The final component of the initial CSSCS certification process is the ethics requirement.  CSSCS certification requires you to agree to adhere to CSSCS Board of Standard’s Code of Professional Responsibility and to acknowledge CSSCS Board of Standard’s right to enforce them through its Disciplinary Rules and ProceduresBy signing the CSSCS Certification application, individuals agree to be bound by CSSCS Board of Standard’s Code of Professional Responsibility and Ethics Requirements.  This demonstrates to the public that you have agreed to provide personal, comprehensive, retirement income planning in the client’s best interest and to act in accordance with the highest ethical and professional standards for the practice of financial planning.

Before being authorized to use the CSSCS certification marks, and each time you renew your certification, you must disclose whether you have ever been involved in any criminal, civil, self-regulatory organization or governmental agency inquiry, investigation or proceeding.  You must also acknowledge the right of the CSSCS Board of Standards to enforce its Code of Professional Conduct.

Applications for the CSSCS certification are required to pass the CSSCS Board of Standards’ Code of Professional Responsibility and it’s Fitness Standards, which describes conduct that:

  1. is unacceptable and will always bar an individual from becoming certified; and
  2. is presumed to be unacceptable and will bar an individual from becoming certified unless the individual successfully petitions the CSSCS Board of Standard’s for reconsideration.

For example, conduct that is presumed to be unacceptable includes one personal or business bankruptcy filed within five years prior to completing the CSSCS Certification Application.  Individuals that have filed for bankruptcy in that time frame must petition the CSSCS Board of Standard’s for reconsideration of the presumptive bar.  The CSSCS Board of Standard’s Disciplinary may, at its discretion, grant or deny the petition.

Verification of Data

The CSSCS Board of Standards may verify your employment record, qualifications and disciplinary history through FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD).  All disciplinary information obtained will be reviewed by the Board.  The length of the review process varies depending on the circumstances being investigated, and may take anywhere from several weeks to one year.  In general, you will not be authorized to use the CSSCS Board of Standard’s until the review process is complete.

If you have questions about the effect of any of your past or pending disciplinary actions, or your authorization to use the CSSCS marks, please contact the CSSCS Board of Standards.