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News Release

CFP Board Announces Initiatives to Improve Quality of Continuing Education for CFP® Professionals

November 12, 2013

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. announced today a suite of new initiatives to improve the quality of continuing education (CE) for CFP® professionals that will help ensure their continuing competency in providing financial planning services to the public.

At its November meeting the Board of Directors unanimously approved a multi-year plan to upgrade the quality of CE that will engage the CFP Board staff, Council on Education, CE Sponsors registered with CFP Board and CFP® professionals. The plan does not, at this time, include CFP Board developing and delivering CE programs.

“CFP® professionals need to have access to the highest quality continuing education programs,” said Board of Directors Chair Nancy Kistner, CFP®. “The establishment of appropriate standards for and delivery of continuing education are inherent in CFP Board’s mission to benefit the public. And we believe these initiatives will elevate the quality of continuing education opportunities for CFP® professionals in all delivery formats.”

As part of their certification, CFP® professionals are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education coursework every two years prior to re-certifying. Of these 30 hours, two of them must be on CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct. There are currently over 1,400 CE sponsors offering more than 15,000 CE programs registered with CFP Board on an annual basis, of which 60 are focused on CFP Board’s ethical and practice standards.

Over the next three to five years, CFP Board will be working to align CE for CFP® professionals with CE standards and program review processes currently used by the established professions. CFP Board’s implementation of this program will include a number of short- and long-term initiatives to be implemented in partnership with CFP® professionals and CE Sponsors registered with CFP Board, including:

  • A complaint procedure for CFP® professionals to report issues with CE programs;
  • Updates to the registration processes for CE Sponsors and CE programs to establish heightened expectations and quality standards, provide clear learning objectives, and define instructor criteria;
  • Enhanced auditing of CE programs by CFP Board staff, with increased focus on issues related to complaints received from CFP® professionals;
  • Collaboration with CE Sponsors to redirect the culture of the CE business to focus on quality;
  • A recognition program for CE programs that meet high quality standards and receive positive feedback from CFP® professionals; and
  • Updates to CFP® professionals on the aggregate results of CFP Board’s auditing of CE programs.

“We have heard from CFP® professionals and CE program providers alike that we need to improve the quality of continuing education. We are dedicated to making this happen and have set an aggressive course to meet this goal,” said Kevin R. Keller, CAE, CFP Board’s Chief Executive Officer.