Volunteer Opportunities - CFP Board

About CFP Board


Volunteer Opportunities

The work of CFP Board benefits greatly from the contributions of CFP® professionals and other stakeholders, and there are many opportunities for CFP® professionals and others to become involved with CFP Board in meaningful and rewarding ways. If you decide to volunteer for one or more of these activities, please understand that some of these opportunities are served in terms, and others will add you to a database where you may be selected as opportunities arise. If you have questions or comments, please email volunteer@cfpboard.org.

Register to Volunteer

Board of Directors

The Opportunity

Board Directors, as members of the strategic governing body of the organization, have a significant opportunity to help lead the organization to effectively meet the needs of the stakeholders of the organization and further the benefits to the public by ensuring the CFP® certification is upheld as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning.

Role of the Board of Directors

The Board of Directors, as the strategic governing body of the organization, is responsible for furthering CFP Board’s mission and acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. It is the policy-making and oversight body of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc., the independent certifying, standards setting, marks issuing and disciplinary body which owns the CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification marks in the U.S. and regulates their use in the public interest.

Governance Philosophy

CFP Board governance policies outline the dynamics of the Board’s relationship to staff and the Board’s delegation and monitoring responsibilities. The Board determines what authority it will hold and what authority it will delegate. The method of delegation is a formal, circular process that includes clear roles and accountabilities. First, the Board defines outcomes to be achieved. Next, the Board defines the boundaries of ethical and prudent operational behaviors and conditions in policy, which serve as the Executive Limitations. Then the Board assigns these expectations (outcomes and boundaries as defined in policy) to the CEO and formally and rigorously monitors the CEO’s performance against those expectations.


Board Directors work with the Chair, the CEO and other Directors to provide strategic leadership for the CFP Board. Board Directors should be committed to attending Board and Committee meetings.

The Board of Directors has 3 regularly scheduled meetings each year, typically meeting on a Wednesday, Thursday and half day Friday in February, June/July and November.  Additionally, there are usually 2 - 3 Board teleconferences throughout the year.

Each Board member also serves on at least two Committees, which include Audit, CEO Oversight, Governance, Finance & Investments, Appeals and Nominating Committees. Committee involvement generally includes 3 - 4 to conference calls per year, as well as in-person Committee meetings held in conjunction with the full Board’s three in-person meetings.  Committee chairmanship requires an additional time commitment.


Candidates for Board Director will demonstrate competency in such areas as: working collaboratively, productively and effectively as a group member; bringing a strategic, forward looking perspective; intellectual curiosity and innovative thinking; critical thinking; resiliency; personal accountability; leadership and organization and finance practices.

Term of Office and Board Composition

Board Directors serve a four-year term. A majority of Board Directors members must be CFP® professionals.


Those interested in being considered as a Director on CFP Board's Board of Directors may obtain more detailed information on this opportunity by reviewing the Board Director Position Description (PDF), then downloading and printing the Board of Directors Application (PDF – Remember to save the PDF document to your computer before filling it out).  Completed forms may be sent to CFP Board by email, fax or mail.

Learn more about the current members of CFP Board's Board of Directors


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Council on Education

Role of the Council on Education

The Council on Education was established in 2008 to advise CFP Board staff on the development and clarification of all educational policies related to the CFP® certification process. The Council provides input on policies that relate to CFP Board-Registered Programs, Continuing Education Sponsors, Review Course Providers, and the Model Curriculum.

Composition and Terms of Office

The Council is composed of seven members and includes representatives from the academic community, directors of CFP Board-Registered financial planning education programs and certification experts. A majority of Council members must hold CFP® certification. Council members serve staggered terms of three years, and each year a Chair and Chair-designee are appointed.

Areas of Responsibility

Business conducted during Council on Education meetings includes discussion of policies that relate to CFP Board-Registered Programs, the Model Curriculum, Continuing Education Sponsors, Continuing Education requirements, Review Course Providers, the implementation of an education program Peer Review Process and other programs related to financial planning education.

To volunteer to serve on CFP Board's Council on Education, please submit a Volunteer Registration Form.

Learn more about the current members of CFP Board's Council on Education


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Council on Examinations

Role of the Council on Examinations

The Council on Examinations is a volunteer group of CFP® professionals that serves as primary subject matter experts for the CFP® Certification Examination and provides CFP Board with recommendations regarding the development, administration and scoring of the exam consistent with best practices in high stakes testing and certification organizations.  Generally, individuals selected to serve on the Council on Examinations have previously participated in other exam-related volunteer activities.

Composition and Terms of Office

This Council is composed of six or seven members and has typically included both financial planning practitioners and financial planning educators. All members of the Council on Examinations must be at least 18 years of age, and the majority of the Council must be CFP® professionals. Each member of the Council on Examinations normally serves a three-year term. A four-year term is possible if designated to the role of Chair in the third year. In selecting Council members, attention is paid to ensuring that the Council, as a whole, possesses the needed expertise and diversity within the Job Task Domains that comprise financial planning as defined by the most recent job analysis.

Areas of Responsibility

Business conducted during the "in-person" Council on Examinations meetings include discussion of relevant business issues, review of the upcoming CFP® Certification Examination and activities required to maintain and enhance the test question bank. In addition, Council members participate in three conference calls per year following each CFP® Certification Examination and other conference calls, as needed, to conduct CFP Board business.

Council on Examinations members are also encouraged to attend at least one additional activity per year. This could be the annual CFP Board Registered Program Conference that is attended by directors and faculty of CFP Board-Registered Programs, or it could be an item writing session.

To volunteer to serve on CFP Board's Council on Examinations, please submit a Volunteer Registration Form.

Learn more about the current members of CFP Board's Council on Examinations


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Exam Development Volunteers

Exam Content Specialists or Subject Matter Experts

Volunteers selected to represent the demographics of the CFP® professional population who work alongside current Council on Examinations to review all the questions and cases proposed for the upcoming exam. Volunteers work through the exam question by question with Council members and decide if questions are fair, appropriate, current and accurate.

Item Writers

Volunteers are selected to create multiple-choice questions to be submitted for use on future CFP® Certification Examinations. Item writing workshops are generally conducted over two days at in-person meetings where they receive some training and then brainstorm and create items in small groups.

Job Analysis Task Force and Standard Setting Group

The Job Analysis Study is conducted approximately every five years, and an ad hoc volunteer Job Analysis Task Force is established to create a survey and help interpret the survey results in order to amend the exam blueprint. A second volunteer group, selected to match demographic targets from a random sample, known as the Standard Setting Group, is then assembled to take the first version of the new exam format of the CFP® Certification Examination and participate in a Standard Setting exercise.  The Standard Setting Exercise, led by a psychometrician, is a process that generates the data necessary to determine a new pass, or cut score.  The cut score is used as a benchmark for all subsequent exam administrations until the next Job Analysis is conducted.

Submit a Volunteer Registration Form.


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Disciplinary and Ethics Commission

Role of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission

CFP Board has an accredited, peer-review process for reviewing alleged rules violations. The Disciplinary and Ethics Commission is responsible for interpreting and applying the Standards of Professional Conduct to specific fact situations and determining the appropriate outcome. (Starting June 30, 2020 and onward, CFP® professionals will be subject to potential disciplinary action for any violations of the new Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct.)

Composition and Areas of Responsibility

The Disciplinary and Ethics Commission is composed of up to nine members. Members are expected to meet three times a year to conduct disciplinary hearings and to participate in business meetings to discuss issues relevant to CFP Board's disciplinary process. Commission members may also be required to participate in conference calls throughout the year, as scheduled. 

Learn more about the current members of CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission

Disciplinary and Ethics Commission Hearing Panel Volunteers

Hearing Panel Volunteers assist the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission with disciplinary hearings. Service as a Hearing Panel Volunteer is a prerequisite to service as a member of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission. Hearing Panelists benefit greatly from the opportunity to meet with other CFP® Professionals and to engage in personally fulfilling work.

Prospective members of the Disciplinary and Ethics Commission should have a minimum of 5 years as a CFP® professional.

If you are interested in serving as a Hearing Panel Volunteer working with CFP Board's Disciplinary and Ethics Commission, please complete and submit a Hearing Panel Volunteer Application.


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Public Policy Council

Role of the Public Policy Council

The Public Policy Council serves an advisory role on public policy issues affecting CFP Board, its certificants and members of the public.

Composition and Terms of Office

This Council will be composed of up to eight members, including at least two CFP® professionals and two members of the Board of Directors. The remaining members of the Council may be “public” members, defined as individuals who do not provide financial planning services, brokerage services and/or investment advisory services to clients. A public member may include an individual who has expertise in public affairs, advocacy and lobbying; legislation and policymaking; and/or regulation and rulemaking. Members of the Public Policy Council will normally serve a three-year term. A four-year term is possible if designated to the role of Chair in the third year.

Areas of Responsibility

The Public Policy Council is expected to meet in person at least four times a year. Business conducted during the "in-person" meetings will include discussion of relevant business issues, identification of significant public policy issues, prioritization of issues, and development of policy position statements for consideration and adoption by CFP Board’s Board of Directors.

Learn more about the current members of CFP Board's Public Policy Council

To volunteer to serve on CFP Board's Public Policy Council, please submit a Volunteer Registration Form.


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CFP Board Mentor Program

The CFP Board Mentor Program offers an opportunity for CFP® professionals to serve as mentors to candidates pursuing CFP® certification.

Learn more about becoming a CFP Board Mentor


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WIN Advocates

WIN Advocates are CFP® professionals designated by CFP Board who will work in their communities to get the word out that financial planning can be a rewarding career for women.

Learn more and register to become a WIN Advocate


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Center for Financial Planning Volunteers

Volunteers play a key role in supporting the Center for Financial Planning and its initiatives, as well as the overall operation of the Center. To indicate your interest in contributing to the Center’s work as a volunteer, please complete the form below.

Learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Center for Financial Planning


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What is Expected of Those Serving on the Board, Councils and Commission

  • Each person selected to serve as a member of any Board, Council or Commission is required to complete a detailed Conflict of Interest Questionnaire and sign a Confidentiality Statement prior to service.
  • Members are responsible for reading and considering a significant amount of material distributed prior to each in-person meeting.
  • Members are expected to attend each meeting and be prepared to discuss all the issues on the agenda, and to make informed decisions.
  • Members are expected to stay informed of the current business of their respective Board, Council or Commission and to be involved in its processes.
  • Members are expected to read and respond as appropriate to mailings, fax and e-mail communications from CFP Board's office and other Board, Council or Commission members.
  • Members represent CFP Board within their respective professions and communities; they are expected to remain in good standing in their respective communities.

The Board of Directors, Councils and Commission meet in person at least three times a year and by conference call, as needed. CFP Board underwrites travel expenses in accordance with established policy.

Social occasions, such as dinners with other members, are scheduled and budgeted as an integral part of each meeting for the purpose of encouraging informal interaction and exchange of ideas among members and senior management. The benefits to CFP Board of these networking opportunities are great. For that reason, members should make every effort to take part in these events.

Because Board, Council and Commission members are chosen to serve, in part, based on their unique background and perspective, it is essential that each member be an active, full participant in the processes that are central to the role of the specific Board, Council or Commission. Because it is the purpose of CFP Board to serve the public interest, it is essential that each member commit to placing the public interest and the interests of CFP Board ahead of all other considerations which might motivate them to serve, and that each member continue to serve in that spirit.

If any of the duties and responsibilities of service are unclear now or during the term of service, it is the responsibility of the individual member to ask questions of the Chair of the Board or CEO of CFP Board in order to get the information required.

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Did You Know?

Among clients who work with an advisor, 87% of those working with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared with 72% of those who work with an advisor without certification.
Anyone can call themselves a “financial planner.” Only professionals who meet CFP Board’s rigorous standards can call themselves CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.
The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings and investments than those without a plan.