Professional Conduct Program Disciplinary Process

How the Professional Conduct Program handles allegations

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

Read the CFA Institute Bylaws (PDF)

Learn more about the Rules of Procedure

Read "An Inside Look at the Disciplinary Process"

Steps in the Disciplinary Process

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 includes 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 includes any activity or conduct, excluding exam-related conduct, governed by the Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct (Code and Standards).

Learn more about exam misconduct and rules violations

Conducting Disciplinary Proceedings

All disciplinary proceedings are conducted by members of the Disciplinary Review Committee (DRC) in accordance with the Rules of Procedure. The DRC consists of volunteer CFA charterholders from around the world.

View the professional conduct review panels process (PDF)

View exam-related disciplinary proceedings case flow (PDF)

View professional conduct matters disciplinary proceedings case flow (PDF)

Implementing Disciplinary Sanctions

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

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

  • Notice of disciplinary sanctions for professional conduct-related matters are published in CFA Institute Magazine and on the CFA Institute website.
  • Sanctions for exam-related matters result in an automatic voiding of exam results.

Report misconduct by a member or candidate

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