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Professional Conduct & Governance

CSI is the most experienced and trusted financial educator endorsed by regulatory authorities across Canada.

When investors choose to work with a Fellow of CSI (FCSI®), they can feel confident knowing these leaders are held to the highest standards of professionalism enforced through CSI’s rigorous process.

FCSI® Code of Ethics

All FCSI®s agree to abide by the FCSI® Code of Ethics, both when applying for the designation and when renewing it annually. Abiding by the Code means an FCSI® commits to maintaining the highest level of professionalism when dealing with the public. CSI is committed to overseeing the ethical standards required of its Fellows. We monitor adherence to the FCSI® Code of Ethics through reviews, periodic audits of the Fellow’s annual commitment and declaration requirements, handling public complaints and tracking news and regulatory reports.

All candidates are required to declare any legal action, allegations or complaints prior to being granted a fellowship and also each year upon renewal. This declaration includes a “Fit and Proper Requirement” which sets out the following situations for self-declaration:

  • Any accusations of professional misconduct, disciplinary or reprimands or license suspensions or revocations by an employer, professional association or administrative or regulatory authority
  • Currently bankrupt or in the past 5 years been adjudged bankrupt
  • Convicted of a criminal offence in any jurisdiction for which a record suspension or a pardon has not been granted
  • Convicted of an offense under any financial services or consumer protection legislation in any jurisdiction

Any information provided will be collected, stored and used in accordance with applicable law and our privacy policy and will be shared with the Designation Ethics Committee to determine your suitability for the Fellowship. Declaring these situations will not necessarily impact certification or renewal. The Ethics Committee will review each situation individually.

What are the FCSI® Code of Ethics?

The FCSI® Advisory Council has approved this Code of Ethics, as a standard of conduct and behaviour for FCSI®s. It is based on the fundamental ethical principles of trust, integrity, justice, fairness and honesty. It conveys ethical rather than legal principles. It interprets these principles with respect to the responsibilities of FCSI®s to the profession, employers, clients, prospects and society. The FCSI® Code of Ethics contains statements of ethics and responsibilities, which FCSI®s must interpret and apply to specific circumstances as they arise.

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1.0 General Responsibilities

1.1 Make yourself aware of the legal and regulatory requirements to operate Responsibilities in your jurisdiction. However, the Code may set out different standards of behaviour than does the law. Where this is a conflict between the Code and the law, you must abide by the law.

1.2 Act with dignity, integrity, professional competence and in an ethical manner when dealing with the public, clients, prospects, employers and colleagues. You must use reasonable care and exercise independent, professional judgment.

1.3 Practice while judgment is unimpaired by any substance.

1.4 Maintain knowledge of and comply with all applicable laws, rules and regulations of any government, regulatory organization or professional association governing your professional activities.

1.5 Recognize your own limitations. When appropriate, seek additional opinions and services.

1.6 Abide by the annual license renewal and continuing education requirements as required to maintain the FCSI®.

2.0 Responsibilities to the Client

2.1 FCSI®s must treat each client with respect, must put the clients’ interests ahead of your own and must not exploit a client for personal advantage.

2.2 Do not discriminate against any client on grounds such as age, gender, marital status, national or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation or socio-economic status. You only have the right to refuse to accept a client for legitimate business reasons.

2.3. Constantly exercise diligence and thoroughness in making recommendations for financial products. Your recommendations should have a reasonable and adequate basis, supported by appropriate research and investigation. Exercise diligence in avoiding any material misrepresentation in any recommendation you make.

2.4 Execute the appropriate standard of care when working with clients.

2.5 Preserve the confidentiality of information communicated by clients, prospects and employers.

2.6 Do not make any oral or written statements that misrepresent the service that you or your firm is capable of performing, your qualifications or the qualifications of your firm. Do not make or imply any assurances regarding any financial product except to communicate accurate information regarding the product.

2.7 Disclose to your clients and prospects all matters that could reasonably be expected to interfere with your duty to make unbiased and objective recommendations. This includes beneficial ownership of securities or other investments.

2.8 Having accepted professional responsibility for a client, continue to provide services until another suitable professional has assumed responsibility for the client, or until the client has been given adequate notice that you intend to terminate the relationship.

3.0 Responsibilities to the Profession

3.1 Recognize that the self-regulation of the profession is a privilege and that you have a continuing responsibility to merit this privilege.

3.2 Be committed to sharing and receiving knowledge.

3.3 Enter into associations only if you can maintain your professional integrity.

3.4 As an FCSI, you can only use the Fellow in a dignified and judicious manner and in compliance with the FCSI Trademark Licence Agreement.

3.5 Do not engage in any professional conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, or commit any act that reflects adversely on your honesty, trustworthiness or professional competence.

3.6 Abide by the Ethical Misconduct Review Process, cooperate with an investigation request and comply with decisions of the Designation Ethics Committee and/or Appeal Panel.

4.0 Responsibilities to the Employer

4.1 Place your employer’s interests ahead of your own and do not exploit your position for personal advantage.

4.2 Disclose to your employer all matters that could reasonably be expected to interfere with your duty to your employer.

4.3 Comply with any prohibitions on activities imposed by your employer if a conflict of interest exists.

4.4 FCSIs with supervisory responsibility, authority or the ability to influence the conduct of others shall exercise reasonable supervision over those subject to their supervision or authority. You should strive to prevent any violation of applicable statutes, regulations or provisions of this Code.

5.0 Responsibilities To The Investing Public

5.1 If you possess material non-public information related to the value to Investing Public of a security, you shall not trade or cause others to trade in that security if such trading would breach a duty or if the information was misappropriated.

5.2 Do not make any oral or written statements that misrepresent the performance of a financial product.

6.0 Responsibilities To The Society

6.1 Assist the profession with its responsibility of investor education.

What is the FCSI® Advisory Council?

The FCSI® Advisory Council’s mandate is to shape and promote the FCSI® credential (and the interests of the FCSI® community) to the financial services industry and the investing public. The Council ensures the continued elevation of the FCSI® credential, improves protection to the public who rely on the knowledge and competence of FCSI®s, and acts as key ambassadors to and mentors within the financial services community.

The Council consists of 1 CSI representative and 12 volunteers from across Canada who are FCSI®s in good standing. Members sit on the Council for a 2-year term, with the potential to renew.


What are the Responsibilities of the FCSI® Advisory Council?

The Council oversees the FCSI® and ensures that it, and its holders, continually meet unparalleled educational, ethical and professional standards. Key functions of the Council include:

  • Participating in setting annual objectives for the Council based on the needs of FCSI® stakeholders, the investing public and the industry.
  • Helping to establish and implement FCSI® awareness campaigns and events.
  • Contributing to the FCSI® community to promote awareness of the pinnacle credential (e.g., writing articles, being profiled, submitting testimonials, etc.).
  • Serving on related committees where appropriate (e.g., Ethics Committee).

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