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Report or File a Complaint

Complaint Procedures

The following information is provided to assist you in becoming acquainted with the Institute’s investigation and complaint procedures.

     Complaints Against the Institute's Certified Professionals

Naturally, the Institute encourages its members to maintain high ethical standards. The Institute’s disciplinary procedures provide for a thorough review and a decision as to whether there has been a violation of the Code of Professional Responsibility or non-compliance with the Standards of Practice (for CIMA/CIMC designees only).

A charge against the conduct, actions, or recommendations of a CIMA/CIMC or CPWA designee is a matter that the Institute takes seriously. Accordingly, if you feel that the Code has been violated or that a CIMA/CIMC designee has not complied with the Standards of Practice, you should not hesitate to begin the grievance process.

The Institute’s Board of Directors provides a Professional Review Board charged with determining whether allegations are justified and whether the unethical conduct warrants disciplinary action. There is no cost to you. Please be assured that your grievance will be investigated impartially. For a listing of public disciplinary actions taken by the Institute's Professional Review Board click here.

     Ethics and Discipline:

When authorized to use the certification marks: CIMA®, Certified Investment Management Analyst®, CIMC®, Certified Investment Management Consultant®, CPWA®, Certified Private Wealth Advisor®, the certificant agrees to abide by the Code of Professional Responsibility. CIMA and CIMC designees must also agree to abide by the Standards of Practice. A grievance filed against a designee must be considered very carefully since it could negatively affect a certificant’s career, reputation, and ability to earn a living. Thus it takes more than a claim of misconduct to justify disciplinary action. Proof of misconduct must be established by a preponderance of the evidence.

A grievance should relate to unethical conduct—a violation of the Institute’s Code of Professional Responsibility—that can be proven by evidence. An honest disagreement about how a matter should or should not be handled would not normally constitute unethical conduct. An error in judgment is not necessarily unethical conduct. The Institute’s certificants, like many other professionals, may not always give the perfect response to a given set of circumstances. For example, disagreements about fees do not necessarily constitute unethical conduct. An unexpected decline in security values or the length of time it may take to respond to a client with an investment policy statement do not necessarily constitute unethical conduct.

Submit a Complaint:

Grievances may be submitted to the Institute via U.S. mail:

1) Download the Grievance Form

2) Complete form and mail to:

The Investments & Wealth Institute
Attn: Complaints
5619 DTC Parkway, Suite 500
Greenwood Village, CO 80111

Your written grievance should include important information surrounding the circumstances of your complaint, including photocopies of relevant letters, contracts, agreements, or other documents, which should accompany the Grievance Form. Institute staff may request additional information if needed and may request a personal interview if it appears necessary. The public should be aware of normal remedies under state and federal laws and regulations with applicable regulatory bodies and should also avail themselves of other avenues.

     Certificant and Candidate Complaint Process

Certificants and candidates can file a complaint with Investments & Wealth Institute about certification policy, practice, or decisions. Complaints must be in writing, and can be submitted by email, mail, or fax to Investments & Wealth Institute. Complaints must originate directly from the certificant and be incorporated into the Certification Complaint Form or the Candidate Complaint Form.

All complaints will be reviewed by an Investments & Wealth Institute management team including its Chief Executive Officer. After review, complaints involving a request to change certification policies may be forwarded to the appropriate volunteer body with governing authority over the particular certification policy. With regard to complaints about all other certification activities, the certification department management team will make a determination.  If the complaint does not relate to certification activities, it will be forwarded to the Senior Director of Administration and Chief Executive Officer for review and resolution. All decisions are final and not subject to appeal.