The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has established a Jan. 1, 2009 enforcement date for its revised "Standards of Professional Conduct," allowing members more leeway before enforcement takes effect.

The board's decision provides CFPs with a six-month grace period to fully implement the revised standards in their practices. However, the board noted that the change does not affect the introduction of the revised standards, which will still go into effect July 1, 2008, as planned.

The CFP Board met this week to review the progress made in implementing the revised standards, and determined that it would be in the best interest of CFPs and their clients to provide a six-month grace period to ensure that CFPs are in compliance with the revised standards before the board begin to enforce the revised standards in the New Year.

"CFP certificants are engaged in a wide variety of business settings and activities, and the introduction of the Jan. 1, 2009, enforcement date allows certificants to ensure that all aspects of their practices are fully aligned with the revised standards," said chairman David G. Strege in a statement.

CFP professionals found in violation of the CFP Board's ethical standards may be subject to public discipline, up to a permanent revocation of the right to use the CFP marks. The revised standards include heightened disclosure requirements and obligations for CFPs to place the interest of their clients ahead of their own at all times. The revised standards also require CFPs to act with the "duty of care of a fiduciary," which is partly defined as acting "in the best interest of the client." The CFP Board has been working to educate CFPs on the new ethical standards to which they will be held.

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