Standard IV(A) Clarification

Standard IV(A) referencing Independent practice says “Included in Standard IV(A) is the requirement that members and candidates abstain from independent competitive activity that could conflict with the interests of their employer.” Then immediately after states “Although Standard IV(A) does not preclude members or candidates from entering into an independent business while still employed, members and candidates who plan to engage in independent practice for compensation must notify their employer and describe the types of services they will render to prospective independent clients, the expected duration of the services, and the compensation for the services.”

So what I am asking is independent competitive practice barred under this statement, or is it allowed as long as you get approval from your employer?

My interpretation is that members or candidates may engage in independent activity so long as it is not in competition with the interests of their primary employer and have received the required approval to do so (based on sharing of the above mentioned details).

To clarify; independent competitive practice is barred. Period.

Independent non-competitive practice is allowed with approval from your employer.

Thank you for your response, this was my interpretation as well but the following example seemed to really grey the whole situation

CFAI Equity Quoted Below:

Example 8 (Competing with Current Employer):

Several employees are planning to depart their current employer within a few weeks and have been careful to not engage in any activities that would conflict with their duty to their current employer. They have just learned that one of their employer’s clients has undertaken a request for proposal (RFP) to review and possibly hire a new investment consultant. The RFP has been sent to the employer and all of its competitors. The group believes that the new entity to be formed would be qualified to respond to the RFP and be eligible for the business. The RFP submission period is likely to conclude before the employees’ resignations are effective. Is it permissible for the group of departing employees to respond to the RFP for their anticipated new firm?

Comment: A group of employees responding to an RFP that their employer is also responding to would lead to direct competition between the employees and the employer. Such conduct violates Standard IV(A) unless the group of employees receives permission from their employer as well as the entity sending out the RFP.

I would say that example is pretty black and white actually. Given that the RFP will close before the employees have resigned (i.e. while they remain employed at their current workplace), a response would be in direct competition with their current employer. If the RFP window was open until after their resignations had become effective, there would be no conflict with the Standard as they would no longer be associated with the employer (assuming they are not violating an anti-compete of course).