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Personal Financial Services Advice (PFSA)

The Personal Financial Services Advice (PFSA) course is designed to help you confidently deliver the right advice to your clients based on their individual needs. You'll improve your communications skills, build stronger, more profitable relationships and ultimately, grow your client-base. What's more, completing the PFSA puts you one step closer to earning the Personal Financial Planner (PFP®) designation and Certificate in Financial Services Advice – CSI's industry-leading credentials.

Who Should Enrol

The PFSA is designed for individuals who may have little or no background in financial planning. These individuals have likely completed the Canadian Securities Course (CSC®)® or the Investment Funds in Canada (IFC) course and are looking to progress their career in financial planning.

About the Exam

The PFSA exam is completely online and accessible through your online course. Advance booking is not required.

Course leads to the following credentials:


Gain valuable insight into the key financial planning processes and principles that guide today's financial services organizations. Learn expert techniques and skills for building client trust, such as:

  • Identify strategies for satisfying clients with varying needs, goals and objectives
  • Evaluate the merits of different financial tools to create value for clients
  • Assess the current financial climate in relation to client risk tolerance
  • Build positive and profitable client relationships through communication, trust and credibility
  • Establish a loyal client base through adherence to superior performance and service standards
  • Identify and understand processes, procedures and legal requirements by which financial institutions are bound

How you'll learn

The PFSA course is delivered through an online interactive learning environment. You can take advantage of eBook readings, learning activities for self assessment, and a customized diagnostic tool designed to help you prepare for your exam.

Measure your progress

CSI's online learning system helps you meet, and even exceed, your study goals. You'll benefit from:

  • Learning objectives and goals that keep you focused
  • Interactive tools to help you evaluate and apply course material
  • Post-chapter tests to assess your progress
  • Course updates
  • A customizable calendar
  • Online discussion forums and assistance from CSI's academic support specialists

What you'll learn?

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Syllabus Click Here to Expand


Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Section 1 - Building a Relationship With Your Client
  • Section 2 - Communicating With Your Client
  • Section 3 - Conducting a Client Interview
  • Section 4 - Adapting Your Approach to Different Clients
  • Section 5 - Building Internal Relationships
  • Section 6 - Performance Evaluations for Financial Professionals


Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Section 1 - Micro and Macroeconomic Infl uences on Financial Services
  • Section 2 - Components of Personal Financial Statements
  • Section 3 - Fundamentals of Financial Math


Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Section 1 - Creating Value for Your Client
  • Section 2 - Selling With a Needs-Based Approach
  • Section 3 - Selling Additional Solutions to Meet Your Clients' Financial Goals
  • Section 4 - Building Your Business Through Referrals


Topics covered in this chapter are:

  • Section 1 - Ethics in the Financial Services Industry
  • Section 2 - The Importance of Ethics to an Organization
  • Section 3 - Ethical Dilemmas When Working With Your Client
  • Section 4 - Using "Know Your Client" to Manage Risks
  • Section 5 - Recognize Unusual Business Activities
  • Section 6 - Regulatory Regimes and Their Role With You and Your Client
Approximate Hours of Study**
Hours of Study 50 - 70 hours

** In order to provide some guidance to course participants as to the length of time it will take to be sufficiently prepared to write the final examination, CSI has prepared this estimate of the number of hours an average participant could possibly expect to spend studying for a course. Please note that these are only recommended hours of study developed based on research and our course content, however, this does not mean that some students with exceptional backgrounds would not take less time than recommended or that students with no background at all in finance or economics would not take longer than the maximum.

(weightings are approximate)
Building Relationships 15%
Communication and Collaboration 7%
Micro & Macroeconomics 10%
Personal Financial Statements 14%
Financial Math; Time Value of Money 13%
Needs Based Sales Approach 8%
Recommending Solutions 8%
Ethics in Bank Advisory Services 5%
Know Your Client and Risk Management 15%
Regulatory Organizations and Banking 5%
Important: The PFSA exam is completely online and accessible through your online course. Advance booking is not required.
Exams 1
Exam Format Online
Exam Duration 90 minutes
Question Format Multiple Choice
Questions Per Exam 60
Attempts Allowed Per Exam 2
Passing Grade 60%
Assignments None
Enrolment Period 1 year†

†Please note: Access to your online materials will close 2 weeks after successful course completion or course expiry (whichever comes first). This course can be extended by 1 year provided you have not exceeded the attempts allowed for each exam. You can view CSI extension fees here. Your enrolment period can only be extended one time.

Important: During a student's enrolment period, CSI may update this course. In that case, details about the update and how it may affect students will be posted online via My CSI. Students are held responsible for and are examinable on the content in the course textbook(s) provided at the time of enrollment unless stated otherwise in My CSI. Students are encouraged to check My CSI regularly throughout their enrolment period. Please note that a certificate will not be issued upon completion of this course.

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Click the links below or the buttons at the top of the page on the right side to access CE accreditation information. To search for specific course information, press Ctrl + F and then enter the course name to search the document for the information you are interested in.

National/Provincial (Excluding Quebec)
Download CE Chart (PDF, 163 kb)

Quebec (IQPF/CSF)
Download IQPF/CSF Chart (PDF, 182 kb)

Please note: While CSI makes every effort to ensure that the information is up-to-date, we are unfortunately unable to fully guarantee its accuracy. The information listed in the charts above may be subject to change.

More detailed information on CE Credits are available.