FP Canada now provides the full education requirements for its qualified associate financial planner (QAFP) and certified financial planner (CFP) designations, the certification body said in a release on Thursday.
In addition to its own proprietary professional curriculum, FP Canada’s education arm, the FP Canada Institute, will be able to deliver the technical education that had previously been delivered by third-party providers such as Advocis and the Canadian Securities Institute.
Education provided by third parties will continue to be an option for students.
“Given today’s rapidly evolving landscape, we are continually evaluating how we can better support aspiring financial planners on their journey to certification,” Alexandra Macqueen, vice-president of learning, development and professional practice with FP Canada, said in a release. “We heard the industry’s call to bring more direct and relevant education to the financial planning profession.”
In March, Macqueen was appointed to lead the FP Canada Institute, and at that time FP Canada said it planned to offer all education in-house.
On Thursday, FP Canada also said changes were made to QAFP certification, including a streamlined path. The changes come three years after the designation was launched, and one year after title protection of “financial planner” was implemented in Ontario. Both the QAFP and CFP are approved designations in the province.
Under the new QAFP path, the designation’s professional education program has a greater focus on discovery, plan preparation and presentation, the release said. For example, a live interactive client discovery component will be part of the final in-course assessment.
The professional education content will also be 25% shorter and more targeted, and candidates will be required to complete the professional education program prior to writing the QAFP exam.
The QAFP changes were largely motivated by a review of FP Canada’s financial planning body of knowledge and the FP Canada Standards Council competency profile, a backgrounder document said. As a result of the review, separate competency profiles were developed for QAFP and CFP certification, reflecting the depth and breadth of each.
In turn, the QAFP’s technical education was also updated to align with building clients’ financial well-being, with an emphasis on the knowledge levels of awareness and understanding, the backgrounder said. In contrast, CFP requirements are more focused on the knowledge levels of application and evaluation.
The changes are effective for candidates writing the QAFP exam beginning in May/June 2024, the release said. Candidates will have access to the new QAFP professional education program in mid-June 2023.