Frequently Asked Questions - Resources for CE Sponsors - CFP Board

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Frequently Asked Questions


1. What topics are eligible for CE credit?

Eligible program content relates directly to one or more of CFP Board's Principal Knowledge Topics.

The Principal Knowledge Topics are determined as a result of CFP Board's Job Task Analysis, the largest research project in the U.S. related to the body of knowledge for financial planning. CFP Board conducts a Job Task Analysis in partnership with a major testing firm every five years, the most recent of which was completed in 2015.

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2. What topics do not qualify for CE credit?

Content with a focus on the following topics is ineligible for CE credit:

  • practice management
  • public accounting
  • computer hardware or software
  • marketing, prospecting, or sales
  • specific company or product presentations

Topics not included in the list of CFP Board's Principal Knowledge Topics are ineligible for CE credit. 

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3. Can I submit a single application for a conference?

Each session of conference-styled events should be submitted individually for review.  Each session must be at least one CE credit hour (50 minutes) in length.

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4. How many hours of CE credit should I request?

Live Programs are eligible for 1.00 CE credit hour per 50 minutes of instruction time. Programs must be at least 1.00 CE credit hour in length. CE credit hours are rounded down to the nearest half CE credit hour. For example:

  • A Live Program with 75 minutes of instruction is eligible for 1.50 CE credit hours.

Self-Study Programs are reviewed and accepted based on a two-part requirement:

  1. Using either of the following two methods for quantifying hours: (1) a pilot test of the representative completion time* with a minimum of five participants, or (2) using the following word count formula: [(# of words / 180) + actual duration time of any audio/video in minutes] / 50 = CE Credit Hours.
    • 1.00 CE credit hour per 50 minutes of average completion time; 0.50 CE credit hours per 25 minutes. Programs must be eligible for at least 1.00 CE credit hour. CE credit hours are rounded down to the nearest half CE credit hour.
  2. Evidence of satisfactory completion, including an assessment/examination scored by the program provider.
    • The assessment/examination must contain at least 10 questions per full CE credit hour (Example: a 1.50 CE credit hour program must include an assessment containing at least 10 questions).
    • A passing score is 70% or higher (80% or higher for Ethics CE programs).

* Exam time may not be included in the average completion time.

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5. Does the annual CE Sponsor registration fee cover program application fees?

No. Each program application submission incurs a separate program application fee as outlined in the CE Sponsor Fee Schedule.

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6. My organization is a nonprofit. Are the registration fees different?

Yes. Be sure to notify CFP Board CE staff if your organization is a nonprofit in order to qualify for the reduced fee structure. Organizations with a government tax exempt status are categorized as nonprofits by CFP Board. Documentation of nonprofit status is required in order to qualify under the reduced fee structure.

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7. Do I have to submit my program application online?

Yes, General CE Program applications do need to be submitted online.  CFP Board does not accept program applications received via mail, fax, and/or as a PDF attachment to an email. 

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8. How long will it take to review my program application?

All program applications are reviewed in the order in which they are received. CFP Board may take up to 7 to 10 business days to review initial submissions, at which point additional information may be requested from the sponsor to complete the review.

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9. Why did CFP Board not accept my program application?

CFP Board CE staff sends an email confirmation outlining the reason(s) for denying a program application. Some common reasons for denying a program are: not meeting the minimum time or examination requirements, not addressing topics identified in the list of Principal Knowledge Topics, or for a focus on an excluded topic (i.e. product specific, practice management, etc.).

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10. Can I submit a program application after a program has been held?

Yes, but you will incur a late fee, as outlined in the CE Sponsor Fee Schedule. CFP Board encourages registered CE sponsors to submit their program applications to CFP Board well in advance of the program offering date with enough time allowed for the 7-10 business day review period.

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11. The administrative contact for our CE program has changed. What should I do?

Keep CFP Board CE staff informed of any contact information changes by emailing cesponsor@cfpboard.org. This will ensure your company/organization’s point of contact is receiving information from CFP Board regarding status of program applications, possible deficiencies and updated requirements.

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12. Do I need to submit an attendance report for my program?

CE sponsors are required to submit attendance reports within four weeks of successful completion of CE programs actively registered with CFP Board. CFP Board CE staff cannot process attendance reports for inactive programs and/or for programs which are still in a pending payment or review status.

Attendance reports (“batches”) are processed based on the information provided by the sponsor. To ensure timely and accurate processing of your records, please be sure all information in the batch report is accurate and meet the formatting requirements.

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13. How can a CE Sponsor or a CFP® professional submit feedback on CE programs?

CFP Board actively seeks feedback about CE programs. Use this link to report your comments online.

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14. How do I contact CFP Board CE Sponsor staff?

Contact CFP Board Continuing Education Staff directly at cesponsor@cfpboard.org.

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CFP Board’s Council on Education advises CFP Board on the development and clarification of all educational policies related to the CFP® certification process.