CSI will be performing maintenance on June 22nd from 7:00 PM to 12:00 AM EST. Exam scheduling will be unavailable. Existing exam bookings will not be impacted. Please do not submit support tickets for scheduling issues during this time.

To represent yourself as an active DFSA holder in good standing and to uphold the prestige of your letters, you must meet the designation maintenance requirements annually. 

Note: If you reside or do business in the province of Ontario, you must hold a financial advisor designation in good standing to use the title Financial Advisor.

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Renew your DFSA™ Designation

All DFSA™ holders must renew their designation by their anniversary date (the date the designation was originally granted). You will receive reminders 4 weeks and 1 week prior to your deadline.

Designation holders who do not renew will be deemed to be “not in good standing.” You will receive a letter stating that you are no longer eligible to use the DFSA™ trademarks. If you continue to use the trademarks, then legal action may be taken. You will also be removed from the DFSA™ Directory.

Upon renewal, you will renew the commitment to continuing education, code of ethics and trademark agreement usage and pay the designation fee on an annual basis on the anniversary of being granted the designation.

Meet Continuing Education Requirements

The world we work and live in is constantly evolving. As a financial advisor, it is critical that you commit to lifelong learning and have a handle on the trends and issues that affect your industry—and, most importantly, your clients.

Each DFSA™ holder is required to earn 30 continuing education (CE) hours over a 2-year CE cycle starting the first full year after you complete your education requirements. The first CE cycle will begin on January 1, 2024. CE must be composed of 20 hours of Professional Development CE credits and 10 hours of Ethics and Compliance CE credits.

CE content must fall within the competencies as provided in the DFSA™ Professional Competency Profile.

Taking Continuing Education (CE) Courses

Courses can be taken from CSI or other external providers (e.g., community colleges, universities, other professional education providers or in-house at your employer). It is up to you to determine if a course meets CSI’s DFSA™ CE Course Guidelines.

Tracking Requirements

It is the responsibility of the DFSA™ holder to maintain a record of the CE activity. Documentation should be kept on file for a minimum of three years.

Make sure you retain supporting documents to confirm the completion of CE credits. CE requirements begin on January 1, 2024, and after that date,  each year, a percentage of DFSA™ holders will be audited to verify the CE hours claimed on their designation renewal applications.

Continuing Education (CE) Auditing Process

CSI will conduct periodic audits of DFSA™ holders upon renewal of their designation to assess compliance with continuing education (CE) requirements. Designation holders must retain supporting documents to confirm the completion of CE credits.

  • DFSA™ holders selected for audit purposes will be sent a letter of notification.
  • They will be asked to submit documents to verify the CE hours they have indicated on their designation renewal form.
  • They will have 60 days to comply with the audit request.

Failure to comply with the request may result in the designation holder being declared “not in good standing.” This means they will no longer be able to use the DFSA™ trademarks. Misstated or fraudulent reporting of CE credits will be reported to the Designation Ethics Committee as a violation of the DFSA™ Code of Ethics and will be considered according to the Ethical Misconduct Process.

Code of Ethics

DFSA™ holders must re-commit to the DFSA™ Code of Ethics annually upon renewal of the designation.

Trademark License and Application Fees

To continue using the DFSA™ trademarks in your own marketing, DFSA™ holders must re-commit to the Certification Mark License Agreement each year.

DFSA™ holders are required to pay a non-refundable license fee. The license fee goes towards your trademark rights and benefits and requires your ongoing commitment to the maintenance requirements and your Fit and Proper Declaration.

Reinstatement Policy

DFSA™ holders are given the opportunity to reactivate their license after a lapse of up to five years. If your designation has lapsed for more than five years, you’ll be required to re-take and successfully complete the  Financial Planning 1 course and meet the work experience requirement, in addition to agreeing to the DFSA™ Code of Ethics and the Certification Mark License Agreement.

  • If you allow your designation to lapse for less than 60 days of your renewal date, you will be able to renew online without penalty.
  • If you allow your designation to lapse beyond 60 days but less than one year of your license renewal date, you will be required to pay an administration fee in addition to your annual licence fee. You will be removed from the public directory, and you will lose the right to use the DFSA™ until you are reinstated.  If you live in the province of Ontario, you will also lose the right to use the title Financial Advisor.
  • If you allow your designation to lapse longer than one year but less than five years, you will be required to pay an administration fee and a reinstatement fee in addition to the annual renewal licence fee, as well as provide proof of completion of CE over the full lapse period. You will be removed from the public directory, and you will lose the right to use the DFSA™ until you are reinstated.  If you live in the province of Ontario, you will also lose the right to use the title Financial Advisor.