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ANSI Recognized as Accreditation Organization under New Rules to Protect Senior Investors

New York, Jun 07, 2007

In a crackdown on what the Massachusetts Securities Division calls a “marked increase” in the use of purported professional designations targeting senior citizens, Massachusetts adopted last month the nation's first senior financial designation regulations. By requiring investment advisers and broker-dealers for elderly Americans to prove that they have been properly trained and certified, the regulations protect senior investors from misleading titles and unethical business practices.

Under the new law, Massachusetts will allow only credentials accredited by a nationally recognized accreditation agency. In an order issued last week by Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts William F. Galvin, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) received recognition to act as an accreditation organization under the new rules.

The regulations govern use of credentials and professional designations that use words such as “senior,” “retirement,” or “elder” in combination with “certified,” “adviser” or “specialist” to imply a special certification or training in advising or servicing investors over sixty-five.

“It has been estimated that there are over 3,000 organizations that describe themselves as certification programs, yet few of them actually meet nationally or internationally accepted certification standards,” said Lane Hallenbeck, ANSI vice president of accreditation services in comments submitted in response to a prior draft of the proposed regulation. “Recognizing accreditation by ANSI or others that rely upon a national standard or an internationally accepted standard for accreditation (ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024) is certainly one of the best methods for protecting the public in these matters.”

The administrative record detailing the reasons for the senior financial designation regulations can be found here.

ANSI is an internationally recognized accrediting body that offers name recognition and prestige for certification programs in the United States. ANSI accreditation also aids those seeking to gain a foothold in the global certification market. For more information on ANSI’s accreditation services, please click here.

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