Our Designations

What is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional?

What is the CFP Board?

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) is non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C. that sets professional competency and ethics standards for personal financial planning. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and federally registered CFP (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements. Founded in 1985, CFP Board's mission is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for personal financial planning.

As a charitable/educational organization that does not have members or products to sell and that is not funded by any special interest, CFP Board exists to make people aware of the benefits of financial planning and to encourage people to seek out individuals who can help them apply the financial planning process to improve their financial lives.

Why should I choose a CFP® professional?

Choosing a financial planner may be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your loved ones. Your financial planner can play a central role in helping you meet your life goals and achieving financial well-being, and as such needs to be competent and trustworthy. All CFP® professionals have met these strict requirements mandated by CFP Board:

  • Education: CFP® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical financial planning knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a financial planning curriculum approved by CFP Board.
  • Examination: CFP® professionals must pass a comprehensive two-day, 10-hour CFP® Certification Examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format.
  • Experience: CFP® professionals must have at least three years of experience providing financial planning services to clients before they can earn the right to use the CFP® certification marks.
  • Ethics: As a final step to certification, CFP® professionals agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct known as CFP Board's Standards of Professional Conduct, which includes the Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Rules of Conduct and Financial Planning Practice Standards.

CFP® professionals must renew their certification every two years. CFP® professionals are required to stay current with developments in the financial planning profession and fulfill ethical obligations. As part of the renewal process, they are required to complete a minimum 30 hours of continuing education every two years, including a course on CFP Board's ethical standards.

What is a Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM?

The Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM or CRPC® designation is the nation’s premier retirement planning credential. Master every step of the retirement planning process and learn to create a "roadmap to retirement" for your clients. Financial advisors face an increasingly complex onslaught of retirement planning questions as aging baby boomers look for investments to meet their lifestyle needs in 10 years, 20 years, and beyond, as well as determining when they can actually retire. You’ll find these clients demand a high level of trust from their advisors. You can build this trust and add to your expertise and credibility with the CRPC® mark after your name.

Unlike other retirement planning designation programs, the CRPC® program covers all aspects of the retirement process in a single comprehensive program with no product or advising biases.

What is Chartered
Financial Consultant (ChFC®)?

The ChFC® designation has been a mark of excellence for almost thirty years and currently requires nine college-level courses, the most of any financial planning credential. Average study time to earn the ChFC® exceeds 450 hours. Required courses cover extensive education and application training in financial planning, income taxation, investments, and estate and retirement planning. Additional electives are chosen from such topics as macroeconomics, financial decisions for retirement, and executive compensation. ChFC® designees must meet experience requirements and adhere to continuing education and ethical standards. The credential is awarded by The American College, a non-profit educator founded in 1927 and the highest level of academic accreditation.