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Certification Updates

Board of Directors Approves National Public Awareness Campaign

Nov 12, 2010

Funding Provided by Organization’s Reserves, Increase in Certification Fees

WASHINGTON, DC, November 12, 2010 – The Board of Directors of the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. yesterday approved a national Public Awareness Campaign to raise awareness of CFP® certification.

The initiative, which will cost $9 million annually, will be funded through a combination of funds from CFP Board’s reserves and an increase in certification fees. CFP Board is contributing $9.3 million over two years to jump-start the campaign ($7 million in 2011 and $2.3 million in 2012). Certification fee increases of $12 a month or about $145 a year will be introduced in July of 2011.

“Our mission is to grant, uphold and ensure that the CFP® mark is the recognized standard of excellence in personal financial planning. By raising awareness of the certification to the public we will indeed be fulfilling our mission and calling attention to the importance of financial planning and the CFP® certification,” said Board Chair Robert J. Glovsky, CFP® and President of Mintz Levin Financial Advisors.

The Board approved the Public Awareness Campaign and funding during its regularly scheduled fall meeting November 10-12 in New York City.

With the increase in fees, CFP® certificants will now pay annually but still renew their certification every two years. The total annual certification fee will rise to $325 a year. The certification fee increase will go into effect starting with July 1, 2011 renewals. Currently, CFP® certificants pay certification fees every two years.

As detailed in the resolution approved by the Board, the Public Awareness Campaign is initially approved for four years, with a review period at the two-year mark. The Board made clear in its deliberations that for the campaign to continue, it must be successful based on established metrics that demonstrate an increased awareness of CFP®® certification. The resolution also states that all funds stemming from the fee increase and allocation of reserves must be dedicated to the direct expenses of the campaign.

“This campaign responds to what my fellow CFP® professionals have been saying for years – we need increased consumer awareness of CFP® certification,” said Charles Moran, CFP®, Chair-elect. “The more consumers understand the value of CFP® certification, the more they will seek out the competent and ethical financial planning services offered by a CFP® professional.”

As directed by the Board of Directors, CFP Board staff conducted exhaustive quantitative and qualitative research to understand the views of consumers and CFP® certificants alike as part of a study to determine the feasibility to implementing a national campaign.

Findings from the study showed that a public awareness campaign:

  • Would help consumers have a positive understanding of CFP® certification.
  • Is supported by 83 percent of CFP® certificants even knowing it would be funded, in part, through an increase in fees.
  • Needs to be targeted to consumers who have a mindset that makes it more likely that they would seek out financial planning help.
Arnold Worldwide of Washington, D.C. will serve as the agency of record for this effort. It’s expected that the campaign will begin in early second quarter. Communications will likely include a mix of online, print, and television. CFP® professionals will also be provided a “tool kit” that they can use to increase consumer awareness of the value of CFP® certification in their local markets.

“A mark of a professional is public recognition. This campaign will educate consumers about CFP® professionals by showing how they bring value to their clients and help their clients reach their life goals and make wise use of their money,” said Kevin R. Keller, Chief Executive Officer of CFP Board. “We are very excited that the Board has approved this campaign. It’s now our job to implement a successful campaign on behalf of our 62,000 CFP® professionals.”

Note: Learn more about the Public Awareness Campaign during our Business Update Webinar on Wednesday, November 17, 2010 at 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. (Eastern Time). You can register by visiting www.CFP.net. Please also read our fact sheet on the campaign for additional details.

ABOUT CFP BOARD: The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board's mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® certificants and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements. CFP Board currently authorizes more than 62,000 individuals to use these marks in the United States.

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CFP® - The Recognized Standard of Excellence in
Personal Financial Planning

CONTACT:
Dan Drummond, Director of Public Relations
P: 202-379-2252
M: 202-550-4372
E: ddrummond@CFPBoard.org
Twitter: @CFPBoardmedia

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