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 PFP® designation.
The AFP Certification Examination consists of two separate examinations where the candidate must successfully complete both examinations to eligible to apply for the PFP® certification. The examinations are open to any candidate who has completed an approved education path. Candidates have up to three hours to complete each of AFP Exam 1 and AFP Exam 2, which are attempted separately. The AFP Exam 1 examination is a multiple-choice examination of between 100 and 110 questions, including possible pilot questions. AFP Exam 2 contains a case study with eight to twelve questions and sub-questions 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 the education path may enrol, but we encourage individuals to self-assess against the following to determine if the AFP Certification Examination is appropriate for you. Enrol in the AFP if you meet the eligibility criteria and:
- are proficient in financial planning for individuals; or,
- offer financial planning services for some clients; or,
- are on the career path or currently practice as a financial planner; or,
- 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.
The PFP® Professional Competency Profile sets out the professional competencies required of a competent financial planner and provides a link to the pre-requisite professional knowledge and skills that are required in order to perform these competencies.
The AFP Certification Examination is designed to assess the competent performance of professionals in the field. Candidates should assess their own knowledge, skills and attributes against the competencies and related knowledge included in the Competency Profile to determine their appropriateness and readiness to write the examinations. The nine core competencies in the profile are:
- Develop a professional relationship with clients based on trust and credibility
- Analyze qualitative information required to create financial recommendations
- Analyze quantitative information required to create a financial plan
- Formulate financial planning strategies and recommendations
- Prepare financial planning recommendations
- Finalize the financial plan with the client
- Implement financial planning solutions
- Monitor the results of the financial plan
- Update the financial plan as required