Exam-Related Disciplinary ActionsLearn about exam violations and recent candidate sanctions

The following disciplinary notices relate to violations and sanctions imposed for exam-related conduct. Exam-related conduct is any activity or conduct related to participation in the CFA Program, including conduct before, during, and after the administration of the CFA exam, and any conduct that compromises or attempts to compromise the reputation, integrity, validity, or security of the CFA exam. In each case, the investigation, findings, sanction, and voiding of exam results were administered in accordance with the Rules of Procedure for Professional Conduct (PDF).

When enrolling in the CFA Program or registering for any level of the CFA exam, candidates agree to understand, accept, and comply with all conditions, requirements, policies, and procedures for the CFA Program established by CFA Institute. Candidates are advised of the conditions, requirements, policies, and procedures through several communications, including the CFA Institute website, exam ticket, verbal statement read prior to the commencement of the exam, and the back of the exam booklet. At the testing center, candidates sign a Candidate Pledge, affirming they will follow all rules of the CFA Program and acknowledging that a violation of any rules will result in CFA Institute voiding exam results and may lead to suspension or termination of candidacy in the CFA Program.

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Writing/Erasing Past Time Called

Candidates must not continue to write or erase after time is called.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, at the conclusion of the morning and/or afternoon session of the exam, some candidates continued to write and/or erase. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each report of a suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate wrote and/or erased past time called, the candidate was advised of the findings of a violation and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, the following sanctions were imposed for this violation, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members:

  • 1,034 Private Reprimands
  • 37 One-Year Suspensions  
All of these cases included a finding of a violation of the rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate’s exam results.

 


Use of Scratch Paper

Candidates may not use scratch paper during the exam. Scratch paper includes writing paper, the exam ticket, calculator keystroke card, desk top, or any other surface.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, some candidates used their exam tickets, papers, and/or other surfaces as scratch paper during the exam. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each report of a suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate used scratch paper, the candidate was advised of the findings of a violation and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, the following sanctions were imposed for this violation, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members:

  • 49 Private Reprimands
  • 42 One-Year Suspensions
  • 23 Two-Year Suspensions
  • 9 Three-Year Suspensions
  • 2 Four-Year Suspension
  • 4 Five-Year Suspensions 

All of these cases included a finding of a violation of the rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate's exam results.


Unauthorized Calculator

Only two calculator models are approved for use on the CFA exams, Hewlett Packard 12C and Texas Instruments BA II Plus.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, some candidates possessed and/or used an unauthorized calculator during the CFA exam. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each report of a suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate possessed and/or used an unauthorized calculator, the candidate was advised of the findings of a violation and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, the following sanctions were imposed for this violation, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members:

  • 267 Private Reprimands
  • 2 One-Year Suspensions

All of these cases included a finding of a violation of the rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate’s exam results.


Assistance during Exam

Each candidate attests through the candidate pledge signed prior to the exam that they will neither give nor receive assistance while taking the exam. Looking or glancing at another candidate’s exam or giving the appearance of doing so violates the exam rules and regulations.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, some candidates gave assistance to other candidates, received assistance from other candidates, looked at another candidate’s exam, and/or gave the appearance of looking at another candidate’s exam during the exam. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate gave or received assistance on the exam and/or looked or gave the appearance of looking at another candidate’s exam, the candidate was advised of the findings of a violation and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, the following sanctions were imposed for this violation, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members:

  • 19 One-Year Suspensions
  • 115 Two-Year Suspensions
  • 4 Three-Year Suspensions
  • 309 Five-Year Suspensions
  • 1,145 Prohibitions

All of these cases included a finding of a violation of the rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate’s exam results.


Possession of Study Materials

Mobile phones, MP3 players, cameras, pagers, headsets, computers, electronic organizers, personal data or digital assistants, or other remote communication or photographic devices are not permitted in the testing room.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, some candidates possessed and/or used electronic devices during the exam. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate possessed and/or used an electronic device during the exam, the candidate was advised of the findings of a violation and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

Below is information regarding the sanctions imposed for this violation from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members:

  • 1 Private Reprimand
  • 3 One-Year Suspensions
  • 7 Two-Year Suspensions
  • 1 Three-Year Suspensions
  • 2 Five-Year Suspensions
  • 1 Prohibition

All of these cases included a finding of a violation of the rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate’s exam results.


Possession and Use of Electronic Devices

Mobile phones, MP3 players, cameras, pagers, headsets, computers, electronic organizers, personal data or digital assistants, or other remote communication or photographic devices are not permitted in the testing room.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, some candidates possessed and/or used electronic devices during the exam. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate possessed and/or used an electronic device during the exam, the candidate was advised of the findings of a violation and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program's findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel. From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016 the following sanctions were imposed, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members:

  • 32 Private Reprimands
  • 2 One-Year Suspensions
  • 3 Two-Year Suspensions
  • 1 Three-Year Suspension
  • 2 Five-Year Suspensions

All of these cases included a finding of a violation of the rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate's exam results.


Opening Question Booklet before Start of Exam

Candidates must not open the exam or begin working on the exam before instructed to do so by the testing personnel.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, some candidates opened their exam books prior to the instruction to begin the exam. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate opened the exam booklet and/or began working on the exam prior to the instruction to begin, the candidate was advised of the findings and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, the following sanctions were imposed for this violation, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members:

  • 172 Private Reprimands
  • 2 One-Year Suspensions

All of these cases included a finding of a violation of the rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate’s exam results.


Leaving Exam Center/Building

Candidates who exit the designated, secure, proctored test area during the administration of the exam may not re-enter the testing room.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, some candidates exited and re-entered the secure exam area during the administration of the exam. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate exited the secure, proctored exam area during the administration of the exam and then re-entered the testing area, the candidate was advised of the findings and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, the following sanctions were imposed, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members:

  • 10 Private Reprimands
  • 1 Three-Year Suspension

All of these cases included a finding of a violation of the rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate’s exam results.


Talking during Exam

Candidates may not speak to anyone other than a proctor during the administration of the exam.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, some candidates spoke to other candidates during the administration of the exam. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate talked to another candidate during the administration of the exam, the candidate was advised of the findings and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, the following sanctions were imposed, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members:

  • 3 Private Reprimands
  • 1 Two-Year Suspension

All of these cases included a finding of a violation of the rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate’s exam results.


Failure to Follow Instructions/Inappropriate Behavior

Candidates must follow the directions of testing personnel and treat testing personnel and fellow candidates with respect and in a professional manner. Candidates must not create a disturbance during the administration of the exam.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, some candidates failed to follow the directions of testing personnel, failed to treat other candidates and/or proctors with respect, and/or created a disturbance during the administration of the exam. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate engaged in the conduct, the candidate was advised of the findings and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, two Private Reprimands were imposed for this violation, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members. Both of these cases included a finding of a violation of the rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate’s exam results.


Disclosure of Exam Content

Candidates must not share information about exam content with anyone, including other candidates.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, some candidates compiled, solicited and/or disclosed exam content via web posts, blogs, or other means after the administration of the exam. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate compiled, solicited and/or disclosed exam content after the administration of the exam, the candidate was advised of the findings and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, the following sanctions were imposed for this violation, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members:

  • 1 Private Reprimand
  • 1 Five-Year Suspension
  • 1 Prohibition

All of these cases included a finding of a violation of the rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate’s exam results.


Misrepresentation

Disciplinary sanctions may be imposed for falsification of information on CFA Program enrollment applications, presenting a falsified identification for admission to the exam, presenting a modified exam ticket for admission to the exam, and/or any other misrepresentation related to participation in the CFA Program.

In violation of the rules and regulations of the CFA Program, some candidates misrepresented and/or falsified information or documentation relating to their participation in the CFA Program. The Professional Conduct Program investigated each suspected violation. At the conclusion of the investigation, if the Professional Conduct Program determined the candidate engaged in the conduct, the candidate was advised of the findings and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, the following sanctions were imposed for this violation, either as accepted by the candidate or imposed by a hearing panel composed of Disciplinary Review Committee members:

  • 2 Private Reprimands
  • 1 One-Year Suspensions

All of these cases included a finding of a violation of the exam rules and regulations and therefore resulted in the voiding of the candidate’s exam results.


Failure to Cooperate

Candidates are required to produce documents, testify, and otherwise cooperate in disciplinary proceedings of CFA Institute.

In violation of this requirement, some candidates failed to provide information requested by the Professional Conduct Program staff investigating the candidate’s exam-related conduct and activities. In each case, the candidate was advised of the findings of non-cooperation and recommended sanction. Each candidate was provided an opportunity to accept the Professional Conduct Program’s findings and recommended sanction or request a Hearing Panel.

From 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2016, there were no instances of failure to cooperate that led to a sanction.