April 29, 2017

Rating Usage Guidelines

Permitted and Non-Permitted Uses of the APS™ Rating Marks (“Marks”)

The APS™ Ratings marks are service marks owned by APS, LLC.

These marks provide a recognizable standard which can be used to determine if an advisor has knowledge (and how much knowledge) in the area of “asset protection planning.”

While there is no “separate” mark indicating that a rated advisor meets an ethical standard, part of the review process involves an ethics component and, therefore, if an advisor issues a mark, the public knows that the advisor adheres to an ethical standard of practice.
Permitted Uses by Rated Advisors
Rated advisors and firms may use the APS™ Marks “A,” “AA,” or “AAA” alone or with any combination with “O” and “G” in the following manner:

Printed Communications *

-resumes or curricula vitae
-Firm or individual letterhead
-business cards
-professional announcements
-listings in other directories

Internet applications


-APS™ web-site
-Email communications
-Internet banner advertisements

If advisors choose to use their “Rating” on any of the above listed options, they must list somewhere on the communication the following:

The X (fill in the appropriate rating) rating designated to Y (fill in name) has been granted by the Asset Protection Society (APS™).  The APS™ ratings reflect the confidential opinions of its advisory board.

For example:

The “AOG” rating designated to John Smith has been granted by the Asset Protection Society (APS™).  The APS™ ratings reflect the confidential opinions of its advisory board.

The minimum font size for the above required language is 8 point type.

For web-sites, the statement shall be listed at the bottom of the home page.

The only exception to this rule is for advisors who have their security license through a Broker Dealer.  For said advisors, the BD shall be made aware of the rating and the process shall be started by the advisor to have the BD approve the mark for use on the above listed publication.

* Please note, business cards are not required to include the Certification Mark Reference or Rating Explanation; however, this information must be posted on other Printed Communications or Internet Applications offered by the Rated advisor.

Non-permitted uses

All other uses of the rating marks issue by the APS™ shall be prohibited.

When to Contact The APS™ about a mark?

If the APS™ Ratings Marks are to be used in a format that is not identified above as a permitted usage, then the user must contact the APS™to obtain written permission prior to use. Permission will be predicated upon the specific guidelines/format set forth by the APS™. Permission may be revoked at any time for failure to comply with said specific guidelines/format or for any reason within the discretion of the APS™ as the entity responsible for the protection of the certification marks.
Questions about the APS™ Ratings system, use of the Marks or required language needed for the publications listed above can be sent by email to Email Us“>Email Us.