The disciplinary process & procedures of IAQFP as enforced through the IAQFP Ethics Committee, ensure a fair process for QFP to address allegations of Code of Ethics' or other standards violations.
It is the intent of IAQFP to protect the public by providing a free resource to both verify & find active Qualified Financial Planners; therefore, the public is urged to verify anyone presenting themselves as a QFP, or Financial Planner, by searching within the QFP Verification Registry of Qualified Financial Planners located at: www.IAQFP.org/qfp_registry.html.
All QFP are subject to the IAQFP Disciplinary Process & Procedures.
- Request for Investigation: Upon receipt of a written complaint, the Ethics Chair reviews the allegations to determine if further investigation is warranted.
- Investigation: If the Ethics Chair determines to proceed with an investigation a QFP is given written notice of the investigation, which contains the general nature of the allegations. The QFP is given 30 days within which to file a written response. If no response is received within the allotted 30 days a formal complaint is issued and the case is presented to a hearing panel.
- Probable Cause Determination: IAQFP Ethics Committee determines if there is probable cause to believe grounds for discipline exist, and if they so find the Committee will issue a formal complaint, and a notice of hearing, against the QFP. The complaint contains the specific allegations of misconduct and the potential Code of Ethics and/or other Member requirements violations, whereupon the QFP has 20 days from the date of receipt of the complaint to file a written answer. If no answer is received, the allegations in the complaint are deemed admitted and the QFP Members right to be listed in the verification & location QFP Verification Registry is administratively revoked, and Membership is terminated within forty-eight hours.
- Hearing Panel: When a formal complaint is filed a hearing takes place before a panel of a minimum of three individuals. All hearing panel members are Ethics Committee Members, and each must be active QFP Verification Registry listed. The respondent is entitled to appear in person or telephonically, to be represented by counsel at the hearing, to cross-examine witnesses and to present evidence on his or her behalf.
- Determination: The Ethics Committee submits its findings for review to the full Board of Directors & Ethics Chair which, after considering all the facts and recommendations, renders a final decision.
- Appeals: If a QFP is aggrieved by the decision he/she has the right to petition the IAQFP Chairperson directly. The IAQFP Chairperson, and the full IAQFP Board of Directors, will make any final determination by majority vote.
Forms of Discipline:
If grounds for discipline have been established, the Ethics Committee may impose any of the forms of discipline below. All disciplinary actions, except private written censure, may be publicly disseminated.
Grounds for Discipline:
Misconduct by a QFP, including the following acts or omissions, constitutes grounds for discipline, whether or not the misconduct occurred in the course of a client relationship:
- any act or omission which violates the provisions of the IAQFP Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct (Code of Ethics / Ethics Code).
- any act or omission which violates the criminal laws of any state or of the U.S.
- any act which is the proper basis for suspension of a professional license.
- any act or omission which violatesIAQFP terms of Membership and/or these disciplinary procedures.
- failure to respond to a request by the Ethics Chair or Board Chairperson without good cause.
- obstruction of the Ethics Committee, Chair, Board of Directors or Chairpersons performance of its/their duties.
- any false or misleading statement made to IAQFP Board or its direct representatives.
This list is not exclusive, and there may be other acts or omissions amounting to unprofessional conduct, which may also constitute grounds for discipline.
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