What are the requirements to earn the DFSA?

The requirements to earn the Designated Financial Services Advisor (DFSATM) designation are defined by the DFSA Competency Profile. This profile is aligned with industry best practices and provides the knowledge and skills applied by advisors. It also drives the pre-requisite requirements, education and ongoing maintenance requirements.

To be eligible to earn the DFSA designation, candidates must complete Investment Funds in Canada (IFC) and agree to:

  • Complete one of the post-designation education requirements;
  • Complete application form and attestation;
  • Abide by the Code of Ethics, the Ethical Misconduct Process and the Trademark License Agreement; and
  • Commit to ongoing continuing education once the designation education path has been completed.

Note: Completion of the Canadian Securities Course (CSC®) grants an exemption to the IFC.

If you have any questions regarding eligibility, please contact your employer directly.

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Code of Ethics, Application and Fees

When applying for the DFSA™, you must commit to the DFSA™ Code of Ethics.

The initial application fee includes your licence fee for the year, your commitment to the maintenance requirements and your Fit and Proper Declaration.

Trademark Licence

You are also required to agree to the terms of the DFSA™ Certification Mark Licence Agreement, which grants you the right to use the DFSA™ trademarks in your marketing.

Post-Designation Education Requirements

If not already complete, the DFSA requires eligible applicants to complete an approved education path within 24 months of being granted the designation. If you do not successfully complete the required courses, you will lose the right to use the designation and the associated right to use the Financial Advisor title in the province of Ontario.

CSI provides two paths to fulfill the education requirements:

Note: Completion of the Wealth Management Essentials (WME®) course grants an exemption to Path 1 and Path 2.

A Note from CSI

CSI holds itself to the highest standards of honesty, transparency and fairness when dealing with clients, students, designation holders and regulators. We are committed to ensuring impartiality in carrying out our DFSA™ certification activities (e.g., certification examination results and other decisions related to granting designations). We actively manage conflicts of interest to ensure objectivity.