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Become a Certified Financial Planner®

Are you looking for your next professional challenge? Become a Certified Financial Planner (CFP). CFP certification is an international standard for financial planning. CFP professionals are highly desired by employers and clients alike, and the certification is widely recognized by institutions and regulatory bodies. It signifies you use appropriate and sound planning strategies, skills, and solutions for complex financial situations, with the highest ethical standards of responsibility.

Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) certification involves coursework, an exam, 3 years of relevant work experience, and completion of the CFP Professional Education Program. Once you complete the coursework, you’ll need to pass the certification exam and complete your work experience before you can apply for certification.


Courses required

Who should enrol?

  • Financial services professionals or specialists
  • Professionals who have a QAFP certification and wish to earn a CFP certification

This level of certification is recommended for professionals:

  • Without a university degree (until April 1, 2022, when a post-secondary degree from an accredited university will be required)
  • Seeking a high level of professional recognition in the financial planning industry
  • Working on a team or managing other individuals with the CFP certification

Types of jobs

CFP and QAFP professionals are typically in high demand and have a large number of career opportunities, especially with the ever increasing complexity of the financial landscape. Careers range from established firms, banks, and unions, to entrepreneurial pursuits and personal practices.

CFP® certification - steps to take

Steps required for CFP® certification

Step 1
BCC Core Curriculum

Step 2
BCC Advanced Curriculum

Step 3
Introduction to Professional Ethics

Step 4
Professional Education Programs

Step 5
CFP® Exam

CFP® certification steps - more information

  • Step 1
  • Step 2
  • Step 3
  • Step 4
  • Step 5

Step 1.

BCC Core Curriculum

BCC provides the CFP core curriculum in 6 themed units. Each unit contains several chapters that break down the fundamental concepts you need to know about that topic.

The courses are offered through self-study or live webinars. Learn at a pace that is comfortable for you and fits into your schedule.

Although every student moves through the course material at a different rate, except to spend about 100 hours for the self-study option and about 250 hours with live instruction.

The Core Curriculum makes up the technical knowledge that is required of a financial planner and is the first step on the route to the FP Canada™ certification. BCC is an FP Canada-approved Core Curriculum provider. Core Curriculum is required by both QAFP™ and CFP® candidates.

Step 2.

BCC Advanced Curriculum

This BCC course is a single unit (Unit 7) that builds on the skills developed in the Core Curriculum. Through practical examples, you’ll learn to apply the advanced technical skills needed to these complete financial planning for clients with more complex needs.

The course is offered through self-study or live webinars. Learn at a pace that is comfortable for you and fits into your schedule.

The Advanced Curriculum is the second technical component of the CFP® certification route focusing on more complex planning issues. This course builds on the blocks, blueprints, tools, and construction skills developed in the Core Curriculum.

Step 3.

Introduction to Professional Ethics

You must have at least 1 year of relevant financial planning work experience before submitting your QAFP Certification Application.

All candidates must complete the 3 hours IPE course through FP Canada Institute. It is self-paced and online.

Step 4.

Professional education programs

All candidates must complete a PEP through FP Canada. QAFP professionals must complete one within a year of passing the QAFP Exam. If they are stopping at the QAFP designation, they can take the 80 hour QAFP PEP. If they plan to proceed to the CFP designation at some point, the 110 hour CFP PEP can be completed. Examinees must complete the CFP PEP before registering for the CFP Exam.

Step 5.

CFP® Exam

The CFP Exam is administered by FP Canada twice per year and is the final educational step on the path to designation. Click here for exam details.

QAFP™ and CFP® Exams are held twice a year by FP Canada. Generally the exams are written in June and November with registration closing one month in advance. Use this BCC exam prep tool to better prepare for your examination.

 
  • Requirements
  • Maintaining certifications
  • Specializations
  • Continuing education
  • Resources

Requirements

  • Complete Units 1 to 6 of the BCC Core Curriculum through online delivery and a choice of live webinar or self-paced options. Courses are offered by BCC.
  • Complete Introduction to Professional Ethics online course through FP Canada.
  • Optional: Complete the QAFP Exam Prep Webinar offered by BCC.
  • Take the QAFP Examination through FP Canada. The exam must be completed within 4 years of completing the Core Curriculum or Introduction to Professional Ethics (whichever comes first). If you are not successful, you will need to restart these courses.
  • Complete a minimum of 1 year of relevant work experience.
  • Apply for QAFP certification.
  • Complete the Professional Education Program through FP Canada. If you plan to pursue your CFP certification designation after your QAFP, you can opt for the CFP Professional Education Program.
  • Maintain certification through continuing education. BCC provides a variety of qualifying webinars and podcasts each year.

Maintaining certifications

Your education doesn’t stop once you earn your certification. To best serve your clients, it’s important to stay current on the latest financial strategies.

You will renew your CFP certification with FP Canada each year by March 31. As per the FP Canada guidelines, you must:

  • Adhere to the FP Canada Standards Council™ Standards of Professional Responsibility
  • Complete 25 credits of Continuing Education
  • Correctly use the CFP marks in accordance with FP Canada’s CFP Marks Usage Guide
  • Comply with the CFP Certification Policies
  • Complete your certification renewal application, submit for approval, and pay your annual certification fee

Specializations

If you would like to enhance your knowledge about more complex financial matters, there are specialized courses you can take that will allow you to better serve your clients. These courses may also count toward your continuing education requirements.

  • The Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) certificationdesignation provides the education needed to differentiate your practice in complex wealth transfer and estate planning. Read more
  • The Elder Planning Counselor™ (EPC™) course provides education for professionals working with clients over 55 in many different fields, including financial planning, insurance, accounting, funeral planning, social work, and nursing. Read more
  • The Certified Health Insurance Specialist® (CHS®) certificationdesignation can help finance professionals provide advice related to income replacement, critical illness and long-term care. Read more

Continuing education

Your education continues once you receive your certificationdesignation. To best serve your clients, it’s important to keep up with the latest information in your field.

To maintain your certification, each you must complete 12 credits of Continuing Education (CE) spanning 5 categories:

  • 2 credits (minimum) in Professional Responsibility
  • 10 credits (minimum) in Financial Planning
  • 5 credits (maximum) in Practice Management
  • 5 credits (maximum) in Product Knowledge
  • 5 credits (maximum) in Giving Back.

BCC offers a variety of CE webinars and podcasts.

Resources

As you navigate your way through your certification, the following resources may help:

We’ll answer commonly asked questions in our FAQ.

Direct to CFP® courses

The Core Curriculum makes up the technical knowledge that is required of a financial planner and is the first step on the route to the FP Canada™ certification. BCC is an FP Canada-approved Core Curriculum provider. Core Curriculum is required by both QAFP™ and CFP® candidates.

The Advanced Curriculum is the second technical component of the CFP® certification route focusing on more complex planning issues. This course builds on the blocks, blueprints, tools, and construction skills developed in the Core Curriculum.

QAFP™ and CFP® Exams are held twice a year by FP Canada. Generally the exams are written in June and November with registration closing one month in advance. Use this BCC exam prep tool to better prepare for your examination.

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