The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional credential was developed to differentiate planners who provide comprehensive, interdisciplinary planning from other professions, such as insurance agents or accountants, whose focus is narrower and reflects their particular area of expertise. CFP® candidates must complete a comprehensive university-level course of study covering all the disciplines in financial planning.
Following completion of the 6 course education requirement, candidates must pass a 10-hour examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format. The exam covers all aspects of financial planning including investment management, insurance, tax planning, retirement planning, employee benefits, estate planning, and ethics. The examination emphasizes practical applications in case scenarios to test the ability of the candidate to integrate concepts and information from all disciplines.
Before being awarded the CFP® marks of distinction, the candidate must have at least three years of experience in financial planning. The final step in the certification process is that the candidate must agree to abide by the CFP® Board of Standard's Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, which outlines the planner's professional obligations to the public and clients.
Every two years, every CFP® certificant must complete 30 hours of continuing education to stay current in the rapidly changing world of investments, taxes and laws. A portion of that continuing education must be focused on the Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.
The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ credential indicates that a planner has proven competency in all the disciplines of financial planning, has practical experience, and has committed to a high standard of professional conduct and continuing education. In short, when you hire a CFP® practitioner, you know you are hiring a generalist who is able to offer comprehensive financial planning services.
For more information please visit www.cfp.net.