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Successful completion of the Applied Financial Planning (AFP) certification examination is required prior to becoming certified as a Personal Financial Planner (PFP®).

The Applied Financial Planning (AFP) Certification Examination is an important and necessary step to become certified as a Personal Financial Planner (PFP®). Coupled with an experience requirement, it represents the final hurdle for candidates to complete the certification requirements for CSI’s premier PFP® designation.

What is the eligibility criteria?

Candidates can enrol for the AFP Certification Examination only after successfully completing all courses within one of the PFP® education paths.

The AFP Certification Examination consists of two separate examinations where the candidate must successfully complete both examinations to be eligible to apply for the PFP® designation. Candidates have up to three hours to complete each AFP Exam 1 and AFP Exam 2, which are attempted separately. The AFP Exam 1 consists of 105 stand-alone multiple-choice questions, and the AFP Exam 2 contains four case studies with three-five questions each, where candidates must provide a written response to open-ended questions (constructed-response questions).

AFP Exam 1 and AFP Exam 2 assess the required knowledge, skills and attributes to practice, and the candidate’s ability to apply the professional competencies as set out in the PFP® Professional Competency Profile.

Who should enrol?

Anyone who has completed an approved education path may enrol. We do encourage individuals to self-assess against the following to determine if the AFP Certification Examination is appropriate for them.

  • You offer financial planning services for some clients, or,
  • You are on the career path or currently practice as a financial planner, or,
  • You understand and are able to apply the financial planning competencies as set out in the PFP® Professional Competency Profile

Although not a requirement to attempt the AFP Certification Examination, candidates should recognize that experience serving clients in personal financial planning situations may prove beneficial when attempting the examinations. Specifically, questions on the examinations may present situations that require in-depth analysis, evaluation and integration across the various aspects of financial planning to formulate a response; formulating such responses can be aided by real-life experience. Candidates should carefully self-assess to determine if they possess the skills necessary for success on the AFP Certification Examination and if their success could be enhanced by experience in the field.

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