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The October 2021 sitting of FP Canada’s qualified associate financial planner (QAFP) exam had a pass rate of 62.6%, with 337 candidates writing the exam, FP Canada said in a release on Tuesday.

October’s pass rate compared to May’s pass rate of 74.7%, when 253 candidates wrote the exam.

Once again, FP Canada offered candidates the option of writing the exam either in-person or online, with about 80% of candidates choosing the latter, down from 90% in May.

As of Sept. 30, the tally of QAFPs across Canada was more than 1,900, the release said.

That’s down from 3,358 QAFP professionals earlier this year, with the decline following the end of a transition period. When QAFP certification was launched in January 2020, FPSC Level 1 certificants automatically transitioned to QAFP certification and were given until fall 2021 to meet the requirements to maintain QAFP certification.

“Many of these certificants decided to pursue CFP certification and have since become CFP professionals,” an FP Canada spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “Those who decided not to pursue CFP certification, and did not meet the requirements to maintain QAFP certification, had their certification lapse, which contributed to the decline in certification numbers.”

Despite the fluctuation, “FP Canada continues to see strong demand for QAFP certification within the financial services industry,” the statement said.

Registration is now open for the next QAFP exam on Feb. 1, 2022, and the next CFP exam on Feb. 2 and 3.