FP Canada and the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) have updated their unified set of financial planning definitions and standards, the two organizations said in a release on Wednesday. The update follows Ontario’s publication of a proposed rule regulating the title of “financial planner.”
The two credentialing bodies, which certify financial planners and promote professional financial planning in Canada, updated the Canadian Financial Planning Definitions, Standards and Competencies, originally published in 2015.
The publication supports consistency within financial planning, the release said, and includes a code of ethics and a common set of practice standards for certified financial planners (CFPs), qualified associate financial planners (QAFPs) and those with the financial planner title in Quebec (F.Pl.).
In an emailed statement, FP Canada said the changes “ensure concordance with the Standards of Professional Responsibility, which were updated most recently in 2019 to include, for example, the Duty of Loyalty.”
The update also incorporates FP Canada’s new name (previously, the Financial Planning Standards Council) and the QAFP designation introduced this year. And it uses the singular “they” instead of “he” when referring to financial planners and clients.
The update also comes on the heels of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Ontario outlining its proposal for regulating the use of the “financial planner” title.
In the proposed rule, FSRA says credentialing bodies must demonstrate to FSRA how their designation (or licence) aligns with the rule’s educational requirements for financial planners, including ethics and technical knowledge and competencies.
IQPF president and CEO Jocelyne Houle-LeSarge said in the release that the updated definitions/standards/competencies publication is “the only reference document to clarify the definitions and standards applicable to financial planning in Canada.”
Cary List, president and CEO of FP Canada, said in the release that the updated publication represents an important milestone in the harmonization of professional financial planning in Canada, “especially as provinces begin to establish restrictions on the use of the ‘Financial Planner’ title, making it more critical than ever to have clear and consistent standards and definitions for professional financial planning.”
Ontario, as well as Saskatchewan, will regulate “financial planner” and “financial advisor,” with more provinces expected to join the ranks of title regulation. Quebec has regulated “financial planner” since 1998.
On Tuesday, FP Canada updated its disciplinary rules and procedures. A summary of a credentialing body’s approach to investigation and enforcement is one of the requirements when applying to FSRA for approval as a credentialing body.