CFP Board Announces Initiatives to Improve Quality of Continuing Education for CFP® Professionals

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CFP Board Announces Initiatives to Improve Quality of Continuing Education for CFP® Professionals

Nov 13, 2013

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. announced today a suite of new initiatives to improve the quality of continuing education (CE) for CFP® professionals that will help ensure their continuing competency in providing financial planning services to the public.

At its November meeting the Board of Directors unanimously approved a multi-year plan to upgrade the quality of CE that will engage the CFP Board staff, Council on Education, CE Sponsors registered with CFP Board and CFP® professionals. The plan does not, at this time, include CFP Board developing and delivering CE programs.

“CFP® professionals need to have access to the highest quality continuing education programs,” said Board of Directors Chair Nancy Kistner, CFP®. “The establishment of appropriate standards for and delivery of continuing education are inherent in CFP Board’s mission to benefit the public. And we believe these initiatives will elevate the quality of continuing education opportunities for CFP® professionals in all delivery formats.”

As part of their certification, CFP® professionals are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education coursework every two years prior to re-certifying. Of these 30 hours, two of them must be on CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct. There are currently over 1,400 CE sponsors offering more than 15,000 CE programs registered with CFP Board on an annual basis, of which 60 are focused on CFP Board’s ethical and practice standards.

Over the next three to five years, CFP Board will be working to align CE for CFP® professionals with CE standards and program review processes currently used by the established professions. CFP Board’s implementation of this program will include a number of short- and long-term initiatives to be implemented in partnership with CFP® professionals and CE Sponsors registered with CFP Board, including:

  • A complaint procedure for CFP® professionals to report issues with CE programs;
  • Updates to the registration processes for CE Sponsors and CE programs to establish heightened expectations and quality standards, provide clear learning objectives, and define instructor criteria;
  • Enhanced auditing of CE programs by CFP Board staff, with increased focus on issues related to complaints received from CFP® professionals;
  • Collaboration with CE Sponsors to redirect the culture of the CE business to focus on quality;
  • A recognition program for CE programs that meet high quality standards and receive positive feedback from CFP® professionals; and
  • Updates to CFP® professionals on the aggregate results of CFP Board’s auditing of CE programs.

“We have heard from CFP® professionals and CE program providers alike that we need to improve the quality of continuing education. We are dedicated to making this happen and have set an aggressive course to meet this goal,” said Kevin R. Keller, CAE, CFP Board’s Chief Executive Officer.


The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board's mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.  CFP Board currently authorizes nearly 69,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.

CONTACT: Dan Drummond, Director of Public Relations P: 202-379-2252 M: 202-550-4372 E: Twitter: @cfpboardmedia

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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.
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