1 | Complete Education Requirement
Before applying for the CFP® Certification Examination, there are certain CFP Board requirements that must be satisfied. These requirements can be fulfilled through any of the following:
* Degree must be from a regionally-accredited U.S. college or university.
** If you are fulfilling the education requirement on the basis of an inactive CPA license or law license, you will need to provide a letter from the applicable licensing board stating that you are in good standing with that authority.
2 | Pass the CFP® Certification Examination
The 10-hour CFP® Certification Exam tests your ability to apply the financial planning knowledge to client situations. The exam is administered three times a year at about 50 domestic locations and is comprised of multiple choice questions.
3 | Meet the Experience Requirement
At least three years of qualifying full-time work experience is required for certification. Qualifying experience includes work that can be categorized into one of the six primary elements of the personal financial planning process. Experience can be gained in a number of ways including:
4 | Pass Background Check
Applicants for CFP® certification must pass the CFP Board's Candidate Fitness Standards, which describe conduct that will or may bar an individual from being certified.
After you have met the education, examination and work experience requirements, you must disclose past or pending litigation or agency proceedings and agree to abide by the CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards in addition to a standard background check.
5 | Pay Certification Fees
Certification fees include a one-time, non-refundable initial certification application fee of $100 for the background checks and a biennial certification fee of $360.
6 | Receive Authorization to Use the Trademarks
Upon completion and payment, CFP® certificants receive authorization to use the following designation marks:
7 | Continuing Education
CFP® certificants are required to complete 30 hours of Continuing Education (CE) each reporting period. Continuing education credit can be earned for self-study courses (print or online) and classroom courses. Two hours must be completed from a pre-approved program on the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and/or Practice Standards.
The other 28 hours may be earned in one or more of the following accepted topics: