The CFP Board, citing changing social norms due to the Covid-19 epidemic, has amended its rules to allow disciplinary hearings to be held via videoconferencing.

The board announced the move today, noting that social distancing and other safety measures that have been adopted since the start of the epidemic mean that face-to-face disciplinary hearings are no longer always feasible.

The amendments took effect on May 22 and are designed to permanently allow video conferencing, the board said. The rules previously permitted hearings to be held either in person or over the phone.

"These amendments reflect the concerns of CFP Board and its board of directors for the well-being of our Disciplinary and Ethics Commission members, employees, appellants and other stakeholders, and reflect the benefits of today's efficient technology," CFP Board CEO Kevin Keller said in a prepared statement. "We are committed to enforcing the standards for CFP certification in a manner that is credible to the public and fair to those whose conduct CFP Board is evaluating. Enforcement is central to our work to uphold CFP certification as the standard for financial planning."

The amendments come as the CFP Board is preparing to replace its rules and procedures for disciplinary hearings and appeals. Drafts of proposed rules were released for public comment in November 2018 and in March. The final rules are expected to include provisions for hearings conducted telephonically, via video conferencing or in person, the board said.