Continuing Education Policies
The following outlines in detail the continuing education
(CE) requirements for maintaining the CFP® certification. CFP® professionals
agree to adhere to the standards, including any future revisions, stated
within the following sections. Programs attended and developed to meet
CE requirements should meet these requirements and be current, as well
as contribute to increasing the professional competency of CFP® professionals.
Section 1: CE Hour Requirements
CFP® professionals are required to complete 30 hours of CE each reporting period:
- 2 hours of CFP Board approved Ethics CE.
- 28 hours from one or more of the accepted subject topics.
Each reporting period, two of the required hours must be
obtained from a pre-approved CFP Board Ethics CE program. Exceptions are not made. This requirement is designed
to ensure that CFP® professionals review and remain informed of the Standards of Professional Conduct to which they agree to adhere as a condition
Download the current list of active CFP Board Ethics CE programs. (PDF, 312KB) Ethics programs taken from organizations not on this list may count for general CE credit if they meet CFP Board's CE standards; however, non-approved ethics programs will not satisfy the Ethics CE requirement.
The CE requirement is effective immediately upon initial certification.
The number of CE hours for newly certified CFP® professionals is prorated
for the period from initial certification to the end of the initial certification
Earning CE Hours
CE hours must be earned during the current reporting period, which is a
two-year period ending the last day of the CFP® professional's renewal month.
Any CE hours in excess of the requirement may not be applied to subsequent
reporting periods. CE hours earned for any one program may not be split
between two reporting periods.
Reporting CE Hours
CE hours from programs registered with CFP Board are reported for certificants by the CE sponsor. CE programs not registered with CFP Board may be reported online by the certificant with a nonrefundable $25 processing fee to cover the cost of review.
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Section 2: Program Requirements
CE sponsors are encouraged to register CE programs with CFP Board. Check with the
sponsor of your CE course to find out if the program has been registered and for information
about the number of CE hours the course has been accepted for by CFP Board, or
visit CFP Board's website to generate a list of registered CE
sponsors and programs.
Programs designed to meet CFP Board's two-hour Ethics CE requirement have additional requirements and must be approved by CFP Board
before they will be accepted. Download the current list of active CFP Board Ethics CE programs. (PDF, 312KB)
CE programs not registered with CFP Board may be reported by the CFP® professional to CFP Board for CE hours but must be reported online with a nonrefundable $25 processing fee per program. CFP Board will accept only CE hours that cover one or more of the subject topics.
CFP® professionals should only report programs for CE credit that:
- address one or more topics listed in CFP Board's Job Task Domains or CFP Board's Principal Topics list.
- contribute to increasing the professional competency
- are developed and conducted by persons qualified in the
subject matter and in instructional design.
- are current and correct in program content.
- provide documentation to the certificant by the sponsors.
- are at least 50 minutes in length.
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Section 3: Credit for Live Presentations
Programs are accepted for CE credit in an initial unit
of at least one hour (minimum of 50 minutes constitutes one class hour),
with half credit accepted after the initial one hour has been satisfied.
For example, a 75-minute program equals 1.5 credits. Partial credit may
be claimed for those portions of programs that cover material from the
accepted subject topics. For example, three hours of CE credit may be
claimed for a six-hour program that covers accepted topics during only
half of the program. Real-time courses offered over the Internet, i.e., live webcasts, are accepted for CE credit as outlined in this paragraph.
Courses offered by colleges and universities (including
community colleges) are accepted for the following credit provided they
cover topics listed in CFP Board's Job Task Domains or CFP Board's Principal Topics list:
- semester credit = 15 CE hours (3 semester credits = 45
- quarter credit = 10 CE hours (3 quarter credits = 30
Both credit and non-credit courses will be accepted. For
non-credit courses, each 50-minute class session may be counted as one
Programs provided by state and local bar associations, Certified
Public Accountant societies, Financial Planning Association chapters,
Society of Financial Service Professionals chapters, Association for Investment
Management and Research chapters and estate planning councils will be
accepted for CE credits, provided topics covered are listed in CFP Board's Job Task Domains or CFP Board's Principal Topics list.
Programs that have been accepted by the state boards of
accountancy, state bars or state insurance commissions will be accepted
for CE credits provided topics covered are listed in CFP Board's Job Task Domains or included in CFP Board's Principal Topics list.
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Section 4: Credit for Self-Study Programs
Self-study programs are defined as courses completed outside of a classroom
environment using printed material, periodicals, audio and/or
video cassettes, electronic media or online media. Satisfactory completion must
include a written or online examination, which shall be graded by the
sponsor, with a passing score of 70 percent or higher. The Ethics CE programs must have a passing score of 80 percent or higher.
Self-study programs must meet the program requirements described
in Section 2 and require the certificant's
registration with the program sponsor.
Credit for self-study programs is determined as
recommended hours of completion time as determined by the CE sponsor.
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Section 5: Credit for Completing Professional Licenses and Designation Examinations
Successfully completing the examinations for certain professional license or designation during the reporting period
qualifies for up to 28 CE hours. CE hours are granted for the licensing/designation
exam, not for the preparatory or review courses.
To generate a list of licenses and designations with the number of CE hours accepted
by CFP Board, use our Find a CE Program search tool and enter "Designations and Licenses" in the Sponsor Name field.
Completion of professional license and designation examinations may be reported to CFP
Board by CFP® professionals by logging in to CFP Board's website,
selecting the CE Sponsor name "Designations & Licenses," and selecting the appropriate
license or designation from the available list.
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Section 6: Credit for Teaching
Credit as an instructor, discussion leader or speaker:
- is accepted for meetings or engagements that are
directed to financial services professionals provided topics covered
are listed in CFP Board's Job Task Domains or CFP Board's Principal Topics list.
- is allowed on the first presentation only
per CE reporting period on the basis of two CE credits for each hour
of class or presentation time. For example, an instructor may claim
four hours for teaching a two-hour class.
- is accepted for teaching in a CFP Board-Registered
Program and for teaching other university courses that cover the accepted
topics listed in CFP Board's Job Task Domains or CFP Board's Principal Topics list. (Courses taught in CFP Board-Registered Programs do not count towards the two-hour Ethics CE requirement.)
- may not exceed 50 percent of the total
CE hours required during any reporting period. For example, if total
hours required are 30, a maximum of 15 teaching hours may be claimed.
- is not accepted for presentations designed primarily
for persons not engaged in financial services (e.g., presentations to
the general public, presentations for marketing purposes, television
and radio talk shows, and participation in high school programs).
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Section 7: Credit for Authorship
Credit may be allowed for authorship of published articles and books relating to CFP Board's Job Task Domains or CFP Board's Principal Topics list provided they contribute to increasing the professional competency of the author. Credit for preparation of such publications may not exceed 50 percent of the total CE hours required during any reporting period. Short newspaper articles, Q&As and company newsletter articles for clients are not accepted for credit.
Published articles and books (both print and electronic)
must be submitted to CFP Board for review prior to reporting them as CE
credit on the CE reporting form.
Published articles and books submitted to CFP Board must:
- include the date, publication and number of CE hours
- include copies of articles as published.
- show the CFP® professional as the author of the publication.
CFP Board will confirm receipt of the publication(s) and
the number of credits granted within 30 days of receipt. The publication
will not be returned to the CFP® professional unless specifically requested.
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Section 8: Reporting and Recordkeeping
CE hours may be reported electronically to CFP Board at any time by CE sponsors or by
CFP® professionals. CE hours must be submitted to CFP Board by the end of the CE reporting
period, along with the other renewal requirements. The CE reporting period is the
same as a CFP® professional's certification period.
CE sponsors are required to electronically report CE hours earned by CFP® professionals who
complete programs registered with CFP Board. View a current list of CE sponsors registered with CFP Board. (PDF, 312KB) When CE hours are reported by a sponsor,
email notification is sent to the individuals receiving credit.
Certificants can access up-to-date information on CE hours that have been reported by CE
sponsors by logging in to CFP Board's website at www.CFP.net/login. If all required CE
hours are reported to CFP Board directly by CE sponsors, including the required two-hour
Ethics CE program, the certificant does not need to report
additional CE hours.
Certificants may self-report courses not directly reported to CFP Board by a CE sponsor. Programs not registered with CFP Board may be reported online with a nonrefundable $25 processing fee per program to cover the cost of review.
CFP Board accepts only programs that cover one or more subjects on CFP Board's Principal Topics list. If programs are reported to CFP Board that do not meet CFP Board's CE
standards, any processing fees paid when reporting those programs will not be refunded.
Documentation of Self-Reported CE Hours
Each CFP® professional must retain documentation of self-reported CE hours for two years after the end of the reporting period. Documentation confirming attendance should not be sent to CFP Board unless specifically requested. CFP Board may request these documents at any time up to two years from the end of a reporting period.
Documentation may be a grade report or transcript for activities involving an examination. For other programs, a written confirmation of attendance (i.e., Certificate of Attendance, Certificate of Completion, etc.) from the sponsoring organization is acceptable and should include: CFP® professional name, name of program, name of CE sponsor, date of program, location, number of CE credits and signature of sponsor representative. In addition, an agenda showing the topics addressed and the time allotted for each topic should be retained.
Documentation for CE hours reported directly to CFP Board by a CE sponsor does not need to be retained by the CFP® professional.
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Section 9: Failure to Comply
Each CFP® professional is responsible for demonstrating full compliance
with the CE requirement. CFP Board may at any time request documentation of any CE credits self-reported by the certificant.
Unsupported, misstated or fraudulent reporting of CE credits
is a violation of CFP Board's Rules of Conduct. Such reporting is cause
for action by CFP Board and may be grounds for disciplinary action up
to revocation of the CFP® certification.
Failure to fulfill and report the required CE hours by the end of the CE reporting period will result in non-renewal of the CFP® certification, precluding any use of the CFP® marks. If all CE hours, including the two-hour Ethics CE program, are reported electronically by CE sponsors, no further action is required.
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Section 10: Audits
CFP Board conducts random audits of self-reported CE hours for the most recent
reporting period. When audited:
- the CFP® professional is notified of the audit and
asked to send documentation of hours that were reported manually to
- the reported CE hours and any supporting documentation are reviewed by CFP Board, and a determination is made as to whether the hours are accepted or denied.
- the certificant receives confirmation from CFP Board
regarding the audit and any further action needed.
If any CE hours are denied during the audit and a deficiency
results, the certificant will be given 90 days to report additional hours
to cure the deficiency. Additional hours must be reported electronically by a CE sponsor or listed on a signed CE reporting form and submitted to CFP Board with supporting documentation.
The certificant will remain authorized to use the CFP® marks during this
If the deficiency is not cured, a deficiency notice will
be sent to the individual. If the necessary hours remain unreported the individual will no longer be certified and will not be authorized to use the CFP® marks. Unsupported or misstated CE reporting is a violation of CFP Board's Rules of Conduct and may be grounds for disciplinary action up to revocation of the CFP® certification.
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Section 11: Waivers
Requests for a waiver of the CE requirement due to extenuating circumstances
are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Written requests along with
supporting documentation should be made to CFP Board.
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Section 12: Revisions
The Continuing Education Standards and requirements stated in these sections are subject
to revision from time to time. Changes and additions are published in
revised booklets and on CFP Board's website. Certificants
are responsible for staying up-to-date and meeting the current standards.
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