Read more about the change to the Standard of Care and Code of Ethics policies adopted by FPA, effective 1 January 2016. Click here for the FAQ.
FPA® is the community that fosters the value of financial planning, and advances the practice and profession of financial planning.
At FPA, our Core Values represent who we are. They describe our intended state of being. We want to attract as members those who share our values:
Our dedication to competence requires not only lifelong learning, but also that we continually assess our ability to appropriately and effectively address the needs of those we serve.
We strive to have ever more congruence between our words and deeds, and to deliver genuine value to those whom we serve.
We are committed to open, inclusive and respectful relationships, including collaboration among diverse parties on common interests.
We recognize our responsibility to act with vision, ever mindful of the effects of our actions today and tomorrow on the future.
FPA Standard of Care Policy
Whereas the public expects to experience a high level of confidence, trust and clarity in relationships with professionals trained in the distinct process and discipline of financial planning, it is essential that they seek out professional care, quality and excellence in the services they receive.
Financial planning services are successful when delivered in accordance with the following standard of care:
- Put the client's best interests first.
- Act with due care and in utmost good faith.
- Do not mislead clients.
- Provide full and fair disclosure of all material facts.
- Disclose and fairly manage all material conflicts of interest.
FPA Code of Ethics Policy
The Financial Planning Association (FPA) encourages members to support a Code of Ethics Policy so those serving clients can help them achieve their life goals. All FPA members are encouraged to support this Code, CFP® certificants and non-CFP® certificants alike.
FPA members may be placed by clients in positions of trust and confidence. The ultimate source of such public trust is the FPA member's personal integrity. In deciding what is right and just, an FPA member should rely on his or her integrity as the appropriate touchstone.
Integrity demands honesty and candor, which must not be subordinated to personal gain and advantage. Within the characteristic of integrity, allowance can be made for innocent error and legitimate difference of opinion; but integrity cannot co-exist with deceit or subordination of one's principles.
As a policy, FPA encourages members to observe the letter and the spirit of this Code.
Objectivity requires intellectual honesty and impartiality. It is an essential quality for any professional. Regardless of the particular service rendered or the capacity in which an FPA member functions, an FPA member should protect the integrity of his or her work, maintain objectivity, and avoid subordination of his or her judgment that would be in violation of this Code.
An FPA member shall provide services to clients competently and maintain the necessary knowledge and skill to continue to do so in those areas in which the designee is engaged.
One is competent only when he or she has attained and maintained an adequate level of knowledge and skill, and applies that knowledge effectively in providing services to clients. Competence also includes the wisdom to recognize the limitations of that knowledge and when consultation or client referral is appropriate.
In addition to assimilating the common body of knowledge required and acquiring the necessary experience, an FPA member shall make a continuing commitment to learning and professional improvement.
An FPA member shall perform professional services in a manner that is fair and reasonable to clients, principals, partners, and employers and shall disclose conflict(s) of interest(s) in providing such services.
Fairness requires impartiality, intellectual honesty, and disclosure of conflict(s) of interest(s). It involves a subordination of one's own feelings, prejudices, and desires so as to achieve a proper balance of conflicting interests. Fairness is treating others in the same fashion that you would want to be treated and is an essential trait of any professional.
An FPA member shall not disclose any confidential client information without the specific consent of the client unless in response to proper legal process, to defend against charges of wrongdoing by the FPA member or in connection with a civil dispute between the FPA member and client.
A client, by seeking the services of an FPA member, may be interested in creating a relationship of personal trust and confidence with the FPA member. This type of relationship can only be built upon the understanding that information supplied to the FPA member or other information will be confidential.
In order to provide the contemplated services effectively and to protect the client's privacy, the FPA member shall safeguard the confidentiality of such information.
An FPA member's conduct in all matters shall reflect credit upon the profession.
Because of the importance of the professional services rendered by FPA members, there are attendant responsibilities to behave with dignity and courtesy to all those who use those services, fellow professionals, and those in related professions.
An FPA member also has an obligation to cooperate with fellow FPA members to enhance and maintain the profession's public image and to work jointly with other FPA members to improve the quality of services. It is only through the combined efforts of all FPA members in cooperation with other professionals, that this vision can be realized.
An FPA member shall act diligently in providing professional services.
Diligence is the provision of services in a reasonably prompt and thorough manner. Diligence also includes proper planning for and supervision of the rendering of professional services.
Our Business Objectives describe actions we will take to achieve our Primary Aim. We seek to accomplish this through strong and active leadership in partnership with FPA's community of chapters.
- Unify the voice, focus and resources of the financial planning community, bringing together those who champion the financial planning process.
- Facilitate the success of our members and grow the organization.
- Cultivate the body of knowledge of personal financial planning.
- Advance awareness of the characteristics of professional financial planners and support the standards of the CFP® certification in order to serve the public.
- Define and effectively communicate a common understanding of the discipline of personal financial planning and the benefits of its use.