Code of Ethics
All of our members, whether certified or not, must adhere to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical standards, and continuous professional
education in the college financial planning field.
The NICCP has adopted this Code of Ethics to provide principles and rules to all persons who have been certified to use the CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™)
designation. Persons not certified as a CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™) are prohibited from using the CCPS® marks in any fashion or form including but not
limited to written, verbal, and or electronic.
The NICCP determines who is certified and authorized to use the CCPS® designation. Persons certified to use the CCPS® 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 NICCP is voluntary, and all CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™) and members of the NICCP must adhere to the Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics
guides CCPS® and NICCP members in the performance of their professional responsibilities. NICCP members have responsibilities to those
who use their professional services. NICCP members also have the responsibility to cooperate with each other to improve the college financial planning profession.
A person certified to use the CCPS® designation is called a CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™). This Code of
Ethics applies to every Certified College Planning Specialist™.
The Code of Ethics consists of principles that are statements of the ethical and professional ideals that each CCPS® is expected to adhere to in their professional activities.
The Code of Ethics also consists of rules that provide guidelines for the principles. These rules describe the standards of professional conduct expected of CCPS® (Certified College
All CCPS® must comply with this Code of Ethics. Compliance with the Code of Ethics requires a CCPS® to be knowledgeable with the following Code of Ethics principles and rules.
Principle of Integrity
A CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™) must provide college financial planning services with the
highest degree of integrity. A CCPS® 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
- A CCPS® must not solicit clients through false or misleading communications or advertisements.
- A CCPS® shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, or knowingly make a false or misleading statement.
- Principle of Objectivity
- A CCPS® must be objective in providing college financial planning services to clients. Objectivity
requires honesty and impartiality. A CCPS® should maintain integrity, objectivity and avoid compromising of his or her judgment.
Rules of Objectivity
- A CCPS® shall exercise reasonable and prudent professional judgment in providing professional services.
- A CCPS® must act in the interest of the client.
Principle of Competence
A CCPS® (Certified College Planning 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 CCPS® certification, a CCPS® must make a commitment to obtaining ongoing continuing education and professional improvement.
Rules of Competency
- A CCPS® must keep informed of changes in the business and related news and take continuing education classes in order to improve professional competence. A CCPS®
is required to obtain at least the minimum continuing education requirements established by the National Institute of Certified College Planners.
- A CCPS® shall offer advice only in those areas in which he or she is competent.
Principle of Fairness
A CCPS® 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
- A CCPS® 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.
- A CCPS® must make timely written disclosure of all material information about conflicts of interest and sources of compensation.
- A CCPS® 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 CCPS® 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 CCPS® and a client can only be built upon the understanding that any and all
information obtained by the CCPS® regarding the client will be kept confidential.
Rules of Confidentiality
- A CCPS® must not reveal or use for his or her benefit, any client information without the consent of the client.
- A CCPS® shall maintain the same standards of confidentiality to employers or partners as to clients.
Principle of Professionalism
The conduct of a CCPS® must reflect positively upon the profession. A CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™) must behave with dignity and courtesy. Also,
a CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™) must cooperate with other CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™)s to enhance and maintain the profession's public image and to improve the quality of services.
Rules of Professionalism
- A CCPS® must use the CCPS® designation in compliance with the guidelines, rules and regulations of the National Institute of Certified College Planners.
- A CCPS® must show respect for other financial planning professionals by engaging in fair and honorable practices.
- A CCPS® who has knowledge that another CCPS® 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.
- A CCPS® must perform college financial planning services in accordance with any applicable laws, rules, and regulations of governmental agencies and other applicable authorities.
- A CCPS® must not engage in any conduct that reflects adversely on his or her integrity as a CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™).
- A CCPS® 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 CCPS® 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
- A CCPS® must provide college financial planning services in a diligent manner.
- A CCPS® must enter into a college financial planning engagement only after obtaining sufficient information to satisfy the CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™), that the client’s needs
and objectives can be met and that the CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™) has the expertise to provide competent services to the client.
- A CCPS® must make and/or implement only recommendations that are suitable for the client.
- A CCPS® must make a reasonable investigation regarding the financial products recommended to clients. Such an investigation may be made by the CCPS® or
by others provided the CCPS® acts reasonably in relying upon such investigation.
- A CCPS® 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.
CCPS® (Certified College Planning Specialist™)