Code of Ethics | About Us | ACCFS

About the ACCFS

All of our members, must adhere to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical standards, and continuous professional education in the college financial planning field.

The Association of Certified College Funding Specialists has adopted this Code of Ethics to provide principles and rules to all persons who have been certified to use the CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) designationPersons not certified as a CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) are prohibited from using the CCFS™ marks in any fashion or form including but not limited to written, verbal, and or electronic.

The Association of Certified College Funding Specialists determines who is certified and authorized to use the CCFS™ designation. Persons certified to use the CCFS™ designation are obligated to abide by the principles and rules and to also take responsibility to act in an ethical and professionally responsible manner in all professional services and activities.

Membership in the Association of Certified College Funding Specialists is voluntary, and all CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™)s and members of the Association of Certified College Funding Specialists must adhere to the Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics guides CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™)s and Association of Certified College Funding Specialists members in the performance of their professional responsibilities. Association of Certified College Funding Specialists members have responsibilities to those who use their professional services. Association of Certified College Funding Specialists members also have the responsibility to cooperate with each other to improve the college financial planning profession.

A person certified to use the CCFS™ designation is called a CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™). This Code of Ethics applies to all CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™)s.

The Code of Ethics consists of principles that are statements of the ethical and professional ideals that CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™)s are expected to adhere to in their professional activities. The Code of Ethics also consists of rules that provide guidelines for the principlesThese rules describe the standards of professional conduct expected of CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™)s.

All CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™)s must comply with this Code of Ethics. Compliance with the Code of Ethics requires a CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) to be knowledgeable with the following Code of Ethics principles and rules.

Principle of Integrity

CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must provide college financial planning services with the highest degree of integrity. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must rely on his or her integrity to determine what is right for the client. Integrity must not be sacrificed for personal gain. Allowances can be made for innocent errors and legitimate differences of opinion, but integrity must not be compromised by deceit or by sacrificing principles.

Rules of Integrity

  1. CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must not solicit clients through false or misleading communications or advertisements.
  2. CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, or knowingly make a false or misleading statement.
  3. Principle of Objectivity
  4. CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must be objective in providing college financial planning services to clients. Objectivity requires honesty and impartiality. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) should maintain integrity, objectivity and avoid compromising of his or her judgment.

Rules of Objectivity

  1. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) shall exercise reasonable and prudent professional judgment in providing professional services.
  2. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must act in the interest of the client.

Principle of Competence

A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must attain and maintain a level of knowledge and skill that will enable him or her to competently provide college financial planning services to clients.  Also to obtaining the CCFS™ certification, a CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must make a commitment to obtaining ongoing continuing education and professional improvement.

Rules of Competency

  1. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must keep informed of changes in the business and related news and take continuing education classes in order to improve professional competence. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) is required to obtain at least the minimum continuing education requirements established by the Association of Certified College Funding Specialists.
  2. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) shall offer advice only in those areas in which he or she is competent.

Principle of Fairness

A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must perform college financial planning services in a manner that is fair and reasonable to clients and must disclose conflicts of interest in providing such services. Fairness requires impartiality, honesty, and disclosure of conflicts of interest. Fairness is treating others in the same fashion that you would want to be treated.

Rules of Fairness

  1. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must disclose to the client information that is relevant to the professional relationship, including, conflicts of interest, credentials, qualifications, licenses, compensation structure, and any agency relationships.
  2. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must make timely written disclosure of all material information about conflicts of interest and sources of compensation.
  3. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must provide upon written request by the client, information regarding all compensation related to the college financial planning service, including all compensation and/or commissions derived from implementation of the college financial plan.

Principle of Confidentiality

A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must not release and or disclose any confidential client information without the consent of the client. 

Creating a relationship of trust and confidence between a CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) and a client can only be built upon the understanding that any and all information obtained by the CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) regarding the client will be kept confidential.

Rules of Confidentiality

  1. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must not reveal or use for his or her benefit, any client information without the consent of the client.
  2. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) shall maintain the same standards of confidentiality to employers or partners as to clients.

Principle of Professionalism

A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™)'s conduct must reflect positively upon the profession. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must behave with dignity and courtesy. Also, a CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must cooperate with other CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™)s to enhance and maintain the profession's public image and to improve the quality of services.

Rules of Professionalism

  1. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must use the CCFS™ designation in compliance with the guidelines, rules, and regulations of the National Institute of Certified College Planners.
  2. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must show respect for other financial planning professionals by engaging in fair and honorable practices.
  3. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) who has knowledge that another CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) has committed a violation of this Code of Ethics or an illegal activity must inform the National Institute of Certified College Planners and the appropriate regulatory or professional bodies.
  4. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must perform college financial planning services in accordance with any applicable laws, rules, and regulations of governmental agencies and other applicable authorities.
  5. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must not engage in any conduct that reflects adversely on his or her integrity as a CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™).
  6. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must comply with all applicable renewal requirements including payment of the National Institute of Certified College Planners membership fees and obtaining the required continuing education credit.

Principle of Diligence

A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must be diligent in providing college financial planning services. Diligence is providing college financial planning services in a prompt manner, with the proper supervision required in rendering these services.

Rules of Diligence

  1. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must provide college financial planning services in a diligent manner.
  2. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must enter into a college financial planning engagement only after obtaining sufficient information to satisfy the CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™), that the client’s needs and objectives can be met and that the CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) has the expertise to provide competent services to the client.
  3. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must make and/or implement only recommendations that are suitable for the client.
  4. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must make a reasonable investigation regarding the financial products recommended to clients. Such an investigation may be made by the CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) or by others provided the CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) acts reasonably in relying upon such investigation.
  5. A CCFS™ (Certified College Funding Specialist™) must properly supervise subordinates concerning their delivery of college financial planning services, and shall not accept any violation of this Code of Ethics by subordinates.