Members and Candidates must not engage in any conduct that compromises the reputation or integrity of CFA Institute or the CFA designation or the integrity, validity, or security of CFA Institute programs.
Standard VII(A) prohibits any conduct that undermines public confidence that the CFA charter represents achievement based on merit and ethical behavior. This includes:
- giving or receiving assistance during an exam
- violating testing policies
- disclosing confidential program or exam information
- ignoring or circumventing security measures
- improperly using association with CFA Institute to further personal or professional goals
- misrepresenting information on the Professional Conduct Statement
All aspects of the exam are considered confidential unless disclosed publicly by CFA Institute. This includes questions, topics, formulas, etc. whether tested or not tested. It does not prohibit sharing nonconfidential information or material in the curriculum (for example, within a study group).
To maintain the integrity of the exams, CFA Institute has a number of testing rules and procedures such as a calculator policy and a personal belongings policy. Violating any of these policies is a violation of Standard VII(A).
The Standard does not cover expressing opinions about CFA Institute, the CFA Program, or CFA Institute advocacy positions, as long as such expressions do not disclose confidential exam-related material.
The CFA Institute Standards of Practice Handbook provides several examples of potential violations regarding conduct as participants in CFA Institute programs.
- A proctor providing information of what is on the exam to two candidates
- Writing a formula on one’s hand to look at during the exam
- writing after time is called
- Divulging the amount or nature of certain types of questions on the exam
- Discussing an exam question on an online forum
- Disclosing questions that were on the exam to a prep provider
- Disclosing a question that one graded as a volunteer
- Using a volunteer position at a CFA Society to advantage clients
- Implying that a volunteer position provides a professional advantage