Personal Financial Planner (PFP®)

The premier credential for financial planners

Professional Conduct & Governance

The Canadian Securities Institute (CSI) is the most experienced and trusted financial educator endorsed by regulatory authorities across Canada. When investors choose to work with a Personal Financial Planner (PFP®), they can feel confident knowing these professionals are held to high standards enforced through CSI’s rigorous process and our ISO 17024 accreditation.

PFP® Code of Ethics

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

All PFP® designation holders agree to abide by the PFP® Code of Ethics, both when applying for the designation and when renewing it annually. Abiding by the Code means a PFP® commits to maintaining a high level of professionalism when dealing with the public. CSI is committed to overseeing the ethical standards it requires of its designation holders. We monitor adherence to the PFP® Code of Ethics through reviews, periodic audits of the designation holder’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 designation and also each year upon renewal of that designation. A “Fit and Proper Requirement” is a component of the application. The requirement 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 designation. Declaring these situations will not necessarily impact certification or renewal. The Ethics Committee will review each situation individually.

Review the PFP® Code of Ethics

Expand All| Collapse All

1.0 General Responsibilities

PFP® designates will comply with legal and regulatory principles that govern the financial services industry. You will be professional, compliant, recognize your limitations, exercise due diligence and practice with sound judgment. To be compliant with this code of ethics you must respect all of the requirements set out below.

As a PFP® you will:

1.1 Make yourself aware of the legal and regulatory requirements to operate in your jurisdiction. Maintain knowledge of and comply with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations of any government, regulatory organization, or professional association governing your professional activities. However, this Code of Ethics may set out different standards of behaviour than does the law. Where there is a conflict between the Code of Ethics 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 Recognize your own limitations. When appropriate, seek additional opinions and services.

1.4 Abide by the annual license renewal and continuing education requirements as required to maintain the PFP® designation.

2.0 Responsibilities to the Client

All PFP® designates will strive to maintain the highest level of personal integrity when dealing with clients. By demonstrating respect, honesty, due diligence and practicing sound compliance, you will honour the trust of clients, while providing an environment of confidentiality, free from discrimination.

As a PFP® you will:

2.1 Treat each client with respect, put the client’s interests ahead of your own, and not exploit a client for personal advantage.

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

2.3 Constantly exercise due diligence in making recommendations for financial products.

2.4 Use particular care in executing your duty of care when working with clients.

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

2.6 Not make any oral or written statements that misrepresent the services that you or your employer are 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.

3.0 Responsibilities to the Profession

PFP® designates will operate in accordance with financial services regulation governing the activity you are conducting and licensed to provide, and in accordance with the law. PFP®s have a responsibility to conduct themselves with honesty, trust, competence and abide by the terms of the PFP® Certification Mark License Agreement.

As a PFP® you will:

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

3.2 Only use the PFP® designation in a dignified and judicious manner and in compliance with the PFP® Certification Mark License Agreement.

3.3 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.

3.4 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 (If not Self-Employed)

In addition to the General Responsibilities, Client Responsibilities, and Responsibilities to your Profession within this code; you also have responsibilities in dealing with your employer.

As a PFP® you will:

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

4.2 Disclose to your employer all matters that reasonably could 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.

What is the PFP® Advisory Council?

The PFP® Advisory Council’s mandate is to shape and promote the PFP® designation (and the interests of the PFP® community) to the financial services industry and the public. The Council is also responsible for handling complaints against a PFP® designation holder in the rare event that they arise.

The Council consists of 10 – 15 volunteers from across Canada who have a vested interest in the success of the PFP® designation. Members sit on the Council for a 3-year term, with the potential to renew.

What are the Responsibilities of the PFP® Advisory Council?

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

  • Establishing and approving the body of knowledge and competency level required to achieve and maintain the PFP® designation
  • Providing guidance to continually improve the PFP® and its relevance
  • Assisting CSI with shaping the PFP® strategy to ensure the continued growth of the designation
  • Assisting CSI with promoting awareness of the PFP® designation with the industry and the investing public

Learn more about the Council’s responsibilities.

Interested in Joining the PFP® Advisory Council?

You can apply to join the PFP® Advisory Council at any time. If you are an experienced individual seeking to join the PFP® Advisory Council, you are required to hold the following qualifications:

  • Hold the PFP® designation or another appropriate advice related designation (included, but not restricted to, FCSI®, CIM®, CIWM, MTI®, CFP®, CLU), or be a recognized leader, or academic consultant or have responsibility within a financial institution for determining the competencies required of an individual providing financial advice
  • Have 3 years experience working or consulting with the financial services industry
  • Commit the time required to carry out the Council’s responsibilities

Apply Now

What is the CSI Designation Ethics Committee?

The CSI Ethics Committee was established to ensure any complaints against CSI designation holders are heard promptly and fairly. The Committee considers any alleged violation of the Code of Ethics and determines whether there has been a breach.

  • A CSI Case Co-ordinator (normally a CSI employee) provides each member of the Committee with a copy of the case file.
  • At the Committee meeting, the CSI Case Coordinator presents the case and answers any questions.
  • If the Committee determines that the case qualifies as a breach, the Committee determines the appropriate penalty.

Allegations of violation of the PFP® Code of Ethics are dealt with by the Designation Ethics Committee according to the CSI Ethical Misconduct Process. If the Committee determines a violation occurred, a disciplinary sanction is recommended.

Composition of the Ethics Committee

The PFP® Advisory Council appoints members to the Ethics Committee that oversees all CSI designations. The Committee comprises 3-8 members selected by the CSI Advisory Councils.

Sanctions Imposed by the Ethics Committee

Allegations of violation of the PFP® Code of Ethics are dealt with by the Designation Ethics Committee according to the CSI Ethical Misconduct Process. If the Committee determines a violation occurred, a disciplinary sanction is recommended. The PFP® holder may accept the recommended sanction or request a hearing. Disciplinary sanctions could include:

  • A written reprimand from CSI and/or the Chair of the PFP® Advisory Council
  • Notifying the appropriate regulatory body for possible further investigation
  • Recording the violation in the PFP® designation holder’s record
  • Requiring the PFP® to complete a supplementary ethics course(s)
  • Requiring the PFP® to complete an additional professional development course(s)
  • Suspending the PFP®’s licence and use of the PFP® Certification Mark (for a specific period, indefinitely with conditions for reinstatement, or permanently)
  • Notify the holder’s employer and/or professional or designation granting organization of the violation
  • Imposing other measures deemed appropriate by the Designation Ethics Committee

 

All violations of the PFP® Code of Ethics will be published on the PFP® public website. The list below sets out the number of violations that occurred prior to 2022. Effective June 1, 2022 specifics on each violation are provided. The individuals listed below have been found to have breached the PFP® Code of Ethics and have received disciplinary sanctions. Individuals who have been suspended or have their PFP® designation revoked do not appear on the CSI Directory of PFP® Holders in Good Standing.

Expand All| Collapse All

2022

2021

  • Abraham Shin
    During a hearing with FP Canada, Abraham Shin admitted to borrowing money from a client, misappropriating client funds and using personal client data without consent.
    Decision: Given the serious nature of the misconduct and to maintain investor protection, Abraham Shin has been banned permanently from using the PFP designation.

2020

2019

  • Heather Lynn
    The MFDA found that Ms. Lynn used pre-signed forms in 2012 and 2014. There was no financial gain by the designation holder.
    Decision: The Committee found that the prohibition of using pre-signed forms is a basic level of compliance knowledge, is not acceptable by the regulators or by employers and is a breach of industry regulations. Heather Lynn was required to complete a compliance course and was given a 60 day suspension from using the PFP designation.

Request More Information

Would you like to keep informed about CSI's products and promotions?

Promotion Check