New curriculum for continuing education ethics classes for CFP designees that was to be in place by April 1 will be delayed while the CFP Board of Standards continues reviewing the proposals, the CFP Board said Monday.

The new curriculum is part of an upgrade of continuing education standards for CFP designees announced last November. In order to qualify for CE credits, the ethics courses were to be taught under the new curriculum starting next month. Some providers say they have submitted new course work based on the upgraded standards but have not received approval from the CFP Board as yet.

“The April 1 deadline is approaching and there are pending ethics CE programs which have not yet completed review,” says Michele Warholic, CFP Board's managing director of examinations, education and talent.

“CFP Board is planning to send out an email to the pending ethics CE sponsors and advise that their current ethics programs will be extended since we are performing a more extensive content quality review by both CE and Professional Standards than prior years, consistent with the November 2013 quality initiatives announcement,” she adds.

She did not say when the emails would be sent.

The changes for the ethics courses are part of an effort by the CFP Board to set higher standards for the education programs. The new standards are to include clear learning objectives and instructor criteria.

CFP certificants have to complete two credit hours of ethics CE during a two-year period. CFP certificates are renewed once every two years with the requirement that certificants complete 30 hours of CE on a variety of subjects, with credits being earned for live classes, online courses or self-study.

The upgraded standards for all courses were to be implemented in the next two to three years, the board said in the announcement last November. The CFP Board staff is expected to increase the auditing of CE programs with a focus on issues related to complaints about the programs that had been received in the past.

The requirements for ethics programs were added in 2012 and there are now 50 to 60 programs approved each year.

“The learning objectives requirement for ethics CE programs were introduced to ensure that content would reflect trends in our investigations and enforcement,” Warholic says. “We committed to a review of Professional Standards trends every two years, which matches the CFP professionals renewal cycle. The revision for 2014 is consistent with the two-year review period.