Ethical Standards: Code of Professional Responsibility

Investments & Wealth Institute requires our certificants to uphold the highest principles of professional performance—and of ethical conduct toward clients, employing firms, our association, the profession, and the public.

Rise to a higher standard.

know the code

Acting In the Client’s Best Interest

This is the cardinal principle of Investments and Wealth Institute Code of Professional Responsibility — and the guiding principle for every client interaction that IWI certificants engage in.

Our standards for ethical and professional conduct:

Signify to the world that IWI professionals adhere to a higher standard of ethics and professionalism,

Elevate the integrity, knowledge, skills, and value of IWI certificants,

Protect your reputation, your firm, the profession—and most important, the public we serve.

Know the Code: 9 Principles for Professional Conduct

As the certifying body for the Certified Investment Management Analyst® (CIMA®), Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®), and Retirement Management Advisor® (RMA®) certifications, IWI requires every designee to adhere to these core ethical principles.

Alignment with these principles is a testament to the commitment of IWI professionals to their clients - and to their trustworthiness.

read the full code of professional responsibility

The Code: Summarized

1. Act in the best interest of the client.

2. Disclose the services you offer and provide—along with your charges and compensation.

3. Disclose and resolve or manage any conflicts of interest—direct or indirect.

4. Provide clients with the information they need to make informed decisions.

5. Respond to clients appropriately, promptly, completely, and truthfully.

6. Maintain confidentiality of client information.

7. Provide competent service by truthfully representing your competency, maintaining your professional capabilities, and, when appropriate, recommending other professionals.

8. Comply with legal and regulatory requirements related to your professional practice.

9. Maintain a high level of ethical conduct.

How Do Ethical Standards Benefit the Financial Advice Profession?

Because IWI professionals work across different types of financial organizations, in a wide variety of roles, and within a vast range of compensation models, ensuring a single, clearly defined standard for professional responsibility is essential.

Although a variety of such codes exist across organizations, roles, and teams, when evaluating an ethical question, the highest standard takes precedence.

Having a single point of reference across our professional association for questions of ethical behavior and competent performance enables:

• Clearly defined guidelines for disciplinary decisions

• Confidence from firms and organizations who employ IWI certification holders

• Compliance with regulatory and legal requirements

• Trust among investors who are protected from negligent behavior

• Frank and productive discussions as the evolving industry tackles fresh ethical challenge.

How Does IWI Uphold Our Professional Code?

Upholding our commitment to the Code of Professional Responsibility is essential to maintaining the credibility, transparency, and accountability of Investments & Wealth Institute—and an integral part of meeting the requirements of our ANAB accreditation.

Staying true to the Code means that IWI:

Educates members and candidates about the Code

All IWI certification exams test candidates on their knowledge of the Code of Professional Responsibility, including the Preamble and Guidance sections.

Learn About Certification Exam Standards

Requires acceptance and adherence to the Code

To maintain certification, every CIMA®, CPWA®, and RMA® designee must sign an agreement to adhere to the Code and answer a disclosure questionnaire at each renewal.

Requires continuing education in ethics to maintain certifications

Every two years, IWI certificants must complete 40 hours or continuing education—including 1 hour of education related to taxes and regulations and 2 hours of ethics education—to maintain their certifications.

Learn About Certification Renewal Requirements

Investigates and disciplines members who violate the Code

When an IWI professional violates the Code, the Institute’s Professional Review Board can take four types of formal disciplinary actions—including suspending or terminating an individual’s certification.

Learn About IWI’s Disciplinary Rules and Procedures

Additional Questions About the Code?

Contact Legal Counsel: Rob Frankel