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News Release

CFP Board Achieves Milestone with 20th Year of NCCA Reaccreditation for CFP® Certification Program

April 01, 2015

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) today announced its financial planning certification program has been awarded accreditation by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) for a 5-year period. This marks the 20th consecutive year that the CFP® certification program has maintained continuous compliance with NCCA’s accreditation standards.

Accreditation provides impartial, third-party validation and recognition that the certification program has met national credentialing industry standards for the development, implementation, and maintenance of a professional certification program.

“Given the alphabet soup of financial services industry credentials, it is vital for consumers to be able to differentiate among the various certifications and designations.   Accreditation by an independent organization is a sign that the public can rely upon to determine the value of a certification since all certification programs are not created equal,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “We are proud that our CFP® certification program has been once again recognized by NCCA for meeting the highest standards for credentialing programs.”

CFP Board first received accreditation from the National Organization for Competency Assurance (now the NCCA Commission) in 1995. To achieve NCCA accreditation recognition, certification programs must demonstrate compliance with the established standards for best practices in credentialing.  (Additional information about NCCA Accreditation is available on their

Michele Warholic, CAE, Managing Director for Examinations, Education and Talent, noted that certification program accreditation serves a different purpose than education program accreditation. Among the rigorous standards the CFP® professional certification program meets are:

  • CFP® examination and education requirements are based on a year-long job analysis research study, which engages financial planning practitioners and educators. This process ensures that the vetting process for CFP® professionals’ competency remains current and legally defensible. 
  • Policies and procedures for initial certification and renewal are well documented, publicly posted and administered by qualified personnel.
  • The Board of Directors includes both CFP® professionals and members of the public.

A comprehensive submission and peer review process is required every five years, Warholic said, while a more limited review occurs annually to ensure ongoing compliance. CFP Board is an active member of ICE, the Institute for Credentialing Excellence, which promotes best practices for the credentialing industry.