Become a CFP® Professional

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Where can I find a CFP Board-Registered Program?

There are more than 300 education programs registered with CFP Board, housed at more than 200 different institutions of higher education. A list of CFP Board-Registered Programs can be generated by state, type (certificate, baccalaureate, graduate) and delivery method from CFP Board’s website.

Find a CFP Board-Registered Program

2. I completed a CFP Board-Registered Program several years ago, before the current lists of Principal Topics and Job Task Domains were in place.  Does my coursework still meet CFP Board's requirement?

Yes, as long as the college or university CFP Board-Registered Program still grants credit for the program completion. CFP Board must accept the decision of the college or university. If you only completed some of the courses and not the entire CFP Board-Registered Program, you might want to consider the Transcript Review option.

3. Can I submit older credits from education programs that are not CFP-Board Registered for credit towards the coursework requirement?

Education institutions’ policies vary regarding the expiration date of coursework credits. Thus, your previous credits, though expired by the institution, may still be applicable towards meeting the CFP® certification coursework requirement. You can determine if previously taken courses can be credited towards the education requirement through a CFP Board Transcript Review.

4. Who is required to take the Financial Plan Development (Capstone) course?

All students of CFP Board-Registered Programs whose initial dates of matriculation (initial enrollment) occur on or after January 1, 2012 are required to take the financial plan development (Capstone) course. Individuals who register to take the CFP® exam under “Challenge Status” or “Transcript Review” are required to take the capstone course if their first sitting for the exam is March 2012 or later. Individuals who enroll in multiple registered programs will be required to take the course if they enrolled in their latest program after January 1, 2012, regardless of when they began their first program.

5. When should the Financial Plan Development (Capstone) course be completed?

This course should be completed at the end of one’s program of study, as the course is designed to require integration and application of content across all financial planning subject areas.

6. Where can I take the Financial Plan Develoment (Capstone) course?

All CFP Board-Registered Programs have registered a capstone course with CFP Board. Please contact CFP Board-Registered Programs directly for information on the dates and times of their capstone course offerings.

Find a CFP Board-Registered Program

7. How do I report completion of the Financial Plan Development (Capstone) course?

When you complete an application for the CFP® Certification Examination, you will be asked to provide information about how you completed CFP Board’s education requirement, including completion of the capstone course, if applicable. Acceptable documentation of capstone course completion includes a transcript, score report or letter of completion from the CFP Board-Registered Program where you completed the capstone course. Documentation must include the date of course completion and identification of the institution at which you completed the course.

8. If I took the November 2011 or an earlier exam and did not pass, will I need to take the capstone course before re-taking the exam?

No. Individuals who previously sat for an exam will not be required to take the capstone course in order to re-take the exam.

9. Does CFP Board offer a review course to assist with exam preparation?

CFP Board does not offer a review course for the CFP® certification exam. However, for the convenience of those interested in pursuing certification, CFP Board has compiled list of exam review course providers. These courses and their providers are not endorsed or recommended by CFP Board. Additional exam review course providers can be found by searching online.

10. I have a question that isn't answered here.  How can I get an answer?

Please contact CFP Board's dedicated Support Specialist team at 800-487-1497 or mail@cfpboard.org.

Exam Dates

Upcoming:

The CFP® exam is transitioning to a computer-based format beginning in November 2014. Learn more.

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Most Recent Exam:

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The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings & investments than those who have not.

Employment for personal financial advisors is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2020. Bureau of Labor Statistics

In a March 2012 survey of American consumers, 60% indicated they would benefit from the counsel of a financial planner or advisor.

If you hold one of several degrees, licenses or credentials, you can take the CFP® Exam after completing a single capstone course.

Achieve the certification that is rapidly becoming the industry standard: CFP® certification.

Professionals who have already earned their CFP® certification have enjoyed an average income increase of 30%.

Demand for personal financial advisors is expected to grow 41% by 2016, according to Money Magazine and Payscale.com.

More clients who work with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared those who work with an advisor without certification.

If you're up for the challenge of helping people achieve their financial goals, financial planning is the career for you.

Classroom or online learning? Full-time or part-time studies? There are CFP Board-Registered Programs designed to meet your needs.