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FPSC-Approved education activities

An education provider may choose to offer one or all of the education components associated with CFP® certification or FPSC Level 1® Certification in Financial Planning. Each education requirement is distinct and subject to specific guidelines and approval processes.

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Educational requirements for CFP professionals

Education is a fundamental requirement for earning and maintaining CFP certification. Rigorous educational requirements are a key component of what makes the CFP designation the standard in financial planning.

Educators providing FPSC-approved Core Curriculum and Capstone Courses are in demand by those on the path to certification as a CFP professional - the career choice of approximately 17,000 Canadians and growing - as well as 1,200 FPSC Level 1 certificants. The CFP designation is the financial planning designation most widely recognized by Canadian consumers and employers alike. Interest in becoming a CFP professional – and the need for education that leads to the CFP designation - is expected to increase in the coming years.

Candidates for CFP certification or FPSC Level 1 certification must complete a set of FPSC-approved Core Curriculum courses. Additionally, an FPSC-approved Capstone Course must be completed by candidates for CFP certification; this course also qualifies for Continuing Education (CE) activities for FPSC Level 1 certificants.

Holders of Relevant Financial Planning Qualifications and Other Relevant Professional Qualifications are eligible to be exempt from certain requirements for CFP certification and FPSC Level 1 certification. Please review Routes to CFP Certification for more details.

To maintain the CFP designation and FPSC Level 1 certification, CFP professionals and FPSC Level 1 certificants must complete CE activities every year.

Research Shows the CFP Certification Advantage

FPSC recently participated in an international study conducted on behalf of the Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. (FPSB) by Comparator, an Australian benchmarking organization. Twelve countries including Canada participated in what was deemed the global “Value of CFP Certification” Study. A total of 114 financial services firms participated in the survey.

Among the key findings: Canadian CFP professionals report achieving higher rates of career advancement and longer terms of employment vs. those who do not hold the CFP designation.

Download a summary of the Canadian results.

Study Proves Value of CFP® Certification

A new video produced by Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), the organization that owns the CFP marks outside the US, demonstrates the value that CFP professionals bring to the firms that hire them. According to FPSB’s Global Value of CFP Certification Survey*, which included 92 firms and more than 120,000 financial advisors spanning 12 countries, financial services firms that employ CFP professionals increase their productivity, profitability and client satisfaction, and lowered their compliance risks. Watch the video.

* Financial Planning Standards Board’s Global Value of CFP Certification Survey, conducted by Comparator Benchmarking (2014)


Canadian Financial Planning Definitions, Standards & Competencies 

The Canadian Financial Planning Definitions, Standards & Competencies is the first unified, definitive source on financial planning definitions and professional financial planning standards in Canadian history.

This joint publication of Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) performs an important role in providing consistency within the financial planning profession by specifying unified standards for those practicing within it. It acts as a resource to financial services firms, financial planning educators, practitioners and the Canadian public.

Read the Canadian Financial Planning Definitions, Standards & Competencies: English (PDF) | French (PDF).

Projection Assumption Guidelines 

An important facet of financial planning involves projecting clients’ progress toward meeting their important life goals in areas that include retirement, child education and insurance. To make these projections, financial planners must estimate future inflation and borrowing rates, rates of return and life expectancy. In short, financial projections must make a series of assumptions.

Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) and Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) have released unified Projection Assumption Guidelines. Developed by a committee of actuarial and financial planning professionals and updated annually, the Projection Assumption Guidelines are intended as an aid in making medium and long-term financial projections that are free from potential financial planner biases or predispositions.

As guidance, the assumptions acknowledge that each client situation is different and that financial planners will and should deviate from these assumptions when the client’s situation justifies doing so.

The first unified Projection Assumption Guidelines followed on the heels of the 2015 release of the Canadian Financial Planning Definitions, Standards & Competencies - a joint publication of FPSC & IQPF, the two organizations that establish and maintain standards for the financial planning profession in Canada. The national standards and definitions were developed in consultation with financial planners and industry firms from across the country.

Read the 2016 Projection Assumption Guidelines in Canada.

Amendent to FPSC® Fitness Standards

In December 2015, the FPSC Board of Directors approved a motion by the FPSC Enforcement Policy Committee, a subcommittee of the Board comprised of members of the public and CFP® professionals, to amend the FPSC® Fitness Standards to include the following additional presumptive bar to new or continued certification:

Being found, by an FPSC-Approved Core Curriculum or FPSC-Approved Capstone Course provider, to have breached the education provider’s code of ethics or code of conduct, and/or to have engaged in academic misconduct.

This new presumptive bar provides a specific mechanism and framework for review of individuals on the path to certification who are found to have engaged in academic misconduct, allowing FPSC to review their conduct and evaluate their fitness for certification. This amendment supports FPSC’s commitment to the highest certification standards and levels of professionalism and ethical conduct, in the public interest.

Cooperative Agreements with Educators In further support of FPSC’s commitment to the highest standards and ethical conduct in those it certifies, FPSC has entered into information sharing agreements with various education providers. Through these formalized relationships, FPSC-Approved Core Curriculum educators and FPSC-Approved Capstone Course educators have agreed to provide FPSC with, among other information, reporting of any instance in which a student is found to have breached their student code of conduct.

FPSC is grateful for the leadership and commitment to professionalism that these education providers have shown and looks forward to working collaboratively with them in support of FPSC’s public interest mandate.

In all instances, regardless of whether a formal information sharing agreement exists, we encourage education providers to report to FPSC findings of academic misconduct involving FPSC certificants or individuals on the path to certification.

If you would like to discuss entering into an information sharing agreement with FPSC, please contact FPSC’s Director, Standards and Enforcement, at standards@fpsc.ca.