What are the requirements to earn a PFP®?

The requirements to earn the Personal Financial Planner (PFP®) designation are defined by the PFP® Competency Profile. This profile is aligned with industry best practice and international credentialing standards and provides the knowledge and skills applied by professionals awarded the PFP® designation. It drives the requirements for the education, work experience, the format and coverage of the Applied Financial Planning (AFP) Certification Exam and the ongoing maintenance requirements.

PFP® candidates must complete the below requirements.

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The PFP® requires applicants to complete an approved education path. CSI offers three paths to achieve the PFP® designation. Our accredited education partners also offer education paths.

Certification Examination

Write and pass the Applied Financial Planning (AFP) Certification Examination offered exclusively through the Canadian Securities Institute

Work Experience

To qualify for the PFP® designation, you must meet the following work experience requirements:

  • Minimum 3 years of experience within the past 7 years in a financial planning/advising role
  • Work experience evaluation is based upon the 8 competencies and 115 elements of competency in the competency profile
  • You must have performed at least 97 of the 115 PFP® elements of competency at a satisfactory level to be considered for the designation
  • Work experience outside of Canada can be applied as long as it meets the requirements
  • Use the PFP® Work Experience Declaration – Assessment Tool to find out if your experience qualifies
  • Full-time teaching of financial planning at a post-secondary level may qualify for up to 2 years of experience

As part of the application process, work experience will be verified and audited. Applicants will be asked to provide the name of the verifying individual on
their application form.

Verifying Your Work Experience

  • Individuals who can verify experience should be a current or recent employer/supervisor
  • Self-employed individuals must provide verification from a previous employer or a close peer who holds a financial services designation (e.g., PFP®, CFP®)—in such a case, CSI may request further documentation

Verification Process

  • A request for verification will be sent (by email) to the verifier provided by the applicant on the application form
  • A copy of the request will be sent to the applicant, so they know they are being assessed
  • Contacts will be asked to provide confirmation within 30 days of the request
  • If the confirmation is not received, CSI will notify the applicant, and a copy of the notification will also be sent to the work experience contact
  • If a response is not received within 30 days, the applicant and the verifier will be contacted again

Misstated or fraudulent reporting of experience will be reported to the Designation Ethics Committee as a violation of the PFP® Code of Ethics and will be considered according to the Ethical Misconduct Process.

Code of Ethics

When applying for the PFP®, you must commit to the PFP® Code of Ethics.

Trademark License and Application Fees

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

The initial application fee is $355 and includes your license fee for the year, your commitment to the maintenance requirements and your Fit and Proper Declaration.

If you have met the above requirements, apply now, and harness your potential with the PFP®.


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