2022 Edition

Financial Education and Counselling Services (CA-FEC) 12: Business Ethics

The organization accurately depicts services in marketing efforts and conducts activities in an ethical manner.


Viewing: CA-FEC 12 - Business Ethics



Clients who receive Financial Education and Counselling services learn to solve financial problems and gain personal financial management skills.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Sample marketing materials
  • Policy for using vendors as leads
  • Policy regarding financial incentives and penalties
  • Policy regarding client loans and debt
  • Media advertisements
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel


CA-FEC 12.01

The organization’s marketing efforts and written information:
  1. accurately describe the range of services and options available, including bankruptcy; 
  2. provide relevant contact information, including a current address, on all printed or electronic advertisements; and
  3. explain that receipt of financial education and counselling services does not guarantee participation in debt management program services.


CA-FEC 12.02

An organization that uses a vendor to generate consumer leads does not provide incentives for such leads.


This standard requires that the organization does not base payment to the lead vendor on the number of leads generated. Such a practice may encourage lead vendors to generate leads using statements that do not accurately reflect the organization’s services.


The use of a locator service is permissible. These services connect an individual via telephone or a website with the nearest credit counselling organization based on the location of the person. 
NA The organization does not use a vendor to generate consumer leads.


CA-FEC 12.03

The organization prohibits:
  1. financial incentives for counsellors based solely on the number of DMPs established; and
  2. financial penalties for counsellors when clients assume responsibility for debt management or leave the program.
NA The organization provides Housing Counselling and Education Services only.


CA-FEC 12.04

The organization does not make or negotiate loans on behalf of its clients or purchase client debt.