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CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge

The CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge embodies the mission of CFA Institute by promoting "the highest standards of ethics, education, and professional excellence." In addition, it focuses on many of the elements of CFA Institute's Future of Finance initiative. Equally as important, it helps prepare those entering the investment profession for the ethical challenges that they will face in the workplace.

The first Ethics Challenge was started by a CFA Society Toronto volunteer in 2014 where three teams, each from a CFA Institute University Affiliation Program in Toronto participated. In 2017, the 12 member Societies hosted the first CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge.

The CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge is designed to increase students' awareness of the ethical dilemmas and issues they may face when they enter the investment management industry. Teams consisting of students from finance or business programs (preferably from CFA Institute's University Affiliation Program) are given an ethics case to analyze and evaluate. Each team then presents its analysis and recommendations, to a panel of judges, selected by the host CFA Society. Following a question and answer period after each team's presentation, the judges then select a winner. To determine the winning team, the judges use a grading rubric that is based on the identification and understanding of the ethical issues in the case, the recommendations provided, the depth of the analysis, quality of the presentation, and responses to the judges' questions. This rubric is then used to provide feedback to each team at the end of the competition.

The CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge can:

  • Improve your professional presentation skills
  • Help you gain ethical decision-making experience
  • Expose you to real-world ethical dilemmas
  • Train you to work with a team
  • Extend your professional network

How It Works

Local Competitions will be hosted by a local CFA Society (held in British Columbia, Alberta, Prairies, Ontario, Québec and Atlantic Canada).

A faculty advisor acts as the link between the local host Society and the student team. The faculty advisor assembles the team and guides them throughout the process.

Students will have approximately four weeks to work on the case study provided by the host Society. Teams then present their analysis and recommendations to a panel of judges. The competition is 100% presentation based; which includes: a 10-minute presentation and then 10 additional minutes to respond to questions from the judges. 

One winning team from each Local Competition will advance to the CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge National Round held virtually on Friday, May 7, 2021.

In the national round, students will have three hours to work on a new case and then presentations are given live to a judging panel of CFA charterholders. A reception will follow, where one team is designated the ultimate CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge winner!

Teams are judged based on their recommended course of action and their ability to identify the violations to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics & Standards of Professional Conduct.

2021 Canadian Ethics Challenge - Official Rules

Participation Agreement

See highlights from the 2020-2021 CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge.

2020-2021 Timeline

October 31, 2020         Competing universities must confirm participation in the CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge with the local host (local CFA Society).
November 30, 2020Registration deadline for students and faculty advisors.
January, 2021The host Society will distribute an identical ethics case study to all registered competing universities (four weeks prior to Local Competition).
Mid-January, 2021

Competition kick-off with an interactive ethical decision-making webinar hosted by CFA Institute.

(all class members invited to participate)

February 6, 2021Local Competitions are held throughout the country, including the CFA Society Atlantic Canada event, to be conducted virtually.
May 7, 20212020 CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge national round, where finalists from across Canada compete for the national title, to be conducted virtually.

 For more information or to register your team contact

Past Winners

Dalhouse University - 2021 CFA Society Atlantic Canada Ethics Challenge Winning Team

St. Francis Xavier University - 2020 CFA Society Atlantic Canada Ethics Challenge Winning Team

St. Mary's University - 2019 CFA Society Atlantic Canada Ethics Challenge Winning Team

St. Mary's University - 2018 CFA Society Atlantic Canada Ethics Challenge Winning Team

06 May 2019 Press Releases:

Strong sense of ethics guide Thompson Rivers University students to a win in CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge

Un solide sens de l'éthique guide les étudiants de l'Université Thompson Rivers vers une victoire dans le cadre du Défi éthique 2019 de CFA Societies Canada

07 May 2018 Press Releases:

Future finance professionals demonstrate leadership through CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge

Les futures professionnelles et les futurs professionnels de la finance démontrent leur leadership grâce au Défi éthique de CFA Societies Canada

14 June 2017 Press Releases: 

Canadian University Students Champion Ethics in Financial Markets

Les étudiants universitaires canadiens champions de l'éthique dans les marchés financiers