On April 5, 2012, Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. communicated changes incorporated into the CFP® designation. These changes were implemented to strengthen the rules and procedures and to clarify public disclosure.
The changes mainly touch three domains of requirements: Experience, Bankruptcy Disclosure Procedure, and Amendments to Disciplinary Rules.
Changes in the Experience Requirement:
- Two years of full-time, or part-time equivalent, experience with three strict requirements that must be documented:
- Written documentation of performance of all six steps of financial planning process;
- Working under direct supervision of a certified CFP® professional; and
- Providing financial services to clients.
- Six months of experience within twelve months of reporting period has been eliminated. The requirement stating that experience must be gained within ten years before or five years after passing the exam remains unchanged.
- Introducing an option to submit experience to CFP Board for evaluation and review before attempting the exam. This will provide those who are striving to get certified with information, whether the experience requirement has been met or not.
Changes in the Bankruptcy Disclosure Procedure:
- CFP Board no longer investigates bankruptcy-only cases, and the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission no longer adjudicates them.
- A new procedure for addressing such cases has been implemented:
- Bankruptcy filing is now verified by checking public court records.
- A news release is issued quarterly with names of CFP® professionals who have filed bankruptcy within the last five years.
- A CFP® professional’s public profile will show the record of any bankruptcy filings.
Changes in the Amendments to Disciplinary rules:
- Failure to respond to a request for information required for an investigation is treated as an admission to the allegations in the complaint.
- CFP Board may share information for investigations if requested by government regulators and SROs.
- CFP Board is now permitted to issue a temporary suspension without a hearing in cases where there is evidence of professional suspension or a conviction.
These changes were implemented to further CFP Board’s mission to benefit the public, uphold the highest standard of excellence, and to provide ethical and professional financial planning.