The FP Canada Standards Council announced May 22 that new standards are going into effect on June 1, 2024. The Council is the body which enforces the standards certified financial planners (CFP) and qualified associate financial planners (QAFP) who’ve obtained their credentials through FP Canada must abide by. 

The two new rules of conduct and a new practice standard accompany comprehensive amendments and updates to the Standards of Professional Responsibility for relevance and clarity. “The changes are focused on supporting CFP professionals and QAFP professionals in protecting vulnerable clients and avoiding conflicts of interest,” FP Canada states in an announcement about the revisions.

“By reviewing these standards on a regular basis, we ensure that they remain relevant, no matter the landscape in which financial planners and their clients are operating,” adds Julie Seberras, CFP and chair of the organization’s standards panel.

Trusted contact persons 

The two new rules of conduct relate to the identification and documentation of trusted contact persons (TCP) and prohibiting CFP and QAFP professionals from undertaking estate settlement roles or from being named as a beneficiary in a client’s will, while concurrently providing them with financial planning services.

Regarding the TCP, the new rules of conduct state that CFP and QAFP professionals must inform their clients about the role of a TCP and take reasonable steps to determine whether their clients would like to name one. The second rule of conduct prohibits planners from acting as an estate trustee, executor, power of attorney for property or from knowingly being named as a beneficiary for a client. “There is an exemption where the client is a family member,” they add.

The new practice standard, meanwhile, notes that financial planners should engage in regular reviews when their engagement with clients includes ongoing monitoring. “Any revised assumptions or recommendations resulting from these reviews should be documented and incorporated in an updated financial plan. This practice standard helps ensure that clients’ financial plans are aligned with their current goals, needs and priorities.”