CFP Board Enlists All CFP® Professionals in Research to Shape the Future of Financial Planning Profession

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CFP Board Enlists All CFP® Professionals in Research to Shape the Future of Financial Planning Profession

Aug 14, 2014

Research Project to Inform Updates to CFP® Examination, Education Requirements 

Washington, D.C., August 14, 2014 – All CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals – more than 70,000 individuals – are asked to participate in a large-scale research project on the latest developments and trends in financial planning, to inform updates to the CFP® certification exam and education requirements, Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. announced today.

“This project serves as the definitive research on the financial planning profession, shedding light on the needs of clients and how CFP® professionals help them achieve their financial goals,” said CFP Board’s Chief Executive Officer, Kevin R. Keller, CAE.  “All CFP® professionals are encouraged to participate and contribute to this important undertaking, to advance and shape the future of the financial planning profession and CFP® certification.”

The comprehensive research project started earlier this year and, by inviting feedback from all 70,000 CFP® professionals, further differentiates the CFP® certification from other personal financial planning designations.  It includes a survey – the largest of its kind in the United States – which will be in the field from August 11 to September 8, 2014. Results will be released publicly in late fall.

As part of the research, CFP® professionals are asked to provide insight into the broad range of knowledge, skills and services clients inquire about and require, such as generating retirement income, estate planning and investments. Results will inform the development of an updated CFP® examination blueprint, which determines what is covered on the certification exam and the weightings of topics. It will also provide the foundation for updates to the course framework for CFP Board-Registered Programs and continuing education (CE) requirements for CFP® professionals.

The research is being conducted in accordance with the Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing and was developed jointly by the American Psychological Association (APA), the American Educational Research Association (AERA), and the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), in accordance with best practices in the testing industry. Research informing updates to examination and education standards is required by the National Council on Certifying Agencies (NCCA) for accreditation.

“This critical research will help to define the financial planning profession, ensuring the competency of future CFP® professionals through up-to-date, relevant examination content and education requirements,” said Michele Warholic, CAE, CFP Board’s Managing Director for Examination, Education and Human Talent. “Educators, exam takers, candidates for certification and most importantly, clients, will benefit from this research and the resulting updates.”


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 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™, and the federally registered 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 more than 70,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.

CONTACT: Dan Drummond, Director of External Communications P: 202-379-2252 M: 202-243-8621 E: Twitter: @cfpboardmedia
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CFP Board’s leadership and representatives are available for interviews and speaking engagements on personal finance, the financial planning profession, CFP Board and the CFP® designation.

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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