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.” It fulfills this mission by promoting best practices in the investment profession and preparing students for the ethical dilemmas they may face in their careers.

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 university 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 as investment management professionals. Teams consisting of students from finance or business programs (usually 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 quality of the team’s understanding of the ethical issues involved, their recommendations, and the quality of their analysis, presentation, and responses to the judges’ questions.

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 (Saskatchewan and Manitoba), 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 in virtually in early May 2024.

In the national round, students will have 23 hours to work on a new ethics case and will then submit a video recording of their presentation. Following the judges’ review of each recorded presentation, Q&A will be conducted with each team live in front of the panel of judges. Following the presentations and judges deliberation, 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​.​

2023-2024 Timeline

October 31, 2023 Competing universities must confirm participation in the CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge with the local host (local CFA Society).
November 30, 2023 Registration deadline for students and faculty advisors.
Mid-December to
Mid-January, 2024
Competition kick-off with an interactive ethical decision making ​online program from CFA Institute.​
January, 2024 The host Society will distribute an identical ethics case study to all registered competing universities (four weeks prior to Local Competition)
February 3, 2024 Local CFA Society Winnipeg Competition (Manitoba & Saskatchewan)
May 3, 2024 2024 CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge – National Round held virtually where finalists from across Canada compete for the national title.​
The National Round will also include a student symposium which is open to both competing and all other interested students.