Disciplinary Process How the Professional Conduct Program handles allegations

The disciplinary process is a multilevel peer review process governed by the CFA Institute Bylaws and Rules of Procedure for Professional Conduct. These documents provide guidance for conducting investigations into allegations, determining violations, imposing sanctions, conducting disciplinary proceedings, and disclosing violations.

The disciplinary process has multiple steps, including:

Monitoring Candidate and Member Behavior

The Professional Conduct Program monitors member and candidate compliance with our ethical standards through:

  • self-disclosures
  • written complaints
  • internal initiatives

Investigating Allegations

Alleged violations of the code and standards are investigated according to the CFA Institute Bylaws and Rules of Procedure for Professional Conduct. The Professional Conduct Program investigates both exam- and industry-related conduct.

  • Exam-related conduct — Any activity or conduct related to participation in CFA Institute programs and any conduct that could compromise the reputation, integrity, validity, or security of the exams.
  • Industry-related conduct — Any activity or conduct, excluding exam-related conduct, governed by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

The member or candidate may accept the recommended sanction or request a disciplinary hearing conducted by members of the Disciplinary Review Committee (DRC).

Conducting Disciplinary Proceedings

All disciplinary proceedings are conducted by members of the Disciplinary Review Committee (DRC) in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Professional Conduct. The DRC consists of volunteer CFA charterholders from around the world. See the flow charts illustrating the disciplinary process below:

Want to get involved? Learn about volunteer opportunities

Implementing Disciplinary Sanctions as Needed

After it has been determined a member or candidate has committed a violation, an appropriate sanction is issued.

Notice of disciplinary sanctions for industry-related matters are published in CFA Institute Magazine and on the CFA Institute website. All exam-related matters that result in a sanction carry an automatic voiding of exam results.

Learn more about exam misconduct and rules violations