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.
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.
If you reside in the province of Ontario, you will also be advised to discontinue using the title Financial Advisor as the use of this title is regulated under the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA). Under this regulation, you must hold a recognized financial advisor designation and be in good standing to use the title Financial Advisor or similarly named title.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
DFSA™ holders must re-commit to the DFSA™ Code of Ethics annually upon renewal of the designation.
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.
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.