Standards of Practice Handbook and Guidance
The Standards of Professional Conduct taught in the CFA Program and by which CFA Institute members and candidates must abide represent timeless ethical principles and professional conduct for all market conditions. Through adherence to these standards each market participant does his or her part to improve the integrity and efficient operations of the financial markets.
The Standards of Practice provide guidance to the people who grapple with real ethical dilemmas in the investment profession on a daily basis; they address the professional intersection where theory meets practice and where the concept of ethical behavior crosses from the abstract to the concrete.
Respond to the Consultation on AI and Its Impact on the Code and Standards
Read the discussion paper and respond by 29 March 2019.
Standards of Practice Guidance, Procedures for Compliance, and Examples
Standard I: Professionalism
- Standard I(A) Knowledge of the Law (Updated January 2019)
- Standard I(B) Independence and Objectivity (Updated January 2019)
- Standard I(C) Misrepresentation (Updated January 2019)
- Standard I(D) Misconduct (Updated January 2019)
Standard II: Integrity of Capital Markets
Standard III: Duties to Clients
- Standard III(A) Loyalty, Prudence, and Care
- Standard III(B) Fair Dealing
- Standard III(C) Suitability (Updated October 2017)
- Standard III(D) Performance Presentation
- Standard III(E) Preservation of Confidentiality (Updated March 2018)
Standard IV: Duties to Employers
- Standard IV(A) Loyalty
- Standard IV(B) Additional Compensation Arrangements
- Standard IV(C) Responsibilities of Supervisors
Standard V: Investment Analysis, Recommendations, and Actions
- Standard V(A) Diligence and Reasonable Basis
- Standard V(B) Communication with Clients and Prospective Clients
- Standard V(C) Record Retention
Standard VI: Conflicts of Interest
- Standard VI(A) Disclosure of Conflicts
- Standard VI(B) Priority of Transactions
- Standard VI(C) Referral Fees
Standard VII: Responsibilities as a CFA Institute Member or CFA Candidate
- Standard VII(A) Conduct as Participants in CFA Institute Programs (Updated January 2019)
- Standard VII(B) Reference to CFA Institute, the CFA Designation, and the CFA Program (Updated March 2018)
Standards of Practice Exam
The Standards of Practice exam consists of multiple-choice questions based on the current Standards of Practice Handbook. You take the exam online, it is graded electronically, and you receive your score immediately.
Who should take the exam?
- Individuals who have not passed Level I of the CFA Program but wish to join CFA Institute as a regular member
- CFA Institute members who wish to earn CE credit for successfully completing the exam
- Member society applicants who are required to pass the exam
- Anyone — students, young professionals, prospective employees — who has been asked to test for understanding of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct
How do I access the exam?
- To meet membership requirements: If you are required to take the exam, you will be prompted to complete the exam when you activate your membership. Once you pass the exam, you will be able to complete the membership activation process.
- To voluntarily self-test your understanding: Access the exam.