Become a CFP® Professional


Continuing Education

If you do not complete the CFP® certification process within 12 months of passing the CFP® Certification Examination, you begin to accrue a continuing education requirement at a rate of 15 CE hours per year. This accrual begins 13 months after passing the exam and continues until the Experience and bachelor’s degree requirements have been fulfilled. If you have begun to accrue a pre-certification CE requirement, you may report CE hours online by logging in to your CFP Board account.

Find CE Programs registered with CFP Board

Login to Report Completed CE Programs


Frequently Asked Questions

1. What are the general criteria for pre-certification CE?

Pre-certification CE requirements are similar to the CE requirements for CFP® professionals. Additional information can be found on the Continuing Education section of this website. In general, CE hours must meet the following criteria:

  • CE hours must be earned anytime between passing the CFP® Certification Examination and six months after fulfilling the work experience requirement.
  • CE hours must address one or more topics identified in CFP Board's Job Task Domains or Principal Topics.
  • CE hours can be earned by attending CE programs registered with CFP Board. Find a list of registered CE sponsors and CE programs at CE programs not registered with CFP Board may be accepted for CE hours but are first subject to review and acceptance by CFP Board. CE programs not registered with CFP Board are subject to a nonrefundable $25 per program processing fee to cover the cost of review.
  • Completion of a course on CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct is NOT a requirement for pre-certification CE.

CE hours earned to meet the pre-certification CE requirement cannot be carried forward to meet the renewal requirements for the CFP® certification.

2. If I exceed 15 CE hours during a year, can I carry any excess hours over to the next year?

Yes. CE hours in excess of the 15 hours required for the calendar year may be carried over to subsequent calendar years prior to certification.

3. What happens if I do not have the required 15 CE hours within a specified year?

The 15 CE hour requirement is not year specific, but more of a guide. If you do not gain 15 hours within one calendar year, you can pick the hours up the next year or at any time during the candidacy period.

4. I am already required to earn continuing education for a professional license. Can these CE hours be counted?

Yes, if the courses are taken to maintain state or federal licensing in fields closely related to financial planning (e.g. accounting, insurance, securities and law) and they meet CFP Board's CE requirements. CE programs not registered with CFP Board are subject to a nonrefundable $25 per program processing fee to cover the cost of review.

5. Can I earn CE hours for obtaining a professional license or designation in a field closely related to financial planning?

Passing the exam(s) for earning certain professional licenses and designations is accepted by CFP Board for CE hours. Generate a list of the licenses/designations that CFP Board accepts for CE hours by visiting and using the search term "Designations and Licenses." Completion of examinations for these licenses and designations may be reported online using the CE sponsor name "Designations and Licenses" and selecting the appropriate designation or license from the list.

6. How is the number of CE hours determined for a program?

One CE hour equals one hour of class time (50 minutes). Credit for self-study programs is based upon the recommended hours of completion by the CE sponsor.

Credit for teaching is accepted on the first presentation only per CE reporting period on the basis of two CE credits for each hour of class presentation time up to a maximum of 50 percent of the reporting period requirement.

Credit for authorship of a publication may be given, up to a maximum of 50 percent of the requirement, provided that the publication is first submitted to and approved by CFP Board.

7. Are there any limits to the number of CE hours that can be earned by one program or type of program?

Yes. CE hours earned for teaching or authorship of a publication may not exceed 50 percent of the total CE requirement. Otherwise, CE hours may be earned from any registered CE program or any non-registered CE program meeting CFP Board's CE requirements (provided that any non-registered programs are reported online with a nonrefundable $25 processing fee per program).

8. Where can I find a list of CE Sponsors?

Lists of CE Sponsors registered with CFP Board and the programs they have registered with CFP Board can be generated on CFP Board's website at Lists of CE sponsors can be selected by course type (classroom or self-study), city, state or sponsor name.

9. How are CE hours reported?

Most CE sponsors registered with CFP Board report attendance directly to CFP Board. However, it is your responsibility to keep track of the hours you complete during your pre-certification period. Obtain documentation of the programs as they are completed (e.g., certificate of attendance, certificate of completion, transcript, etc.). If a sponsor fails to report to CFP Board the credits you have taken, you should report them by logging in to your account at Documentation should not be sent to CFP Board unless specifically requested.

10. What if I haven't accumulated all of the required CE hours?

Certification will not take place until you have fulfilled and reported your entire CE requirement. If you do not complete the CE requirement within six months from the date you fulfill the work experience requirement, in order to obtain CFP® certification you will be required to retake and pass the CFP® Certification Examination and meet the certification requirements in place at the time you submit a new CFP® Certification Examination application. Exceptions, due to extenuating circumstances, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

11. Are waivers ever granted?

Requests for waiver of the pre-certification CE requirement due to extenuating circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Written requests must be made to CFP Board by email to, by fax to 202-379-2299 or by mail to:

CFP Board
1425 K Street NW #800
Washington, DC 20005

Exam Dates


CFP® Certification Examination

July 26–30, 2016
(Registration Deadline: July 12)

Most Recent Exam:
CFP® Certification Examination
March 15–19, 2015

Find An Education Program

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.

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

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

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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.