For CFP® Professionals

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Renewal Policies

Overview
Following initial certification and authorization to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and certification marks, the CFP® certification must be periodically renewed. By meeting CFP Board's ongoing competency requirements of continuing education (CE) and by adhering to CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Standards (Code of Ethics), Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards (Practice Standards), CFP® professionals demonstrate to the public that they are individuals who have voluntarily agreed to meet high standards of professionalism in a changing financial world. Compliance with CFP Board's certification standards helps to ensure the integrity of the CFP® certification marks for the benefit of the public.

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Certification Period
CFP® certification expires on the last day of the month indicated by the certification period. The expiration date is located on the CFP Board ID card and can also be accessed by logging in to CFP Board's website.

Maintaining CFP® Certification
CFP® professionals must complete ongoing certification requirements in order to maintain certification. These requirements may be completed online by logging in to CFP Board's website. All requirements must be completed by the expiration date in order to avoid certification expiration and a late fee of $75. All fees are non-refundable.

Annual Certification Fee Payment
To maintain CFP® certification, CFP® professionals pay an annual certification fee of $325. In years when renewal may be completed solely with payment of the annual certification fee, CFP® professionals can pay the fee online by logging in to CFP Board's website.

Approximately 6-8 weeks prior to the deadline for the annual certification fee payment, CFP® professionals will begin receiving notices and reminders alerting them to the requirement and providing instructions for submitting payment.

The annual certification fee, in conjunction with other sources of revenue including exam fees, supports the operations of CFP Board in fulfilling its mission statement and objectives. Some of these activities include protection of the CFP® certification marks; enforcement of CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct; educating the public about the CFP® marks; and development and administration of the CFP® Certification Examination. $145 of the annual certification fee is dedicated solely to the direct expenses of CFP Board's Public Awareness Campaign to increase awareness of, preference for and intent to use CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.

The annual certification fee is non-refundable, and CFP Board's acceptance of a fee payment does not guarantee or imply that an individual's certification will be maintained. All applicable certification requirements must be completed to maintain CFP® certification.

Renewal: Continuing Education, Certification Application, Annual Certification Fee Payment
Every two years, in addition to paying the annual certification fee, CFP® professionals must also complete the continuing education (CE) requirement and submit a Certification Application, which includes an Ethics Declaration.

These three renewal requirements are completed in the following order:

  1. Continuing Education (CE)
    The CE requirement is effective immediately upon certification and involves completing 30 hours of continuing education (CE) accepted by CFP Board, including completion of 2 hours from a CFP Board-approved program on CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct. Download a list of active programs on CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct that CFP Board will accept toward "CFP Board Ethics" credit in 2013. (PDF, 204KB)

    CE hours for new CFP® professionals are prorated into the two-year cycle based on their renewal month. Information about your specific CE requirements can be obtained by logging in to CFP Board's website, where you may also report the CE hours you have completed.

    All reported CE hours must be processed by CFP Board on or before the expiration date of the two-year period in order to avoid certification expiration. Learn more about the CE requirement >
  2. Certification Application
    CFP® professionals must properly complete a Certification Application every two years in order to renew CFP® certification. After the CE requirement has been satisfied, the Certification Application may be completed by logging in to CFP Board's website.

    Along with contact and demographic information, an important part of the form is the acknowledgement of voluntary adherence to the terms and conditions of certification with CFP Board. The Certification Application also involves completing a statement disclosing any involvement in criminal and civil proceedings, inquiries or investigations, bankruptcy filings, internal reviews and customer complaints. CFP Board monitors CFP® professionals' ongoing compliance with its ethical standards in addition to investigating consumer complaints, reviewing reports from other regulatory bodies and the press, and searching FINRA's Central Registration Depository system.

    If it appears that a CFP® professional may have violated CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility (Code of Ethics), Rules of Conduct or Financial Planning Practice Standards (Practice Standards), CFP Board has the right to investigate the individual's alleged behavior according to the Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. If it is found that the individual is in violation of the Code of Ethics, Rules of Conduct or Practice Standards, CFP Board may impose discipline ranging from a private letter of censure or public admonition to suspension or revocation of the right to use the CFP® marks. CFP Board reserves the right to verify the accuracy of the completed statement and routinely conducts audits to ensure compliance with disclosure requirements.
  3. Annual Certification Fee
    CFP® professionals pay an annual certification fee of $325. In years when renewal requirements include the CE requirement and Certification Application, the annual certification fee payment is made online following completion of the Certification Application. CFP® professionals can pay the fee online by logging in to CFP Board's website.

    The annual certification fee, in conjunction with other sources of revenue including exam fees, supports the operations of CFP Board in fulfilling its mission statement and objectives. Some of these activities include protection of the CFP® certification marks; enforcement of CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct; educating the public about the CFP® marks; and development and administration of the CFP® Certification Examination. $145 of the annual certification fee is dedicated solely to the direct expenses of CFP Board's Public Awareness Campaign to increase awareness of, preference for and intent to use CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.

    The annual certification fee is non-refundable, and CFP Board's acceptance of a fee payment does not guarantee or imply that an individual's certification will be renewed. All applicable renewal requirements must be completed to renew CFP® certification.

CFP Board sends several reminders to CFP® professionals in the months and weeks before the certification expiration date, with approximate notification dates listed in the chart below. These reminders alert CFP® professionals to certification expiration dates and assessment of the late fee if the certification is not renewed on time. CFP® professionals are encouraged to complete their certification requirements online, or they can contact CFP Board for printed forms or instructions and information on maintaining certification.

Certification Renewal with CE Reporting Timeline
Prior to Expiration Date*:
4 Months and 3 Months Prior:
Notices are sent by email and mail listing the renewal requirements that are due and directing certificants to renew online.
6 Weeks Prior:
A reminder is sent by mail with instructions for renewing online.
10 Days Prior:
A final renewal reminder is sent by email, listing all outstanding renewal requirements and the renewal deadline.
After Expiration Date*:
On Time:
If all applicable renewal requirements are completed before the deadline (CE hours reported and accepted every two years, properly-completed certification application submitted and annual certification fee paid), certification is renewed.
6 Days:
If all applicable renewal requirements are not received within 6 days of the renewal deadline, a notice of certification expiration is sent with the notice of the $75  late fee. Individuals may no longer use the CFP® marks if certification is not renewed by the deadline.

45 Days:
If all applicable renewal requirements are not received by 45 days after the expiration date, a deficiency notice is sent reminding the individual that the certification has not been renewed and that the individual is no longer authorized to use the CFP® marks.

90 Days:
If all applicable renewal requirements are not received by 90 days after the certification expires (including payment of any late fee assessed), a notice of relinquishment is sent. The notice of relinquishment includes information about the additional requirements now needed to reinstate certification. The individual may apply for reinstatement by submitting a reinstatement application, paying a non-refundable $100 reinstatement fee and making up any certification renewal deficiencies.
* Expiration date is the last day of the renewal month.

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Late Fees
All applicable certification requirements must be received by CFP Board prior to the expiration date to ensure the information is processed before the certification expires. If all applicable certification requirements are not submitted and processed by the last day of an individual's certification period, a late fee of $75 is assessed.

To avoid this late fee, the certification requirements should be completed at least a week before the certification expires.

Administrative Service Fees
A non-refundable fee will be charged to cover the administrative costs of returned checks and credit card charges not honored by our bank.

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Noncompliance with Certification Requirements

Reminder Notice
Six days after the certification period has expired, a reminder notice is sent to individuals who have not completed all requirements. Such individuals are classified in CFP Board's records as "not certified" and are no longer authorized to use the CFP® marks. The notice specifies which requirements have not been completed and also advises the individual that a late fee has been assessed. Prompt action should be taken to correct any deficiency.

Deficiency Notice
Forty-five days after the certification period has expired, a notice of deficiency is sent to individuals who have not completed requirements.

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Relinquishment of CFP® Certification
Individuals who have not met the certification requirements within 90 days of the original due date are subject to additional requirements to reinstate the certification. A notice is sent to individuals advising them that, due to their failure to complete the renewal requirements, they are deemed to have relinquished the right to use the CFP® marks. Continued use of the marks in such circumstances is viewed by CFP Board as unauthorized use. CFP Board considers unauthorized use an extremely serious matter and is prepared to take necessary steps to protect its certification marks in such cases.

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Voluntary Relinquishment of CFP® Certification
Individuals who are currently certified and not under review by CFP Board's professional standards department may choose to voluntarily relinquish their certification. Individuals must notify CFP Board, either in writing or by submitting the appropriate form, that they voluntarily relinquish their rights to use the CFP® certification marks. Please note that certification fees paid to CFP Board are non-refundable. Individuals who are not certified because they did not timely renew their certification are considered relinquished and do not need to submit a voluntary relinquishment form.

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Reinstatement of CFP® Certification
An individual may request reinstatement of the right to use the CFP® certification marks after voluntary relinquishment, or failure to renew within 90 days of certification expiration, by applying to CFP Board and paying a non-refundable $100 reinstatement fee. A reinstatement application may be obtained from CFP Board by request or can be downloaded from CFP Board's secure website. Upon receipt of the application and fee, CFP Board will instruct the individual how to complete the necessary forms (reporting of required CE hours, Certification Application and/or notice of appropriate fees).

Applicants for reinstatement must complete and submit all reinstatement requirements within 90 days after submitting the reinstatement application. If all of the reinstatement requirements are not completed within 90 days, the individual must reapply and pay the non-refundable $100 reinstatement application fee again. Each reinstatement application is valid for 90 days.

After the reinstatement requirements have been received at CFP Board, a disciplinary background check is conducted for each applicant. Effective January 1, 2011, CFP Board's Fitness Standards for Candidates and Registrants apply to Registrants (i.e. individuals who are not currently certified but have been certified by CFP Board in the past and are eligible to reinstate their certification without being required to pass the current CFP® Certification Examination).

Once all requirements have been met, a written confirmation and current CFP Board ID card are sent to the individual. Individuals are not certified and cannot use the CFP® marks until the entire reinstatement process is complete.

In the event that an application for reinstatement is denied as a result of any disciplinary action taken by CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, the applicant may appeal to the Appeals Committee pursuant to CFP Board's Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.

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Continuing Education Requirements for Reinstatement
To reinstate, an applicant must report CE hours as follows:

  • If applying for reinstatement within one year after the certification expiration date, applicants must report outstanding CE hours to CFP Board prior to reinstatement.
  • If applying for reinstatement more than one year, but less than five years, after the certification expiration, applicants must report all outstanding CE hours, including the number of CE hours accrued after the certification expiration date (CE accrues at a monthly rate of 1.25 hours). This accrual continues until the individual reinstates or five years have passed. Applicants must report the accrued number of CE hours to CFP Board prior to reinstatement. These hours may not be more than two years old at the time of reinstatement. Upon reinstatement, the applicant will be assigned a prorated CE requirement for the reporting period in which his or her certification is reinstated to be reported at the end of that reporting period. CE hours reported for reinstatement may not be used toward the prorated requirement for the current reporting period of the next certification renewal.
  • Five years after the certification expiration, applicants must pass the current CFP® Certification Examination as a condition of reinstatement in lieu of the CE requirement.

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CFP® Certification Reinstatement Requirements
 
Reinstatement Application and $100 Reinstatement Fee
Certification Application
Fees (includes certification fees/late fees and administrative fees)
Continuing Education
Applying for Reinstatement < 1 Year
X
X
All outstanding fees at time of relinquishment. All outstanding CE hours at the time of relinquishment. Current reporting period's hours to be reported at the next renewal.
Applying for Reinstatement 1 - 5 Years
X
X
Certification fees for the current renewal period and any other outstanding fees. Report CE hours due at the time of expiration, plus hours accrued since expiration (including two hours on the Standards of Professional Conduct). Hours reported must not be more than two years old at the time of reinstatement. Current reporting period's hours are prorated to be reported at the next renewal.
Applying for Reinstatement > 5 Years
X
X
Certification fees for the current renewal period and any other outstanding fees. Pass the current CFP® Certification Examination.

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Additional CFP Board Policies

Policy on the Release of CFP® Professional Information
CFP Board, either through telephone or email responses or through its website "Verify an Individual's CFP® Certification" function may provide any of the following information:

  • Whether the person(s) has ever been certified by CFP Board, the date of that certification, and, if not currently certified, the date on which certification lapsed or was otherwise terminated.
  • Whether the person(s) has indicated he/she is in the practice of financial planning.
  • Any past and/or current public disciplinary actions against the person(s) by CFP Board.
  • The business name, address and phone number of the person(s).
  • The renewal date for the person(s) current CFP® certification.

CFP Board is at times asked to share with third party organizations the contact information of individuals who have registered for the CFP® Certification Examination, or who have completed the CFP® certification, including in the form of:

  • Mailing lists of CFP® professionals and applicants for the CFP® Certification Examination that CFP Board makes available to education providers, review course providers, industry organizations, associations or businesses related to the financial planning industry, as CFP Board deems appropriate.
  • Lists of information about CFP® professionals used to populate CFP® professional search functions on third party websites.

These third party organizations may provide valuable services that you may want to consider. You may have your information removed from any or all of these lists by updating your communications preferences through your online CFP Board account, or by sending a request to mail@cfpboard.org or by fax to 202-379-2299.

CFP Board may provide information other than that listed above, including but not limited to Social Security numbers, to government and self regulatory organizations, to allow for the proper identification of person(s) associated with the requesting agency.

CFP Board reserves the right to deny any requests for information.

Policy Exception Requests
CFP Board enforces the policies and requirements for CFP® certification in a consistent manner. Exceptions to established policies and requirements are granted in only the rarest of circumstances. CFP® professionals and applicants for CFP® certification who wish to request exceptions to specific policies or requirements of CFP Board may complete and submit a Policy Exception Request Form. The request will be reviewed by CFP Board staff, and a written determination letter sent to the requestor by certified mail, postmarked no later than thirty days from the date the request is received at CFP Board. Individuals unhappy with a decision stated in a determination letter may submit a written appeal to CFP Board’s Policy Exception Committee. Written appeals must be received at CFP Board no later than thirty days from the requestor's receipt of the determination letter. The Policy Exception Committee meets four times each year (once per quarter). The decision of the Policy Exception Committee is final.

CFP Board
Attn: Policy Exception Committee
1425 K Street NW #800
Washington, DC 20005

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