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Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct

Practicing our values

The Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct (Code and Standards) are the ethical benchmark for investment professionals around the globe.

As a CFA Institute member or CFA Program candidate, you are required to follow the Code and Standards.

Read the Code and Standards and get translations

Upholding the Code and Standards

Annually, as part of renewing membership, every member must complete a Professional Conduct Statement to disclose any potential violations of the Code and Standards. Candidates make similar disclosures as part of the registration and enrollment process.

The Professional Conduct Program administers the disciplinary process for CFA Institute, conducting investigations into allegations, determining violations, imposing sanctions, conducting disciplinary proceedings, and disclosing violations.

Learn more about the Professional Conduct Program

The Standards of Practice Handbook

The Standards of Practice Handbook grounds the concepts covered in the Code and Standards for practical use. You can use this handbook for guidance on how to navigate ethical dilemmas you might face in your daily professional life.

The current Standards of Practice Handbook, 11th edition, became effective 1 July 2014 (corrected September 2014).

Download the current Standards of Practice Handbook, Eleventh Edition (PDF)

Standards of Practice Guidance for Members

The Standards of Practice Guidance for Members contains the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct with related guidance and examples illustrating application of the Standards in the day-to-day professional activities of members and candidates. 

The guidance and examples in the Standards of Practice Guidance for Members derives much of its content from the latest edition of the Standards of Practice Handbook (11th edition, 2014). Guidance updates and new examples were added since the release of the last edition to assist members in adhering to their responsibilities under the Code and Standards.

Access the Standards of Practice Guidance for Members

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 (login required).

Updates to the Code and Standards

Periodic Review

CFA Institute recently completed a periodic review and made revisions to the Code and Standards as well as the accompanying Standards of Practice Handbook, including:

  • Viability of Capital Markets
  • Responsibilities of Supervisors
  • Client Communications
  • Conduct as Participants in CFA Institute Programs

Learn more about how the Code and Standards are updated

See What Changed

Learn about these important updates to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct and the Handbook, including the:

  • Impact of social media
  • Applicability to investment performance analysts
  • Role of capital markets in society

Watch the webinar to learn more about these updates

Contact the Ethics and Standards team for more information