CFP® professionals are dedicated to using the financial planning process to serve the financial needs of individuals, families and businesses. Most CFP professionals have earned a four-year college degree in a finance-related field and have completed a course of study in financial planning approved by CFP Board. To earn the prestigious CFP® certification and remain certified as a CFP professional, individuals must meet four main requirements.
ExaminationCERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals must successfully complete CFP Board's comprehensive certification examination, which tests an individual's knowledge on various key aspects of financial planning.
ExperienceCERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals must have a minimum of three years of experience in the financial planning process prior to earning the right to use the CFP® certification marks.
EthicsCERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals must voluntarily ascribe to CFP Board's Code of Ethics and additional requirements as mandated. CFP Board's Code of Ethics outlines CFP® professionals' obligations to uphold principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism and diligence. And the Rules of Conduct require CFP® professionals to put your interests ahead of their own at all times and to provide their financial planning services as a "fiduciary" — acting in the best interest of their financial planning clients.
EducationCFP® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a personal financial planning curriculum approved by the CFP Board. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years to stay current in financial planning knowledge, including ethics.
CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame logo) are certification marks owned by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.
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