FP Canada certificant under Investigation has an obligation to fully cooperate and make available to FP Canada Standards Council, upon request, all relevant documents and records in the certificant’s possession or control. Relevance shall be determined by FP Canada Standards Council. Failure to cooperate with an Investigation is itself grounds for discipline under the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures and for referral to a Hearing Panel.

 

A Reminder about Annual Reporting Requirements

As an FP Canada certificant, you have a professional obligation to provide complete and accurate Declarations to FP Canada and to report any changes to your annual 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 the FP Canada Standards Council Standards of Professional Responsibility.

 

Legal Representation

You can represent yourself or you may choose to retain legal counsel to assist you. Whether you decide to retain counsel or not, the obligation to respond and cooperate with FP Canada Standards Council rests with you.
Learn more about the Investigation Process.