Financial Planning Standards Council

Financial Planning Standards Council

April 01, 2015 11:58 ET

Canada's Financial Planning Profession Sets New National Standards

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - April 1, 2015) - Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF), the two organizations that establish and maintain standards for the financial planning profession in Canada, have for the first time come together to establish a unified set of financial planning standards.

With the Canadian Financial Planning: Definitions, Standards & Competencies, FPSC and IQPF establish a unified code of ethics and a common set of practice standards by which individuals holding the F.Pl. title and CFP® designation must abide. They also define the ethical and performance standards that clients should expect from a professional relationship.

"We've achieved unprecedented consensus within the financial planning profession to unify standards that will help give Canadians clarity and confidence when engaging a qualified financial planner," says Cary List, President and CEO of FPSC. "Together we will use this as a foundation to elevate financial planning as a distinct professional practice in Canada; one that holds itself to the highest possible standards of ethics and performance."

"This is a milestone for the financial planning profession," says Jocelyne Houle-LeSarge, President and CEO of IQPF. "This publication plays an important role in driving consistency across the financial planning profession by specifying unified standards for those practicing within it. It further acts as a resource to the industry firms, financial planning educators, other key industry partners and the Canadian public at large."

Recent research by the Financial Planning Coalition, which is comprised of four organizations* concerned with ensuring there exist adequate and appropriate standards for financial planners for the benefit of the public, reveals the significant need for clarity around standards. The survey found that while most Canadians feel they have insufficient knowledge to adequately plan their financial future, they are also unaware of the lack of mandatory standards for financial planners throughout most of Canada.

The research found that two-thirds of Canadians feel they need help planning their financial futures, but most are unaware of the lack of regulatory standards for financial planners throughout most of Canada. Fewer than half of respondents (49 per cent) know there is a difference between a financial planner and a financial advisor, while almost half (44 per cent) believe there are regulatory standards in place for financial planners.

In unifying financial planning standards, FPSC and IQPF have clearly defined what "financial planning", a "financial planner" and a "financial plan" really mean. These definitions and standards emphasize objectivity, confidentiality, ethics and client interest first, a deep understanding of the financial needs, goals and aspirations of the client, and a high level of competence as essential characteristics of all financial planners. Critically, the organizations stipulate that a true financial planner must be appropriately qualified and agree to be accountable to professional oversight and to putting their clients' interests first.

The Canadian standards for financial planning are consistent with the highest professional standards in financial planning internationally, through association with the Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), which represents standards for over 150,000 financial planners worldwide.

* Members of the Financial Planning Coalition include Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF), the Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFPs) and the Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (IAFP)

Financial Planning Standards Council

Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC®) is a not-for-profit organization which develops, promotes and enforces professional standards in financial planning through Certified Financial Planner® certification. FPSC's purpose is to instill confidence in the financial planning profession. As a standards-setting and certification body, FPSC ensures CFP® professionals and FPSC Level 1™ Certificants in Financial Planning meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience and ethics. More information is at www.fpsc.ca.

The Institut québécois de planification financière

The Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) is the only organization in Quebec authorized to grant financial planning diplomas and to establish rules concerning the ongoing professional development of professional financial planners. Only professionals recognized by the Institut québécois de planification financière are authorized to use the title of Financial Planner (F.Pl.) in Quebec.

The IQPF is also the only organization in the province entirely dedicated to and reserved for financial planners.

Certified Financial Planner® certification

CFP® certification, long considered the mark of the professional financial planner, provides confidence to Canadians that their financial planner has the necessary knowledge, skills, abilities and ethics for professional financial planning. There are 17,000 CFP professionals across Canada, part of a global community of more than 150,000 worldwide. CFP professionals demonstrate their financial planning competence through extensive education; a rigorous, comprehensive national examination process; continuous professional development requirements; and accountability to FPSC for ethical conduct, standards of practice and competence. More information is at http://www.fpsc.ca/about-cfp-mark.

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Alex Mangiola
    Pilot PMR
    alex.mangiola(at)pilotpmr.com

    Caroline Horcher
    FPSC
    416.593.8587 x232
    chorcher(at)fpsc.ca

    Liette Pitre
    IQPF
    514-767-4040 x235
    lpitre(at)iqpf.org

    Helene Berger
    IQPF
    514-767-4040 x247
    hberger(at)iqpf.org