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Take your career to the next level by becoming a Qualified Associate Financial Planner (QAFP)

QAFP certification lets your employers and clients know you are an ethical professional with a broad knowledge of financial planning strategies, skills, and solutions. If you enjoy helping Canadians with their financial planning needs by providing advice, QAFP certification may be for you.

QAFP certification involves coursework, an exam, work experience, and completion of the QAFP Professional Education Program. Once you complete the coursework, you’ll need to pass the certification exam and gain a year of relevant work experience before you can apply for certification.


Courses required

Who should enrol?

  • Financial services professionals or specialists

This level of certification is recommended for professionals:

  • Without a university degree (until April 1, 2022, when a 2 -year diploma will be required)
  • Looking for professional recognition while pursuing the full CFP® program
  • Looking to serve a broad market without needing to focus on a higher level of certification
  • Working on a team or managing individuals with the CFP® Certification

Types of jobs

  • Advisor
  • Personal Financial Planner/Advisor
  • Wealth Management Advisor

Ready to get started?

Pathway title

Steps required for QAFP certification

Step 1
Coursework

Step 2
QAFP examination

Step 3
Work experience

Step 4
QAFP certification application

Step 5
QAFP professional education program

QAFP certification steps - more information

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

Step 1.

Coursework

Complete the BCC Core Curriculum (6 units) and Introduction to Professional Ethics. You may take your ethics course before or after you complete the core curriculum.

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.

QAFP examination

After completing your course, register to take your exam through FP Canada. We offer exam prep webinars to help you prepare.

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.

Step 3.

Work experience

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

Step 4.

QAFP certification application

After you’ve gained work experience, submit your application for certification to FP Canada.

Step 5.

QAFP professional education program

You may complete the QAFP Professional Education Program after your coursework and before your exam or after you receive QAFP certification.

  • 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 certificationdesignation 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 certificatio

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 solutions.

You will renew your QAFP certification with FP Canada each year by July 31.

Read the full guidelines

As per the FP Canada guidelines, you must:

  • Adhere to the FP Canada Standards Council™ Standards of Professional Responsibility.
  • Earn 12 credits of Continuing Education.
  • Comply with the QAFP Certification Policies.
  • Comply with the QAFP marks used in accordance with the QAFP Marks Usage Guide.
  • 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:

  • 1 credit (minimum) in Professional Responsibility
  • 7 credits (minimum) in Financial Planning
  • 5 credits (maximum) combined in Practice Management, Product Knowledge, and 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.

Get started on the path to QAFP

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.

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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