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News Release

Universities and Colleges Express Support for CFP® Certification and Fiduciary Advice

January 25, 2018

In open letter, institutions encourage students to work at firms supporting certification, fiduciary advice

Leading academic institutions that offer financial planning education programs are voicing support for CFP® certification and fiduciary advice, encouraging their students and graduates to work at firms that support the CFP® marks and its high standards.

Twenty-one academic leaders who oversee the nation’s top baccalaureate degree-granting financial planning programs at universities and colleges express their support in an open letter that will appear in a CFP Board-sponsored advertisement in the January 29 print edition of InvestmentNews.

The directors of these programs note that they “applaud CFP Board for its work to uphold high ethical standards for CFP® professionals, and to lead the industry toward a fiduciary standard for financial advice.”

“We strongly encourage our students and graduates to pursue careers at financial services firms that support the high standards of CFP® certification and embrace fiduciary advice,” the letter concludes.

CFP Board-Registered Programs are central to CFP® certification. Candidates for certification must successfully complete CFP Board's education coursework requirement in order to sit for the CFP® certification exam. To become certified, candidates must also hold a bachelor’s degree (or higher), undergo and pass a background check and have two to three years of professional experience related to financial planning.

The advertisement is being released as CFP Board is proposing revisions to its Standards of Professional Conduct, which set forth the ethical requirements for more than 80,000 CFP® professionals. Under the proposed revised Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct, CFP® professionals would be required to adhere to a fiduciary standard whenever they are providing financial advice – not just when providing financial planning services as is required now.

A second version of the proposed Code and Standards is currently out for public comment. The Board of Directors is expected to approve and release a final version of the Code and Standards by the end of the second quarter of 2018. 

“We are grateful to our Registered Programs for their support of financial planning education. Not only do their important programs satisfy requirements for CFP® certification – they are a foundation of the financial planning profession,” said Kevin R. Keller, CEO of CFP Board. “The opinions of our academic leaders have great influence within the profession, and we appreciate their support of the certification and a fiduciary standard that puts a client’s interests first at all times.”


Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by firms and consumer groups as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 83,000 people in the United States.


Dan Drummond, Director of Communications
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