About CFP Board

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Volunteer Opportunities

The work of CFP Board benefits greatly from the contributions of CFP® professionals and other stakeholders, and there are many opportunities for CFP® professionals and others to become involved with CFP Board in meaningful and rewarding ways. If you decide to volunteer for one or more of these activities, please understand that some of these opportunities are served in terms, and others will add you to a database where you may be selected as opportunities arise. If you have questions or comments, please e-mail volunteer@cfpboard.org.

Complete the Online Volunteer Registration Form

Board of Directors

The Opportunity
Board Directors, as members of the strategic governing body of the organization, have a significant opportunity to help lead the organization to effectively meet the needs of the stakeholders of the organization and further the benefits to the public by ensuring the CFP® certification is upheld as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning.

Role of the Board of Directors
The Board of Directors, as the strategic governing body of the organization, is responsible for furthering CFP Board’s mission and acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. It is the policy-making and oversight body of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., the independent certifying, standards setting, marks issuing and disciplinary body which owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and certification marks in the U.S. and regulates their use in the public interest.

Governance Philosophy
CFP Board governance policies outline the dynamics of the Board’s relationship to staff and the Board’s delegation and monitoring responsibilities. The Board determines what authority it will hold and what authority it will delegate. The method of delegation is a formal, circular process that includes clear roles and accountabilities. First, the Board defines outcomes to be achieved. Next, the Board defines the boundaries of ethical and prudent operational behaviors and conditions in policy, which serve as the Executive Limitations. Then the Board assigns these expectations (outcomes and boundaries as defined in policy) to the CEO and formally and rigorously monitors the CEO’s performance against those expectations.

Responsibilities
Board Directors work with the Chair, the CEO and other Directors to provide strategic leadership for the CFP Board. Board Directors should be committed to attending Board and Committee meetings. The Board of Director has 3 regularly scheduled meetings each year in March, July and November. Board Directors are also assigned to at least one committee. The Board has Audit & Finance, Appeals, Governance and Nominating Committees. Committee meetings are generally scheduled by phone or around board meetings.

Competencies
Candidates for Board Director will demonstrate competency in such areas as: working collaboratively, productively and effectively as a group member; bringing a strategic, forward looking perspective; intellectual curiosity and innovative thinking; critical thinking; resiliency; personal accountability; leadership and organization and finance practices.

Term of Office and Board Composition
Board Directors serve a four-year term. A majority of Board Directors members must be CFP® professionals.

Application
Those interested in being considered as a Director on CFP Board's Board of Directors may obtain more detailed information on this opportunity by reviewing the Board Director Position Description and Candidate Specifications document (PDF, 65KB), then downloading and printing the Board Director Volunteer Application Form (PDF, 419KB – Remember to save the PDF document to your computer before filling it out).  Completed forms may be sent to CFP Board by fax or mail.

Learn more about the current members of CFP Board's Board of Directors

Council on Education

Role of the Council on Education
The Council on Education was established in 2008 to advise CFP Board staff on the development and clarification of all educational policies related to the CFP® certification process. The Council provides input on policies that relate to CFP Board-Registered Programs, Continuing Education Sponsors, Review Course Providers, and the Model Curriculum.

Composition and Terms of Office
The Council is composed of seven members and includes representatives from the academic community, directors of CFP Board-Registered financial planning education programs and certification experts. A majority of Council members must hold CFP® certification. Council members serve staggered terms of three years, and each year a Chair and Chair-designee are appointed.

Areas of Responsibility
Business conducted during Council on Education meetings includes discussion of policies that relate to CFP Board-Registered Programs, the Model Curriculum, Continuing Education Sponsors, Continuing Education requirements, Review Course Providers, the implementation of an education program Peer Review Process and other programs related to financial planning education.

To volunteer to serve on CFP Board's Council on Education, please submit an Online Volunteer Registration Form.

Learn more about the current members of CFP Board's Council on Education

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Council on Examinations

Role of the Council on Examinations
The Council on Examinations is a volunteer group of CFP® professionals that serves as primary subject matter experts for the CFP® Certification Examination and provides CFP Board with recommendations regarding the development, administration and scoring of the exam consistent with best practices in high stakes testing and certification organizations.  Generally, individuals selected to serve on the Council on Examinations have previously participated in other exam-related volunteer activities.

Composition and Terms of Office
This Council is composed of six or seven members and has typically included both financial planning practitioners and financial planning educators. All members of the Council on Examinations must be at least 18 years of age, and the majority of the Council must be CFP® professionals. Each member of the Council on Examinations normally serves a three-year term. A four-year term is possible if designated to the role of Chair in the third year. In selecting Council members, attention is paid to ensuring that the Council, as a whole, possesses the needed expertise and diversity within the Job Task Domains that comprise financial planning as defined by the most recent job analysis.

Areas of Responsibility
Business conducted during the "in-person" Council on Examinations meetings include discussion of relevant business issues, review of the upcoming CFP® Certification Examination and activities required to maintain and enhance the test question bank. In addition, Council members participate in three conference calls per year following each CFP® Certification Examination and other conference calls, as needed, to conduct CFP Board business.

Council on Examinations members are also encouraged to attend at least one additional activity per year. This could be the annual CFP Board Registered Program Conference that is attended by directors and faculty of CFP Board-Registered Programs, or it could be an item writing session.

To volunteer to serve on CFP Board's Council on Examinations, please submit an Online Volunteer Registration Form.

Learn more about the current members of CFP Board's Council on Examinations

Exam Development Volunteers

Exam Content Specialists or Subject Matter Experts
Volunteers selected to represent the demographics of the CFP® professional population who work alongside current Council on Examinations to review all the questions and cases proposed for the upcoming exam. Volunteers work through the exam question by question with Council members and decide if questions are fair, appropriate, current and accurate.

Item Writers
Volunteers are selected to create multiple-choice questions to be submitted for use on future CFP® Certification Examinations. Item writing workshops are generally conducted over two days at in-person meetings where they receive some training and then brainstorm and create items in small groups.

Job Analysis Task Force and Standard Setting Group
The Job Analysis Study is conducted approximately every five years, and an ad hoc volunteer Job Analysis Task Force is established to create a survey and help interpret the survey results in order to amend the exam blueprint. A second volunteer group, selected to match demographic targets from a random sample, known as the Standard Setting Group, is then assembled to take the first version of the new exam format of the CFP® Certification Examination and participate in a Standard Setting exercise.  The Standard Setting Exercise, led by a psychometrician, is a process that generates the data necessary to determine a new pass, or cut score.  The cut score is used as a benchmark for all subsequent exam administrations until the next Job Analysis is conducted.

Submit an Online Volunteer Registration Form.

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Disciplinary and Ethics Commission

Role of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission
The Disciplinary and Ethics Commission is responsible for interpreting and applying the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards to specific fact situations involving CFP® professionals and imposing, where necessary, the appropriate discipline.

Composition and Terms of Office
The Disciplinary and Ethics Commission is composed of up to nine full members. Members serve a four-year term.

Areas of Responsibility
Disciplinary and Ethics Commission members are expected to meet three times a year to conduct disciplinary hearings and to participate in business meetings to discuss issues relevant to CFP Board's disciplinary process. Commission members may also be required to participate in conference calls throughout the year, as scheduled. Materials related to disciplinary cases are sent three weeks prior to the hearing dates. Commission members are expected to review their respective case materials so that they are prepared to fully participate in hearings and Commission deliberations. The Disciplinary and Ethics Commission may make recommendations to the Board of Directors on issues related to professional review and the disciplinary process.

Learn more about the current members of CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission

Disciplinary and Ethics Commission Volunteers
The Disciplinary and Ethics Commission is always in need of CFP® professionals who are willing to volunteer their time to assist with the disciplinary hearings by serving on hearing panels. All volunteers are required to participate in a full-day orientation session, typically conducted the day before hearings begin, prior to participating in any hearings. Serving as a volunteer is a good way for CFP® professionals who are interested in serving on the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission as a voting member, to become acquainted with the disciplinary process and to be introduced to current Commission members. Moreover, participation as a volunteer is a prerequisite to obtaining a position with the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission. 

All prospective members of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission must have a minimum of 5 years as a CFP® professional and no disciplinary history to be eligible to serve as a hearing panel volunteer.

To volunteer to work with CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission by serving on hearing panels, please submit an Online Volunteer Registration Form.

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Public Policy Council

Role of the Public Policy Council
The Public Policy Council serves an advisory role on public policy issues affecting CFP Board, its certificants and members of the public.

Composition and Terms of Office
This Council will be composed of up to eight members, including at least two CFP® professionals and two members of the Board of Directors. The remaining members of the Council may be “public” members, defined as individuals who do not provide financial planning services, brokerage services and/or investment advisory services to clients. A public member may include an individual who has expertise in public affairs, advocacy and lobbying; legislation and policymaking; and/or regulation and rulemaking. Members of the Public Policy Council will normally serve a three-year term. A four-year term is possible if designated to the role of Chair in the third year.

Areas of Responsibility
The Public Policy Council is expected to meet in person at least four times a year. Business conducted during the "in-person" meetings will include discussion of relevant business issues, identification of significant public policy issues, prioritization of issues, and development of policy position statements for consideration and adoption by CFP Board’s Board of Directors.

Learn more about the current members of CFP Board's Public Policy Council

To volunteer to serve on CFP Board's Public Policy Council, please submit an Online Volunteer Registration Form.

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Expectations

What is Expected of Those Serving on the Board, Councils and Commission

  • Each person selected to serve as a member of any Board, Council or Commission is required to complete a detailed Conflict of Interest Questionnaire and sign a Confidentiality Statement prior to service.
  • Members are responsible for reading and considering a significant amount of material distributed prior to each in-person meeting.
  • Members are expected to attend each meeting and be prepared to discuss all the issues on the agenda, and to make informed decisions.
  • Members are expected to stay informed of the current business of their respective Board, Council or Commission and to be involved in its processes.
  • Members are expected to read and respond as appropriate to mailings, fax and e-mail communications from CFP Board's office and other Board, Council or Commission members.
  • Members represent CFP Board within their respective professions and communities; they are expected to remain in good standing in their respective communities.

The Board of Directors, Councils and Commission meet in person at least three times a year and by conference call, as needed. Board of Directors meetings usually begin on a Thursday and conclude with dinner Friday evening, with members of the Board returning home on Saturday. Council and Commission meetings generally include a Saturday meeting with members returning home on Sunday. CFP Board underwrites travel expenses in accordance with established policy.

Social occasions, such as dinners with other members, are scheduled and budgeted as an integral part of each meeting for the purpose of encouraging informal interaction and exchange of ideas among members and senior management. The benefits to CFP Board of these networking opportunities are great. For that reason, members should make every effort to take part in these events.

Because Board, Council and Commission members are chosen to serve, in part, based on their unique background and perspective, it is essential that each member be an active, full participant in the processes that are central to the role of the specific Board, Council or Commission. Because it is the purpose of CFP Board to serve the public interest, it is essential that each member commit to placing the public interest and the interests of CFP Board ahead of all other considerations which might motivate them to serve, and that each member continue to serve in that spirit.

If any of the duties and responsibilities of service are unclear now or during the term of service, it is the responsibility of the individual member to ask questions of the Chair of the Board or CEO of CFP Board in order to get the information required.

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Did You Know?

Among clients who work with an advisor, 87% of those working with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared with 72% of those who work with an advisor without certification.
Anyone can call himself a “financial planner.” Only professionals who meet CFP Board’s rigorous standards can call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.
The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings and investments than those without a plan.
Putting Your Needs First
CFP Board requires CFP® professionals to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own at all times.