Professional Conduct

IARFC members have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of their clients. These actions of IARFC members are subject to the IARFC Code of Ethics. The Code of Ethics defines strict guidelines on ethical behavior which are a cornerstone of interactions between the consultant and client.



IARFC members serve hundreds of thousands of families by helping them achieve financial security and acquiring economic peace of mind. The IARFC would appreciate hearing from the clients of its member about their positive experiences.


Compliments can be submitted and will not be published without express permission. Submissions may be informal and as detailed as needed. The consultant’s name and city of practice should be mentioned.



The IARFC wishes to assist the consumer in becoming acquainted with their investigation and complaint procedures while encouraging members to maintain high ethical standards. These procedures provide for a thorough review and a decision as to whether there has been a violation of the IARFC Code of Ethics and if internal sanctions are warranted.


A charge against the conduct, actions, or recommendations of a financial consultant is a matter that the IARFC takes seriously. Accordingly, if a consumer feels that the Code of Ethics has been violated, they should not hesitate to begin the complaint procedure against an Association member. Every inquiry will be investigated vigorously and impartially.

Ethics and Conduct Responsibilities

When authorized to use the Registered Financial Associate (RFA®), Registered Financial Consultant (RFC®) designations, or Master Registered Financial Consultant (MRFC®) credential, the professional consultant agrees to abide by the IARFC Code of Ethics and to comply with the philosophy and mission of International Association of Registered Financial Consultants.

A complaint filed against a designee or credential holder must be considered very carefully since it could negatively affect a career, a reputation, and the 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. Examples of what normally would not constitute unethical behavior are:


An honest disagreement about how a matter should or should not have been handled.

An error in judgment - IARFC designees or credential holders, may not always give the perfect response to a given set of circumstances, especially when viewed years later based on subsequent events or market actions.

Disagreements about the size of a fee.

Declines in security values or the length of time it may take to respond to a client with a completed plan.


Information Required
A Complaint Form should be accompanied by important information surrounding the circumstances, including photocopies of relevant letters, contracts, agreements, or other documents. The IARFC Team will request additional information and/or a personal interview if it appears necessary.

Normal remedies under state and federal laws and regulations with applicable regulatory bodies are not satisfied by a complaint to the IARFC. The burden is normally on the complainant to pursue such remedies. However, the finding and actions of appropriate regulatory bodies will be given due consideration by the IARFC Ethics Committee.


How Long Does it Take?

The length of time it will take to deal with any particular complaint is difficult to determine in advance. A grievance regarding the handling of a complex estate would take more time to investigate than a grievance that someone accepted a retainer fee and then failed to deliver the client's plan or failed to deliver a purchase of insurance or investment.

The IARFC Ethics Committee generally processes grievances in the order in which they are filed and as quickly as the process will allow. Notification will be given upon receipt of the initial submission when the matter has been concluded, and any discipline that has been imposed.


Will this Process Involve Compensation?

There is no enforcement procedure for the IARFC to require that any member who has operated improperly compensate the complainant for their loss of damages. That issue must be pursued through negotiation, arbitration, or adjudication.


What is the Basis for Final Decisions?
Grievances will not be decided solely on the basis of a complaint submitted by the consumer, just as the matter will not necessarily be decided solely on the basis of the answer submitted by the consultant. The final decision must depend on the weight of all available information.

The IARFC disciplinary process cannot necessarily be expected to solve the original problems. There should not be an expectation to receive monetary compensation, as a result of a filed grievance to us. Disciplinary proceedings are restricted to the question of ethical conduct of IARFC members.


What Can You Expect?

The IARFC Ethics Committee will act only to enforce the IARFC Code of Ethics and their interpretation of the professional services that the public can reasonably expect to receive from their members. Enforcement measures include private censure, a public letter of admonition, and the suspension or revocation of the right to use the IARFC professional designations and credential.




IARFC Code of Ethics
Submit a Compliment

Submit a Complaint


Submission Options:

Electronic: info@iarfc.org

Fax: 513 345-9479



P.O. Box 506

Middletown, OH 45042-0506

Attn: Ethics Committee








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