Certified International Wealth Manager (CIWM) Continuing Education Course Guidelines

What are the Continuing Education (CE) requirements to maintain the CIWM designation?

To maintain the certification, each CIWM designation holder is required to earn:

  • 9 hours of professional development learning credits in the area of wealth management
  • 3 hours of compliance learning credits in the area of wealth management

Designation holders must retain supporting documents to confirm completion of CE credits. In order to qualify, the content of the program must relate to one of the core competencies found in the CIWM Professional Competency Profile.

General Requirements: As a licensee of the Certification Mark

The content of a continuing education activity must fall within one of the nine core competencies of a Certified International Wealth Professional (CIWM). These are: 

  1. Build and manage client relationships that result in a successful partnership. 
  2. Evaluate client needs, goals and behavioural biases in order to link them to recommendations leading to the creation and implementation of an optimal comprehensive wealth management plan. 
  3. Coordinate and engage a trusted and respected team of experts to provide a fully integrated, well-rounded wealth management service. 
  4. Use advanced business marketing techniques for building a wealth management practice. 
  5. Assist clients in growing, protecting and monetizing a closely held business. 
  6. Establish and facilitate tax-efficient wealth accumulation and management strategies that may include sophisticated and complex approaches to achieve life goals. 
  7. Use advanced risk management techniques to create an optimal personalized and integrated wealth preservation plan. 
  8. Collaborate with clients to optimize the conversion of assets into income in a tax-efficient way that will meet lifelong, lifestyle expectations. 
  9. Develop and implement a wealth transfer plan that reflects the wishes of the client and the needs of the family. 

Read a more detailed outline of all the elements of the competency profile.

Professional Development

This area generally relates to the wealth management industry and/or the management of a wealth management business. The content should be designed to increase the CIWM’s problem-solving skills and knowledge of the industry or a product or service that would increase the CIWM’s ability to serve his or her clients. 

The following list provides examples of topics that would be considered acceptable professional development CE activities. 

  • Product features of new products 
  • Valuing a security with respect to price or suitability 
  • Advanced strategies for security selection 
  • Behavioural investing 
  • Techniques for interviewing clients and determining facts for the KYC 
  • Quantitative programs and techniques used to create a financial plan 
  • Advanced retirement planning 
  • Advanced estate planning 
  • Credit and leverage strategies 
  • Treasury management products 
  • Valuing a business 
  • Tax planning tools and updates 
  • Practice management and managerial skills 
  • Communication skills to improve relationships with clients 

For example, a course that covers critical illness insurance products would be considered professional development.


The content of a compliance activity must focus on regulation or compliance related to the wealth management or financial advice industry:

  • Regulations and applicable changes to rules and regulations pertaining to products or the practice of financial planning
  • Rules and regulatory issues of new products
  • Issues regarding wealth management ethics
  • New rules or regulations that affect the client, the firm or the sales of products
  • Proposed new rules or regulations that would impact wealth management

For example, a course that covers a new retirement income product would likely fall under Professional Development. However, if the course also covers the new taxation rules a portion of the course could be applied towards compliance.

Types of Acceptable Activities

The following types of programs are acceptable as structured CE activities. In each case, the content of the program must correspond to core competencies for a CIWM professional competency profile.

Completion of a course, online activity or attendance at seminars, webinars or conferences must be documented either through an Attendance Certificate, or completion of an examination or online quiz.

In-house Courses

Courses or seminars that are offered by your firm are acceptable if they meet the core competence requirements. In-house courses that are firm-specific with regard to corporate policy or product development and delivery are generally not acceptable as a continuing education program.

For example, time spent listening to a speaker about the benefits of the firm’s products is not considered an acceptable CE activity. However, an in-house course demonstrating the assessment of a small business’ financial statements for the purposes of lending would be acceptable.

Seminars and Webinars

Seminars and webinars offered by third-party providers are acceptable if the topic is related to one of the core competencies. For example, in an hour-long seminar, if the speaker discusses the markets and the economy and then spends time reviewing the performance and characteristics of the firm’s funds, time must be deducted from that hour for the time spent on the proprietary product.

CSI CE Activities

Most CSI CE programs are acceptable for either professional development or compliance. CSI courses are acceptable if they cover topics within the CIWM core competencies. Courses that make up the designation educational program are not considered for continuing education purposes.

College or University Courses

Completing a course at a college or university is an acceptable CE Activity if the topic is related to one of the core competencies. For example, a course in economics would be acceptable whereas a course in sociology, Spanish or philosophy would not.

Other Educational Providers

Programs offered by other educational providers are acceptable if the topic is related to one of the core competencies. These providers are provided with the opportunity to submit courses to CSI for approval for continuing education purposes, but this is not mandatory.


Conferences offered by product suppliers or professional designation groups are acceptable activities. Attendance must be documented. Only time spent learning counts. Lunches, breaks and presentations about the firm’s products must be deducted from the total time spent at the conference.


Writing articles, books, course materials or newsletters that are educational is an acceptable CE Activity. The topic must relate to the content in one of the core competencies. Marketing materials or newsletters written for clients are not considered acceptable. The material written can only be used once as a CE Activity. For example, a monthly column on retirement planning for a newspaper or industry magazine would qualify. Writing a column for a newsletter that is distributed to clients would not.

Teaching and Speaking Engagements

Teaching a course at a college or university is acceptable if the topic relates to one of the core competencies. A course could only be used once for CE Credit. Presenting or making a speech at a conference is acceptable for CE Credit. Credit will be given for the time of the presentation. The audience must be financial advisors. Making a speech at an annual conference or a presentation to colleagues at the firm would qualify but conducting a seminar to potential clients would not qualify. To qualify for compliance credits, the topic must relate directly to new regulations or rules and how they will impact a financial planner’s dealings with clients or the firm. For example, giving a presentation describing a new privacy regulation and its impact on the types of questions a wealth management professional planner asks the client would qualify for Compliance credits.

Types of Unacceptable Activities

The following provides examples of activities that would not be considered acceptable for CE Credits. It is not an exhaustive list.

  • Providing seminars to clients even if the topic relates to one of the core competencies
  • Courses or seminars on basic business skills – such as tutorials on basic computer programs such as Word or Excel
  • Seminars or webinars that cannot be verified
  • Any learning or teaching activity that does not relate to a core competency
  • Any writing activity aimed at clients
  • Reading newspapers, books, magazines or internet material

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