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CFP Board

November 13, 2013

Dear CFP® Professional,

I am pleased to share with you that CFP Board’s Board of Directors (Board) recently adopted a resolution supporting CFP Board’s implementation of a new quality improvement initiatives for continuing education (CE), similar to practices utilized by the established professions. The Board also resolved that CFP Board would not enter the CE market as a provider at this time.

The new CE quality improvement initiatives adopted by the Board are modeled on the CE standards and program review processes of the CPA profession, which serve as a benchmark for a profession based on technical accuracy and regulatory compliance. CFP Board’s implementation of the program will include a number of short- and long-term initiatives to be implemented over the next three to five years, in partnership with CFP® professionals and CE Sponsors registered with CFP Board. With this plan, CFP Board will:

  • Implement a complaint procedure for CFP® professionals to report concerns with CE programs;
  • Require CE Sponsors to state each program’s learning objectives, so that the attendees will know what they are expected to learn;
  • Require CE Sponsors to state the level of complexity (i.e., beginner, intermediate, advanced), so that the attendees can select content for their level of expertise;
  • Enhance auditing of CE programs by CFP Board staff;
  • Collaborate with CE Sponsors to redirect the culture of the CE business to focus on quality;
  • Develop a recognition program for CE programs that meet high quality standards and receive positive feedback from CFP® professionals; and
  • Update CFP® professionals on the aggregate results of CFP Board’s CE programs audits.

We will update you as the components of our plan are implemented, including providing details about the complaint process when it is established. In the meantime, if you have complaints or compliments about the CE programs you attend, please send them to us at CEcomments@cfpboard.org.

The Board’s resolution is the latest development in CFP Board’s review of the CE requirements for CFP® certification. Last year, CFP Board staff and our Council on Education completed a comprehensive review of our CE requirements and developed several recommended revisions, which were released for public comment in August 2012. That public comment period generated a high level of response from CFP® professionals and our other stakeholders, and the core messages we heard from those comments were 1) the quantity of CE currently required is sufficient for continuing competency, and 2) CFP Board needs to take action to raise the quality of the CE programs available to CFP® professionals.

We appreciate the thoughtful and constructive feedback that many CFP® professionals, CE providers and others in the financial planning profession have provided during CFP Board’s intensive review of our CE standards and requirements. CE plays an important role in the CFP® certification requirements, as the continuing competency of CFP® professionals is an essential element to protecting the public and earning its trust.

We look forward to working with you to achieve our goal of increasing the quality of CE by putting in place standards and review processes consistent with those which have proven effective in the established professions.


Kevin R. Keller, CAE

P 800-487-1497 • F 202-379-2299 • CFP.NET
1425 K STREET, NW #500 • WASHINGTON, DC 20005
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Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. 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 initial and ongoing certification requirements.