Continuing Education Requirements
CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education (CE) each reporting period: 2 hours of CFP Board approved Ethics CE and 28 hours of CE covering 1 or more of CFP Board’s Principal Topics. The CE requirement is effective immediately upon initial certification, or 12 months after successful completion of the CFP® examination if the Experience and/or Degree requirements have not been met.
CE hours must be earned during the CFP® professional’s current reporting period. Any CE hours in excess of the requirement may not be applied to subsequent reporting periods.
CFP Board recommends that CFP® professionals take registered CE Programs to satisfy their CE requirement. CE credit may be granted for instructing or authoring CE programs as well.
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Ethics programs must be pre-approved by CFP Board to satisfy the Ethics CE requirement. Ethics programs that have not been approved 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.
CFP® professionals may access up-to-date information on CE hours that have been reported to their account by logging into their My Certification dashboard.
Registered CE Sponsors are required to report CE attendance records to CFP Board within 2 weeks of program completion. CFP Board sends email confirmation to CFP® professionals when any CE credit is applied to their accounts.
Programs not registered with CFP Board may be reported online by the CFP® professional for consideration. A $60 non-refundable reporting fee is required for each non-registered course that a CFP® professional submits for review. Non-registered CE course reviews will be completed within 3-5 business days of submissions.
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CE Requirements for Candidates
Candidates who do not finish the CFP® certification process within 12 months of passing the CFP® examination begin to accrue a continuing education requirement at a rate of 15 CE credit hours per year (prorated at 1.25 CE credit hours per month). This accrual begins 13 months after passing the exam and continues until the Experience and Degree requirements have been met. CE accrual stops after the second of these two requirements is met, and must be completed within 6 months for the candidate to be eligible for certification. After CE completion, the candidate has access to the Ethics application and payment steps of the process.
CFP Board CE Definition
Continuing education (CE) is the planned and systematic attempt to introduce or review the competencies and knowledge that advances the performance of CFP® professionals.
CE implies some form of learning that advances from previously established levels of educational and work experience accomplishments to extend and amplify knowledge and skills.
CE Hours are awarded for the purpose of documenting attendance at a CFP Board accepted course of instruction.
CFP® professionals are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education (CE) each reporting period: 2 hours of CFP Board approved Ethics CE, and 28 hours of CE covering one or more of CFP Board’s Principal Knowledge Topics.
CFP Board CE Statement of Purpose
The CFP Board Continuing Education requirement is designed to:
- Establish a requirement as part of a certification program that CFP® professionals must meet to maintain competence and renew their certification
- Require CFP® professionals to complete 30 hours of continuing education (CE) each reporting period: 2 hours of CFP Board approved Ethics CE, and 28 hours of CE covering one or more of CFP Board’s Principal Knowledge Topics
- Allow CFP® professionals to select from among multiple continuing education options, and document how each continuing education option links to maintaining competence
- Demonstrate specified levels of knowledge, skills, or abilities not only at the time of initial certification but throughout a CFP® professional’s career
No. CE hours must be earned in the current reporting period. Any hours completed in excess of the 30 hours required for the reporting period will not be carried over to subsequent reporting periods. CE hours earned for any one program may not be split between two reporting periods. CFP® professionals cannot earn CE credit for completing the same program multiple times within the same reporting period.
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Candidates for CFP® certification that do not complete the certification process within 12 months of passing the CFP® Certification Examination, begin to accrue a continuing education requirement at a rate of 15 CE credit hours per year (prorated at 1.25 CE credit hours per month). This accrual begins 13 months after passing the exam and continues until the Experience and bachelor’s degree requirements have been fulfilled.
Candidates are NOT required to complete a CFP Board Ethics course. With the Ethics requirement as the exception, pre-certification CE requirements follow the same CE policy as CFP® professionals. Click here to review those requirements.
Candidates for CFP® certification can receive CE credit for completing continuing education programs, completing college level courses, authoring publications or teaching. CE programs registered with CFP Board can be found using the Find a CE Program search tool. CFP Board's database of CE programs can be searched by a keyword or topic, sponsor name, delivery format (Live or Self-Study), level of complexity, or by the number of CE credit hours offered.
In order to be eligible for CE credit, programs must:
- Address one or more topics listed in CFP Board's Principal Knowledge Topics.
- Contribute to the professional competency of participants in providing financial planning to clients.
- Be developed and/or conducted by persons qualified in the subject matter and in instructional design.
- Include content that is current and accurate.
- Be designed to be at least 50 minutes in length.
Programs that meet CFP Board's CE requirements are eligible for CE credit. CFP Board does not consider whether or not activities satisfy other designations' or licenses' CE requirements when determining if a program is eligible for CE credit. A program accepted towards another designation or license could be eligible for CE credit as long as it met CFP Board's CE requirements.
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The pre-certification CE requirement is cumulative, not specific by year. CE credit hours do not need to be completed within the year they have been accrued. CE credit hours may be completed at any time during the candidacy period, which begins upon candidates passing the CFP® Certification Examination and ends upon certification.
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A CE credit hour is equivalent to 50 minutes of completion time.
CE credit for Live Programs is based in an initial unit of at least one CE credit hour (minimum of 50 minutes constituting one CE credit hour), with half-hour increments accepted after the initial CE credit hour has been satisfied. The total credit hours are rounded down to the last full half hour.
CE credit for Self-Study Programs is determined, in part, by the number of assessment questions. The program must contain 5 questions per CE credit hour requested. For example, a 3.00 credit hour Self-Study Program must take at least 150 minutes to complete and have a minimum of 15 exam questions.
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CE sponsors are required to report pre-accepted CE programs to CFP Board for credit. When CE hours are reported by a sponsor, an email notification from CFP Board is sent to the individuals that receive credit.
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Yes and we encourage candidates to do so. Candidates can review up-to-date information regarding the CE credit hours that have been reported to their accounts by taking the following steps:
- Log into your CFP Board account.
- Select 'My CFP® Certification' in the left-side navigation.
- Select 'View/Report CE' under the heading 'Continuing Education (CE) Summary.'
Certification will not take place until you have fulfilled and reported your entire CE requirement. If you do not complete the CE requirement within six months from the date you fulfill the experience and degree requirements, in order to obtain CFP® certification you will be required to retake and pass the CFP® Certification Examination and meet the certification requirements in place at the time you submit a new CFP® Certification Examination application. Exceptions, due to extenuating circumstances, will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
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Documentation for CE hours should be kept on file for at least four years following program completion. Consult Section 8 of the Continuing Education Policy for direction on what documentation to collect and retain.
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