CFP has new certification guidelines

By Staff | November 1, 2009 | Last updated on November 1, 2009
2 min read

Financial Planners Standards Council (FPSC) has officially announced changes to its Certified Financial Planner® certification program, which will come into effect July 1, 2010.

First of, FPSC has changed the names of the exams that will constitute the examination requirements for CFP certification. What were referred to as the Professional Competence Examinations 1 and 2 are now referred to as Financial Planning Examination Level 1 and 2. This is a change in name only, and the focus and content of the exams has not changed.

Also note the following changes:

Examination: A two-staged examination process (Professional Competence Exam 1 and 2 – PCE1 and PCE2) will replace the single six-hour CFP Examination. FPSC has also adopted a policy that restricts the maximum number of attempts to four for each examination.

Education: All candidates will be required to successfully complete an FPSC-approved Capstone Course, in order to be eligible to write the PCE2. The Capstone Course is required in addition to successful completion of FPSC-approved Core Curriculum education. The Capstone Course requires the completion of a financial plan as further demonstration of the candidate’s understanding and application of financial planning fundamentals. Candidates who are qualifying under the Approved Prior Credential policy must still complete both exams and successfully complete the Capstone Course.

Work Experience: All candidates will be required to complete three years of qualifying financial planning work experience (an increase from the current requirement of two years). One year of qualifying financial planning work experience must be completed prior to writing the PCE2.

Ethics Requirement: All candidates will now be required to adhere to a Code of Conduct established by FPSC and maintain continuous registration with FPSC throughout the path to CFP certification. (Currently, only those who have completed the CFP certification process must commit to abide by the Code of Ethics and Practice Standards.)

These new guidelines won’t impact current CFP professionals. Candidates applying to FPSC to meet the Examination requirement of the CFP certification program on or after 1 July 2010 will be enrolled in the new program.

Candidates applying to FPSC to repeat the current CFP Examination on or after 1 July 2010 will be enrolled in the new program and must abide by the new requirements. The CFP Examination will not be offered after June 2010 and will be fully replaced by the PCE1 and PCE2.

The first PCE1 sitting will be in November 2010. The first PCE2 sitting will be held in June 2011.

Any candidate who has passed the (current) CFP Examination by June 2010 must follow all current requirements for obtaining their licence to use the CFP Marks.

For more details refer to staff


The staff of have been covering news for financial advisors since 1998.