FP Canada moves to improve transparency in disciplinaries

Decisions made on interim steps in a disciplinary hearing will now be made public

FP Canada moves to improve transparency in disciplinaries
Steve Randall

Investigations into financial planning professionals accused of falling below the required standards will now be more transparent.

That’s the aim of some updates from FP Canada Standards Council which came into effect Tuesday (Feb. 1, 2022) as part of the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (DRP) and the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures for Examination Misconduct (DPEM).

The changes are designed to improve transparency and fairness for CFP professionals, QAFP professionals, certification candidates and the Canadian public.

For the DRP - which guides how the Standards Council handles investigations into conduct that may breach ethical and professional responsibilities – the changes mean that substantive motion decisions (those relating to interim steps in a disciplinary hearing) will now be published on the FP Canada website and potentially elsewhere.

There are also an enhanced process for decisions made about ‘exceptional circumstances’ where the Hearing Panel rules on whether to publish details of ongoing investigations and/or suspend a financial planning professional’s certification pending the outcome of an investigation or related disciplinary action.

Public and professional interests

"The FP Canada Standards Council is committed to ensuring that policies and procedures that govern our complaint intake, investigation and enforcement processes are fair, transparent, effective, and that they consider the interests of the public, the financial planning profession, and individual certificants," says Damienne Lebrun-Reid, executive director, Standards & Certification, and head of the FP Canada Standards Council. "Regular reviews and updates to these rules help to keep them relevant and current, for the benefit of all stakeholders."

Where possible, changes made to the DRP will also be included in the DPEM.

The current version of the Standards of Professional Responsibility took effect in July 2021 and any complaints alleging misconduct by a current FP Canada certificant prior to that will be governed by previous versions of the rules.