INSIGHT Newsletter March 2014

For Employers of CFP® Professionals


Spring 2014

Ray Ferrara, CFP® Is New Chair of Board of Directors

CFP Board announced on January 29, 2014 that, as of January 1, 2014, V. Raymond Ferrara, CFP®  is the new Chair of the Board of Directors for CFP Board. The role places the veteran financial planner and well-known speaker as the top advocate for the CFP® certification and the financial planning profession. 

“CFP® certification is the highest standard in personal financial planning. As Chair I will work to advance awareness of the certification among consumers and financial advisors alike,” said Ferrara. “There simply is no better certification when it comes to providing the level of competency and ethics that consumers are looking for in today’s financial advisor.”

Previously, Nancy Kistner, CFP®  was Chair of the Board. Rich Rojeck, CFP® is the Chair-elect, taking office as Chair in 2015. 

To learn more, click here.

CFP Board Moving to Computer-Based Testing for November 2014 Exam

CFP Board announced on January 9, 2014 that it will be transitioning to a computer-based testing (CBT) platform for its CFP® Certification Examination, effective with the November 2014 exam.

The final paper-based exams will be administered March 21-22, 2014 and July 18-19, 2014. Registration for the March exam is closed; the registration
 deadline for the July exam is June 10, 2014.
Benefits of computer-based testing include:

  • Convenient and Comprehensive One-Day Exam. The current exam consists of ten hours of testing time administered over a day and a half period. With CBT, the exam will be administered in one day with six hours of testing time.
  • Equally Rigorous to the Paper-Based Exam. The six hour exam will maintain the same content detailed in CFP Board’s exam blueprint. It will be no harder, or easier, than the paper-and-pencil format, and maintains the same content outlined in CFP Board's Job Task Domains and Principal Topics, which represent the knowledge and abilities required to deliver financial planning services to clients. 
  • Expanded Number of Testing Dates. Currently, the test is administered each March, July and November. With CBT, the exam will still be administered in March, July and November, but each testing window will consist of five testing days, for a total of 15 possible testing days annually. 
  • Preliminary, unofficial exam results are available immediately upon completion of the exam. Official exam results will be available online approximately 10 business days after the close of an exam window.
  • Increased Number of Testing Sites. Instead of the current 50 sites, test-takers will have the option of more than 250 testing sites. A site is located within 25 miles of nearly 90% of CFP® certification candidates. Prometric, a leading provider in testing services, is serving as CFP Board’s partner in administering the exam.
  • Online Scheduling. Exam-takers will schedule their exam online, providing them flexibility in selecting their test date and testing site within the five-day window the exam will be offered. If test-takers wish to reschedule or cancel their testing appointment, they can do so by contacting Prometric at least 48 hours before the scheduled appointment.
Important information about the November exam:

  • The one-week windows are yet to be determined. Testing dates and registration will be available no later than June 1, 2014. 
  • The format and content of the questions on the computer-based CFP® exam are comparable to those used for the paper-based CFP® exam. Exam questions are multiple-choice, with four answer choices and a single-best answer. 
  • The exam will consist of two 3-hour sessions separated by a 30-minute scheduled break. The total testing appointment time is 6 ½ hours, including the half-hour break.

For additional information, click here to read frequently asked questions about CBT. If you have any questions, please email Sara Muehlbauer at

CFP Board Introduces New Advertisements as Part of the Public Awareness Campaign

On February 3, 2014, CFP Board announced the next phase of its ongoing Public Awareness Campaign that urges consumers to look for CFP® certification when choosing a financial advisor.

The creative concept behind the advertising, which comes from Arnold Worldwide, Inc., shows how the CFP® certification makes a difference when it comes to choosing a financial advisor. The advertising features consumers accepting financial advice from an individual who appears and acts like a financial advisor, yet has no qualifications to provide financial advice. 

The new advertising, marketing and public relations campaign includes a mix of television, print and online advertising appearing in national outlets, as well as sponsorship messages on National Public Radio. 

After checking with their compliance department for information and guidance, CFP® professionals are encouraged to take the following steps to get the most out of the Public Awareness Campaign:

  • Maintain an updated online search profile. This will enable professionals to be found in the Find a CFP® Professional search function. Professionals can update their profiles by logging into their accounts at
  • Take advantage of the Public Awareness Campaign resources available to CFP® professionals. Resources include downloadable and embeddable advertisements, Spanish-language resources, and the 2014 media plan. 
To view the new advertisements and other resources in the Public Awareness Campaign toolkit, as well as to access a webinar introducing the new advertisements, click here.

Recorded Webinar: Interpreting Your CFP® Exam Results

On January 9, 2014, CFP Board’s Director of Examinations, Steve Barkley, CAE, hosted a webinar about interpreting exam results, and provided advice to re-takers. The webinar covered the detailed results provided to exam takers and how exam takers can best utilize that information for re-taking the exam. Information covered includes:

  • How to interpret CFP® exam results.
  • How to understand the performance diagnostic reports, for both the Job Task Domain and Topic levels.
  • How the reports can guide re-takers' study plans.
  • Suggestions for those planning to re-take the exam.
To view the recorded webinar, click here.

Continuing Education Update

CFP Board currently works with over 1,100 continuing education (CE) sponsors across the country. Through their continuing education program offerings, sponsors have the opportunity to reach more than 69,000 CFP® professionals in the United States. A directory of current CE Sponsors is available on our website at

Every two years CFP® professionals must complete at least 30 hours of CFP Board accepted CE, of which two hours must come from a CFP Board approved Ethics course. To learn more about becoming a continuing education sponsor, visit

If your firm is already a continuing education sponsor, or works closely with a sponsor in offering CFP Board CE for your firm, here is some key information to keep in mind:

  • Sponsors need to register programs, prior to the offering date, using the online application available through their account at
  • CFP Board asks for a minimum of seven business days to complete an initial review of a CE program application and may request additional information about the course. In order to meet your program delivery dates and print deadlines, please submit your programs as early as possible. For CE Programs that are part of a conference event, CFP Board recommends submitting CE program applications at least a month in advance.
To learn more about CFP Board’s continuing education requirements and standards, please visit Frequently asked questions, as well as additional resources for continuing education sponsors, can be accessed hereIf you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the department at or 800-487-1497.

Upcoming CFP Board Events

  • March 13, 2014: Business Update Webinar, noon - 1 p.m. (ET).
  • March 21-22, 2014: CFP® Certification Examination (registration closed)
  • June 10, 2014: Registration Deadline for July Examination. 
  • July 18-19, 2014: CFP® Certification Examination 

Know Someone Who Should Receive This Newsletter?

Send their full name and email address to Sara Muehlbauer, at

As always, we welcome your feedback and questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at and


Joe Maugeri, CFP®                                Sara Muehlbauer
Director of Firm Relations                      Firm Relations Manager

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