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Oregon Eyes Designations

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Regulators in a Northwestern state have filed proposed rules that would control financial professionals’ use of credentials in sales and marketing efforts.

The Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services wants to keep sales reps from saying they are experts when they have little or no professional training to back up the credentials, officials say.

The officials note that holders of some professional credentials, such as the Chartered Life Underwriter designation, go through extensive training and testing programs.

The proposed rules would prohibit reps from “using credentials that are non-existent or self-conferred, or from organizations that primarily teach sales/marketing, do not take steps to ensure students are competent, do not monitor and discipline students for improper conduct, [or] do not have reasonable continuing education requirements,” officials say.

Reps could face civil penalties of up to $20,000 for using designations that are not backed by reputable organizations with stringent requirements, officials say.

The Oregon department will hold a hearing on the proposed rules Oct. 22.

More information about the hearing is available here.