Skip to main content
News Release

CFP Board Raises Education Standards With Adoption of “Financial Plan Development” Course Requirement

March 08, 2010

Washington, DC, March 9, 2010 – Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (“CFP Board”) has adopted a new Financial Plan Development Course requirement that raises the education standards for the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification.

Following implementation of the new requirement at educational programs registered with CFP Board, individuals who wish to attain CFP® certification will be required to demonstrate their ability to prepare and deliver a comprehensive financial plan through completion of this new course.

“The new requirement will provide a better opportunity for CFP Board and financial planning educators to assess the ability of students to deliver professional and competent financial planning services to the public,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller. “Through this additional course, which is designed to bridge the gap between theory and practice, aspiring CFP® professionals will put to work the full financial planning process and demonstrate their ability to communicate effectively and meet the needs of their clients.”

Keller added: “The Board’s adoption of the Financial Plan Development Course requirement is recognition of the increasing importance of preparing future financial planning professionals not only with technical financial planning knowledge, but also the skills to integrate, apply and communicate this knowledge to their clients. Through this new course requirement, future CFP® professionals will have proven their ability to apply the financial planning process to real-life situations, as well as their ability to communicate their planning recommendations to a client.”

The concept for the new Financial Plan Development Course requirement was developed over several years and released for public comment in 2009. Additional information regarding the scope of the new course requirement and the timetable for its implementation will be outlined in the coming weeks by CFP Board.

CFP Board’s education standards are designed to provide individuals with the core knowledge needed to practice personal financial planning. Individuals seeking CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification are required to complete coursework that covers the seven major financial planning areas – general principles of financial planning, insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning – or hold qualifications CFP Board considers as a fair equivalent to the required coursework.

A total of 348 educational programs at 221 institutions across the country offer financial planning curricula registered with CFP Board. Individuals who complete the course of study offered by one of these programs (“CFP Board-Registered Programs”) satisfy the coursework component of CFP Board’s certification requirements and become eligible to apply to take the CFP® Certification Examination.

Many CFP Board-Registered Programs currently offer courses that require students to integrate the financial planning topics through practical application, such as demonstrating their ability to address comprehensive financial planning case studies or to apply an integrated understanding of financial planning topics to other client-centered activities. These components have come to be viewed widely as best practices.

About CFP Board: The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board’s mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® certificants and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 60,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States. For more about CFP Board, visit

# # #
CFP® - The Recognized Standard of Excellence in Personal Financial Planning