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News Release

CFP Board Publishes Consumer-tested Engagement Letters

Effort to Help CFP® Professionals Satisfy Ethics Requirements


November 12, 2020

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) announced today that it has made available two sample engagement letters to its more than 87,000 CFP® professionals. The letters are designed to help effectively communicate to clients the information required by a CFP® professional’s “Duty to Provide Information” under the strengthened Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.

“CFP Board listened and responded to input from CFP® professionals who requested sample engagement letters and made consumer research a central part of the development process,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “The sample engagement letters use plain language to reduce consumer confusion, increase consumer trust, and reduce the number of questions a consumer may ask regarding the engagement.”

CFP Board developed the two sample engagement letters through its Standards Resource Commission. The first is focused on engagement with a CFP® professional for financial advice, and the second is focused on engagement with a CFP® professional for financial planning.

Each sample letter assumes a specific factual situation. For that reason, CFP® professionals must tailor the sample letter to fit their practice and the client’s circumstances. CFP Board has included drafting notes to consider when tailoring the documents and encourages CFP® professionals to consult with their firm’s compliance officer.

An engagement letter is not required to satisfy a CFP® professional’s Duty to Provide Information under the Code and Standards. However, a CFP® professional providing financial planning must provide the required information in one or more documents. The Roadmap to the Code and Standards reference guide identifies many varieties of documents other than an engagement letter that a CFP® professional’s firm delivers to clients that may contain the required information.

The sample letters are the latest additions to a comprehensive compliance resource library available at

About CFP Board

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 90,000 people in the United States.


John Pappas
Director of External Communications