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A Message from the FPA President Regarding Policy Changes

Tuesday, January 12, 2016 3:44 PM | Melissa Kemp (Administrator)

Dear Melissa,

I want to inform you that the FPA Board of Directors voted unanimously in November 2015, to transition our Standard of Care and Code of Ethics from a requirement of FPA membership to an official, organizational policy. This shift is effective Jan. 1st.

Why did we make this change?

FPA is not a regulatory or certifying body, but rather a voluntary professional membership organization and as a consequence of legal and resource issues inherent in developing and enforcing standards effectively, it is not in the best interests of our association and the profession to set standards that other bodies use to measure the ability to hold a license or certification. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, the SEC and FINRA all set standards to ensure that those affiliated or bearing their marks are abiding by those standards. Most importantly, as a policy matter, FPA will take on the appropriate monitoring role to ensure that standard setting bodies are meeting their responsibility to advance the financial planning profession.

What does this mean to me?

While FPA will continue to hold our Code of Ethics and Standard of Care policies in the highest regard as a means to elevate the profession by influencing policymakers, regulators and legislators, it is simply no longer a requirement of membership. By clarifying the role of those policies in our association, we are cementing the role of FPA in the profession as the organization that grows and nurtures highly competent financial planners rather than one that certifies and regulates. FPA supports the CFP® marks as the best certification to build the financial planning profession around and as such, we will continue to be staunch advocates on behalf of CFP® professionals for the appropriate policies and rules that standard setting and regulatory bodies implement. We will also continue to support that our CFP® professional members uphold their fiduciary duty when providing financial planning to the public. FPA will use the disciplinary decisions from certification and regulatory bodies to determine continued membership in FPA and/or participation of members in certain programs and services.

Is there anything I need to do?

Over the coming days you will see the language to the Standard of Care Policy and Code of Ethics Policy updated on the OneFPA.org and PlannerSearch.org websites. We ask for your support by ensuring your chapter website, if it engages the Standard of Care or Code of Ethics, is also updated to reflect this change. Ensuring messaging is consistent on this shift is critical moving forward in accordance with the OneFPA Initiative and the Chapter Affiliation Agreement. You can find suggested language for your website in the new FAQs we have posted to the website.

If you have any questions, please reach out to the following FPA staff:

Karen Nystrom (Advocacy Team Leader) at knystrom@OneFPA.org
Ben Lewis (Public Relations Team Leader) at blewis@OneFPA.org

Thank you for your continued support of FPA.


Pamela Sandy Signature

Pamela Sandy, CFP®
2016 FPA President


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