University Relations
CFA Societies Ethics Challenge

CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge 

2021 CFA Society Toronto 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

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 2020-2021 season, the local level competition will have a preliminary case round if more than 4 university or college teams register by 31 October 2020. All registered teams will be notified on 3 November 2020 if there will be a preliminary case round or not. If required, the preliminary case will be released to all teams on 23 November, 2020
Student teams will 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 content must be 11-point, Arial font, double-spaced, and cannot exceed 5 pages. 
A panel of judges will evaluate each teams' report and all of the participating teams will be contacted with the top 4 scoring teams. The top 4 teams will move onto the competition case round. The competition is 100% presentation based; which includes: a 10-minute presentation and then 10 additional minutes to respond to questions from the judges.

Competition Case Round

The top 4 teams from the preliminary case round will receive the competition case on 14 January 2021. 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) due date is 07 February 2021. 
Teams will present their analysis and recommendations to a judging panel of CFA charterholders at the CFA Society Toronto Ethics Challenge local competition on 11 February 2021. 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 national competition held on 7 May 2021. 

2021 CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge - Official Rules / Règles officielles

2020-2021 Timeline



October 31, 2020

Competing universities must confirm participation in the CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge.

November 30, 2020

Registration deadline for students and faculty advisors.

14 January 2021

CFA Society Toronto 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 via faculty advisor)

11 February 2021

2021 CFA Society Toronto Ethics Challenge.

7 May 2021

2021 CFA Societies Canada Ethics Challenge - National Round held virtually where finalists from across Canada compete for the national title.

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. Students can have full or part-time status. For the Canadian Ethics Challenge, students must be enrolled when the preliminary case study, if needed, is released.

If you have questions about registering or finding a faculty advisor for your team, please click here.


Applications are now closed.

See Information VideoSee Current & Past Winners


CFA Society Toronto aims to create meaningful partnerships with local universities, colleges, and their programs through its outreach, ambassador, and sponsorship programs.

Learn more about our various university relations initiatives

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