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Canadian Ethics Challenge

CFA Society Toronto Ethics Challenge Local Competition

The Canadian 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. CFA Society Toronto and CFA Society Ottawa are the co-hosts for this year's local competition for those Ontario universities or colleges who are eligible to participate.

The Canadian 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 economics 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 at the Canadian Ethics Challenge local competition.  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 winning teams from each Canadian Ethics Challenge local competition advances onto the national Canadian Ethics Challenge administered by CFA Societies Canada.

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

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.  We ask that at least one representative attend the Canadian Ethics Challenge local competition kickoff event listed in the competition timeline. 

Preliminary Case Round

For the 2018-2019 season, the local level competition will have a preliminary case round if more than 4 university or college teams register by TBD October 2018. All registered teams will be notified on TBD October 2018 if there will be a preliminary case round or not.  If required, the preliminary case will be released to all teams on TBD October 2018.

Student teams will have until TBD November 2018 to create a report highlighting the case's ethical infractions and the team's recommendations. Teams will use the CFA Codes of Ethics & Standards of Professional Conducts as a guiding resource for their analysis.

The report can be structured however the team would like, but cannot exceed 3,000 words (roughly 6 pages single spaced, 12 pages double spaced.

A panel of judges will evaluate each teams' report and all of the participating teams will be contacted on TBD November 2018 with the top 4 scoring teams. The top 4 teams will be eligible to move onto the competition case round.

Competition Case Round

The top 4 teams from the preliminary case round will receive the competition case on TBD January 2019. Teams will have 4 weeks to work on their ethics case analysis and presentation. Their final presentation and executive summary (see official rules for guidelines) is due TBD February 2019.

Teams will present their analysis and recommendations to a judging panel of CFA charterholders at the CFA Society Toronto Ethics Challenge local competition on TBD February 2019. The competition is 100% presentation format; which includes a 10-minute presentation and additional 10-minute question and answer period with the judges.

The winning team of the local level will advance to the Canadian Ethics Challenge the TBD May 2019.

2018 Canadian Ethics Challenge - Official Rules

See Information VideoSee Current & Past Winners

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 must attend at least 80% of their classes at the particular campus to represent that campus.  For the Canadian Ethics Challenge, students must be 1) enrolled by the registration deadline date, 2) enrolled when the preliminary case study, if needed, is released, and 3) enrolled when the competition case study is released. Students can have full or part-time status.

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

Registration will open soon!

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.


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