Press Release  Wednesday, Mar 17, 2021

FPSB Updates Guidance For Financial Planning Process to Reflect Practice Innovations, Shifting Approaches to Client Engagement

NEW YORK – 17 MARCH 2021 ­­– Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. (FPSB), the standards-setting body for the global financial planning profession and owner of the international Certified Financial Planner certification program outside the United States, has released updated guidance for the process and practice of financial planning. FPSB’s Professional Standards Committee modernized explanatory language in FPSB’s Financial Planning Practice Standards to encourage a financial planning relationship model that: focuses on mutual agreement and coaching; addresses behavioral finance issues including the client’s experiences, motivations and attitudes towards money; and acknowledges the ongoing, iterative and collaborative way that CFP professionals develop financial planning recommendations for clients.

“Financial planning has always been a collaborative, iterative process between the financial planner and the client,” said Andrea Middel, CFP, FPSB Professional Standards Committee chairperson. “As clients and financial planners become more adept at communicating and sharing information through technology, as the pace of innovation increases, and as clients want more responsibility and coaching when making financial decisions, FPSB felt the time was right to update the guidance for our Financial Planning Practice Standards. We want CFP professionals to embrace their role as collaborators and coaches for their clients, and to support clients to live their todays, while planning their tomorrows with an approach that is meaningful to each client.”

The Professional Standards Committee’s guidance for FPSB’s Financial Planning Practice Standards, based on input from the global FPSB network of professional financial planning and CFP certification bodies, includes:

  • Guidance on how to build and maintain more meaningful client relationships;
  • A focus on understanding client behavior, understanding and motivation around money;
  • Guidance on dealing with ambiguities or discrepancies in a client’s stated goals or objectives and helping to address the feasibility of a client’s objectives; and
  • Guidance on incorporating appropriate technology to collect client information and maintain communication throughout the financial planning relationship.

FPSB’s Financial Planning Practice Standards establish the level of practice expected of a financial planning professional engaged in the delivery of financial planning to a client; establish norms of professional practice; clarify the respective roles and responsibilities of financial planning professionals and their clients in financial planning engagements; and enhance the value of the financial planning process.

The updated guidance to FPSB’s Financial Planning Practice Standards is available HERE.


About FPSB

FPSB manages, develops and operates certification, education and related programs to benefit the global community by establishing, upholding and promoting worldwide professional standards in financial planning. FPSB demonstrates its commitment to excellence with the marks of professional distinction – CFP, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and CFP Logo Mark – which it owns outside the United States. FPSB and the FPSB global network administer CFP and other certification programs in the following 27 territories: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chinese Taipei, Colombia, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States. At the end of 2020, there were 192,762 CFP professionals worldwide. For more, visit


CFP certification: Global Excellence in Financial Planning