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Canadian Ethics Challenge

The 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: Transparency and FairnessRegulation and Enforcement and Safeguarding the System. 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 the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program in Toronto participated. Last year, the 12 Canadian CFA Societies hosted the first Canadian Ethics Challenge.

The Ethics Challenge is designed to increase students’ awareness of the ethical dilemmas they may face as future investment management professionals. Student teams from finance or business programs are given an ethics case to study 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 with each team, the judges then select a winner. Their decision 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 Canadian Ethics Challenge can:

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

How It Works

CFA Society Toronto and CFA Society Ottawa are the co-hosts for this year's local level competition (for any Ontario based schools who are eligible to participate).

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

Preliminary Case Round (please see timeline for a chronological list of start dates and deadlines)

For the 2017-2018 season, the Ontario local level competition will have a preliminary case round if more than 4 university teams register by 13 October 2017. All registered teams will be notified on 16 October 2017 if there's a preliminary case round or not. The preliminary case will also be released to all teams on 23 October 2017.

Student teams will have two weeks or until  6 November 2017 to create a 5-7 page report. The page limit will be confirmed with all the teams at the Ethics Challenge kick-off conference call on 18 October 2017. Teams' Captains or a stand-in captain from each team is needed to attend this conference call. The report is open-end with no established format. Teams will need to use the CFA Codes of Ethics & Standards of Professional Conducts as a resource to highlight, discuss, and resolve any possible ethical issues in the preliminary case.

A panel of judges will evaluate each teams' report and notify the local level hosts by 23 November 2017 of their top 4 selections. Each team will be contacted with the judge's results and feedback on 28 November 2017.

Competition Case Round (please see timeline for a chronological list of start dates and deadlines)

The top 4 teams from the preliminary case round will receive the competition case on 8 January 2018. The teams will have 4 weeks to work on their ethics case analysis and presentation. Their final presentation is due 5 February 2018.

Teams will present their analysis and recommendations to a judging panel of CFA charterholders at the Ethics Challenge local level final on 15 February 2018. The competition is 100% presentation based; which includes: a 10 minute presentation and then 10 additional minutes to respond to questions from the judges.  

The winning team of the local level will advance to the Canadian Ethics Challenge the first week of May 2018 in Vancouver.

2018 Canadian Ethics Challenge - Official Rules

Register Your Team

A faculty adviser from your university chooses and organizes a team (3-5 members) for the local level. One team per university campus is permitted to compete. Students representing a particular campus must attend 80% of their classes at the indicated campus for the current term.

If you have questions about registering or finding a faculty member to sponsor your team, please email awards@cfatoronto.ca or call 416.366.5755 x225.

2017-2018 registration is closed!

2017-2018 Timeline

Monday, October 16, 2017
All registered teams will be notified if there will be a preliminary case round. This preliminary round will only take place if more than 4 university teams register by Friday, October 13, 2017.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 - 3-4PM

Ethics Challenge kick-off conference call with Teams' Captains. If a Team Captain is not able to attend, please find a back-up team member.

Monday, October 23, 2017 by 12PM

The local hosts will release the preliminary case to each of the teams. This again will only take place if 4 or more teams register.

Monday, November 6, 2017 by 12PM

Preliminary case analysis reports due from all teams.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Results and feedback due back from judging panel.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The local hosts will notify each team of the top 4 teams and each team will get feedback from the judging panel.


Monday, January 8, 2018 by 12PM

The local hosts will release the competition case to each of the top 4 teams. Teams will get 4 weeks to work on their case analysis and presentations.

Monday, February 5, 2018 by 12PM

Deadline for teams to turn in their final case presentations. Please see rules and guidelines for the PowerPoint format.

Thursday, February 8, 2018 (updated as of 6 Oct 17)
Ethics Challenge local competition to be held in Downtown Toronto.

First week of May
Canadian Ethics Challenge competition to be held in Vancouver. For more information, please visit CFA Societies Canada Canadian Ethics Challenge site.


Past Winners

1-19-17 EC Use - Resized
2017 Local Winners:Queen's University

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