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News Release

CFP Board Announces New Initiatives for Initial CFP® Certification

December 29, 2014

Expanded opportunities maintain certifications high standards

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) today announced two new initiatives that strengthen the Certified Financial PlannerTM certification, provide new pathways for individuals to earn it and reflect a recognition of an evolving profession.

These initiatives as approved by the Board of Directors will take effect on or before July 1, 2015. All other
requirements for initial certification remain the same.

Financial Plan Development (“capstone”) Course Alternative.


What’s New: Applying only to candidates eligible for “challenge status” who have also met the certification’s Experience requirement, the alternative “capstone” requires submission of a comprehensive financial plan and assessment by CFP® professional reviewers.


What Stays the Same: The alternative “capstone” requirement continues to serve the purpose of assuring the public that a candidate has completed and communicated to a client a comprehensive financial plan.

Expanding the Definition of Experience Requirement to Include Support Activities.


What’s New: To recognize the breadth and depth within the financial planning profession as part of its Experience requirement, CFP Board will now review activities and responsibilities reflecting financial planning knowledge and competencies that indirectly support the financial planner and/or the financial planning process. Depending on duties and responsibilities, partial or full qualifying credit may be granted. New experience positions or duties that are eligible, such as employee benefits administration, financial planning compliance, or journalism (financial planning topics) will be considered on a case by case basis.


What Stays the Same: Candidates for certification must still meet CFP Board’s Experience requirement of three years of qualifying financial planning experience. Alternatively, candidates may choose an accelerated two-year apprenticeship Experience option, working under the direct supervision of a CFP® professional and having responsibilities in all steps of the financial planning process.


“Taken together, these initiatives now recognize the quality of experience that many aspiring CFP® professionals have in the industry, while retaining the high standards the certification is known for,” said Ray Ferrara, CFP®, Chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors. “We look forward to adding more CFP® professionals to the ranks of the more than 71,000 people who are now helping Americans each and every day with their financial futures.”