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CFP Board Changes Education Component

Financial Plan Development Course
The CFP Board is adding a new component to the educational component of CFP® Certification. Beginning in 2012, the new Financial Plan Development course will become required of all educational providers. The purpose of the new course, as stated by the CFP Board, is “… to require the financial planning student to demonstrate the ability to integrate and apply his or her knowledge of financial topics, as received through the curricula taught by CFP Board-Registered Programs.”

What Is It?
Every educational provider will have their own version of what the course will be, but the basic goal of the course is to teach students how to properly construct a financial plan. That means teaching students the process, and then requiring them to make a live presentation of their written plan. In this manner, students will have proven their ability to apply the topics of financial planning to actual real-world applications, while also demonstrating an ability to effectively communicate with their clients.

Why?
The CFP Board, through both internal and external surveys, determined that one of the key areas where firms were looking for improvement from newly certified certificants was in actually developing a financial plan and effectively communicating it to clients. The end result of this new requirement is hopefully going to be better prepared certificants who will be able to better serve their clients.

Who Is Impacted?
So the question potential certificants are asking is, “Do I need to take the CFP Board exam prior to the end of 2011?” The answer is no. The CFP Board will “grandfather” in any students enrolled in a CFP Board Certified Educational Program on or before December 31, 2011. So you would have to be enrolled prior to 2012, but you do not have to be finished with your program or have taken the Board exam by that time. However, individual Educational Programs may set earlier deadlines. In fact, some programs already have a Financial Plan Development Course as part of their required coursework. So check with your Educational provider to see what they plan on doing.

For more information about the CFP Board, how to become a CFP® Certificant, or the new Financial Plan Development course, visit the CFP Board at their website: www.cfp.net.