Designated Financial Services Advisor (DFSA™)

What are the requirements to earn the DFSA?

The requirements to earn the Designated Financial Services Advisor (DFSA) 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 awarded the DFSA designation. It drives the pre-requisite requirements, education and ongoing maintenance requirements.

To earn the Designated Financial Services Advisor (DFSA) designation, candidates must have completed either the Investment Funds in Canada (IFC) or the Canadian Securities Course (CSC®) and be licensed as a mutual fund representative or registered representative (securities) and agree to:

  • Complete one of three educational paths within 2 years of initial certification.
  • Abide by the Code of Ethics, the Ethical Misconduct Process and the Trademark License Agreement.
  • Ongoing continuing education once the post-licensing educational path has been completed.

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Code of Ethics

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

Trademark License and Application and Fees

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 own marketing.

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

Post-Licensing Education Requirements

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

CSI provides three options to complete the post-licensing education requirements:

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.