Code of Ethics

Members have a professional obligation to clients, prospects, employers, employees, the general public, and other members to act competently and ethically at all times. Members are expected to comply with the content and the spirit of the Code of Ethics in order to fulfill this professional obligation. This obligation extends to employees and others who are supervised by the member. The Institute’s Board of Directors reserves the right to discipline members who do not comply with the Code, and may terminate membership and the privilege of using the CFC® designation for breaches of the Code.

code of ethics

Members shall:

  • keep themselves informed of all relevant laws, regulations and professional codes
  • keep themselves informed of all relevant professional knowledge relating to their financial consulting practice
  • take on only those assignments for which they have the necessary knowledge and skills to perform competently
  • inform the client (or employer), where they discover they do not have the necessary knowledge and/or skills to perform competently on an assignment, and assist the client (or employer) to find the services of a professional who has the necessary knowledge and skills
  • base all recommendations and advice to clients on the thorough and diligent research and analysis expected of a professional financial consultant serving the best interests of the client
  • ensure they understand the circumstances and needs of clients so they can best meet their needs.

Members shall:

  • not knowingly participate in, assist or ignore violations by a client of relevant laws, regulations and professional codes
  • not misrepresent their credentials, their qualifications to perform services or any other information provided to clients, prospects or employers
  • not act (including failure to act) in any manner that discredits the professional image of a financial consultant as a "trusted advisor"
  • refuse any gift, favor or other benefit that could influence, or be seen to influence, the member to act against the client’s best interests or against this Code of Ethics
  • comply with all relevant laws, regulations and professional codes
  • determine their fiduciary duty of care to each client and comply fully with that duty
  • make reasonable effort to avoid all conflicts of interest, immediately declare any conflict of interest to clients, seek legal advice or the advice of the Institute if necessary, and take the required action to resolve the conflict
  • inform clients (or employers) of their professional obligation to comply with this Code of Ethics and any other such code
  • charge clients fair and reasonable fees that are agreed upon in writing before work begins, and inform the client at once if any additional financial benefit is realized by the member in the course of the assignment
  • encourage other financial consultants to comply with this Code.

Members shall:

  • avoid any circumstance that may keep them from acting objectively and independently in the best interests of the client
  • disclose to clients all information that will enable clients to determine when recommendations and advice are based on fact and when on opinion, and generally to enable clients to understand the underlying rationales.

Members shall:

  • not disclose confidential information of clients unless legally required to do so by relevant laws and regulations and/or due to illegal activity
  • not use confidential information of clients for personal gain or for the benefit of anyone other than the client.