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PFP® FAQs

2017 IMPORTANT CHANGES®
I am currently in the process of applying for the PFP® how do the changes affect me?
If you have completed all of the components of the PFP program only the continuing education requirements will affect you.  These will be different from what you have seen on the website or in other promotional material.  The continuing educational requirements are being increased from 12 per year to 20 per year.  Further details are found on the website.
I am a PFP® holder but have not paid my licence in 2 years - how does this impact me?  What fees will I need to pay to be re-instated?
As of January 1, 2018, if you have not renewed within 12 months of your license renewal date, you will be required to pay a late fee of $50, a reinstatement fee of $275 and the standard annual your renewal fee of $275. You will also be asked to prove completion your CE requirements for all years of non-renewal. This will require you to submit transcripts showing course completion dates as well as course outlines.
How will the changes in the competency profile impact how I prepare for my exam?
CSI’s recommendations for how to prepare for the AFP Certification Examination remain the same. Candidates for the AFP Examination are encouraged to prepare by using the appropriate Competency Profile (depending when candidates plan to write their exam), and information on how the competencies will be weighted on the examination at the end of the competency profile document.
If I fail the exam in the old version, what date will the new exam be available for me to write?
The current examination will cease to be available October 15; new examinations will be available thereafter on October 16.
What is the difference between the current AFP 2 Exam and the new AFP 2 Exam?
The current AFP Exam 2 is a constructed-response examination that has questions related to one large case study. The new AFP Exam 2 that will be available October 16 2017 and is based on the 2017 PFP Professional Competency Profile will still be a constructed-response exam (where candidates have to hand-write the responses to questions) but will include 3-4 smaller case studies with 3-4 questions related to each case. Candidates will continue to have three hours to complete the examination.
What happens if I have only successfully completed one of AFP Exam 1 or AFP Exam 2 before the October 15? Do I have to start over with the new examinations?
No. Candidates who have successfully completed one of AFP Exam 1 or AFP Exam 2 before the examinations assessing the 2017 PFP Professional Competency Profile are available will continue with their enrolment and will have to complete the other examination under the new Competency Profile. It does not matter if one examination was completed under the old Competency Profile, and one under the new.
Why did the AFP Certification Examination change? I don't like having to switch up my exam preparation mid-way through.
Certification bodies, like CSI for the PFP® designation, have a responsibility to review requirements on a regular basis - usually a five- year cycle. This process helps to ensure that the designation, and its candidates and holders, are current with the industry and the role of personal financial planners. The process also validates for the financial planning public that the designation reflects what a Personal Financial Planner knows and can do. The most significant change that users familiar with the old PFP Professional Competency Profile may see with the 2017 PFP Professional Competency Profile is that the structure of the competency and knowledge statements has changed, focusing more on technical competencies than the financial planning process. CSI does not expect that the new Competency Profile nor the new AFP Exam 2 structure to impact your preparation for the AFP Certification Examination.
Should I just wait for the new AFP Exams, or rush to complete under the previous PFP Professional Competency Profile?
That is really up to you to decide - depending on when you plan to write and how well prepared you feel. To help make that decision you may want to review both the current PFP Professional Competency Profile and the 2017 PFP Professional Competency Profile to determine how your preparation may need to change, if at all. It is also important to note that successful completion of either set of exams will still make you eligible to apply for the designation.
BECOMING A PFP®
Why should I pursue the Personal Financial Planner (PFP®) designation?
The PFP® designation is a leading designation for comprehensive financial planning in Canada. More than 4100 financial advisors hold the esteemed PFP® letters. Not only is it recognized and adopted by Canada's largest financial institutions, but it also meets ISO 17024 standards in North America - reserved for only the highest of certification standards. This accreditation ensures PFP® designation holders meet rigorous requirements for competency and professionalism.
What is ISO 17024 and why does it matter?
The PFP® is 1 of only 3 financial services credentials to meet the highest certification standards in North America: ISO 17024 (granted by the American National Standards Institute in 2012). ISO 17024 acknowledges that through the PFP® designation, the Canadian Securities Institute meets recognized global standards for certification bodies. What else does it mean?
  • Impartiality in all phases of the certification process is maintained
  • Only those individuals who demonstrate the knowledge/skills to be considered competent are certified
  • Any measurement instruments used to measure the candidates are fair, valid, reliable and legally defensible
  • Certification functions are separated from all other functions (membership, education, etc.)
  • Those who are certified agree to and abide by a code of conduct
  • All stakeholders have an opportunity to participate in the certification process (development, etc.)
  • Confidentiality of all candidate data is maintained
  • Public can identify PFP designation holders in good standing
Is the PFP® recognized throughout all of Canada?
The PFP® is recognized across Canada with the exception of Quebec. CSI provides course programming for the Quebec-based Financial Planner (PI. Fin.) designation.
What are the educational requirements for the PFP®?
To earn the PFP® designation, you must complete one of the approved learning paths prior to writing the Applied Financial Planning Certification Examination.
Why choose CSI's financial planning education path?
  • The industry choice:
    2/3 of all aspiring financial planners in Canada choose CSI's path to meet top financial planning designation requirements (you can choose to challenge the PFP® or CFP® exams once education is completed)
  • Options:
    CSI's financial planning education path offers options for both basic licensing courses (CSC and IFC), and tailored for securities mutual funds, insurance and banking
  • Earn interim credentials at the same time:
    earn an interim certificate(s) while working towards your PFP®
  • Flexibility:
    financial planning course exams and certification exams can be written any time of the year
Who do I contact for information on a PFP® approved program at a College?
Go to the PFP website section on the learning path and use the contact link for the college of your choice.
What are the other requirements for the PFP®?
In addition to the educational requirements, you must:
I've met the requirements for education, but not for work experience. What do I do?
You will not be granted the PFP® designation unless you meet ALL requirements. You have 7 years from when you pass the Applied Financial Planning Certification Examination to complete your work experience and apply for the designation.
If I currently hold a CFP or Pl. Fin. designation, am I eligible for advanced standing for the PFP® designation?
Individuals who hold the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation or the Pl. Fin. designation granted by the Insitut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) may apply directly to write the Applied Financial Planning Certification Examination. Candidates will be required to provide proof of good standing of their qualification and must meet all other PFP® requirements.  
How do I apply for the PFP®?
How much does the application cost?
The initial application fee is $275 and includes your licence fee for the year. The annual renewal fee is $275. Check with your employer to find out if you qualify for a corporate preferred discount or if they provide subsidies for fees.
How will I know when I've been granted the designation?
Once you apply online, you will receive immediate confirmation along with an order ID number. You will receive your official letter of certification and a wall certificate within 4 - 6 weeks.
Will I receive a wall certificate when I earn the PFP® designation?
Yes. The certificate will be mailed to you and typically arrives 4 - 6 weeks from when you were granted the designation.
Will my wall certificate come in a frame?
No. If you would like to purchase a frame designed exclusively for the PFP® designation, you may do so through CSI's frame shop.
What types of benefits are provided for PFP® designation holders?
  • National promotion and advertising campaigns that create awareness of the PFP® designation, including opportunities to be featured
  • Listing in the PFP® Directory which helps clients find you and verify your credentials
  • Access to:
    • PFP® trademark designation letters:
      the right to use in marketing materials to promote your credentials
    • PFP® Portal login:
      unlock online resources, publication and customizable marketing materials
    • PFP® LinkedIn Membership Network:
      Access to the member's only PFP networking group on LinkedIn
    • Exclusive webinars:
      stay on top of the latest industry topics
 
How do I access the CSI benefits?
The benefits are behind the PFP® Login. When we announce any exclusive webinars, we will notify you by email.
Discounted CE Packages - exclusively for designation holders
Access to exclusive Professional Development CE packages to help you complete your CE requirements at a discounted rate. The offer is only available when you renew your designation.
MAINTAINING MY DESIGNATION
What are the continuing education (CE) requirements for the PFP®?
Currently, to maintain your PFP® designation, you must complete a minimum of 12 hours of continuing education (CE) each calendar year.

As at January 1, 2018 the CE requirements will be changed to a total of 20 hours of continuing education with 15 hours in professional development and 5 hours in ethics and compliance.

See the Maintenance Requirements section of the PFP® Portal for details.
What is the CE cycle for the PFP® designation?
CE for the PFP® designation runs on a calendar-year basis. That means if you were granted your PFP® in 2017, you have until the end of the next FULL calendar year (December 31, 2018) to fulfil your CE requirements.
How will CSI determine I've completed the CE credits required to maintain my designation in good standing?
When renewing your licence, you're required to declare completion of your CE hours. A percentage of renewal applicants will be audited for proof of completion of the CE requirements.
What is CSI's auditing process for CE hours?
CSI conducts periodic audits of the CE hours required to maintain your designation. Make sure you keep a record of your hours for at least 2 years. More information on the auditing process is available under the Professional Conduct section of the PFP® Portal.
LICENCE RENEWAL PROCESS
How often do I have to renew my licence?
All PFP®s must renew their designation annually by their anniversary date (the date the designation was originally granted).
Will CSI send me a renewal notice on an annual basis?
You will receive email notices 4 weeks and 1 week prior to expiry to remind you to renew your licence.
Is there a discount on renewals if I hold more than one CSI credential in good standing?
CSI is pleased to offer a tiered discount structure for those who hold multiple credentials (FCSI®, PFP®, CIM®, CIWM, MTI®) in good standing.
  • 2 CSI credentials in good standing: $50 off the renewal of each credential ($225 each)
  • 3 CSI credentials in good standing: $100 off the renewal of each credential ($175 each)
  • 4 CSI credentials in good standing: $150 off the renewal of each credential ($125 each)
How do I renew my PFP® licence?
You can renew your licence online via the Student Login. Click on the "My Credentials" tab and then select "Renew Now." If you'd prefer to mail or fax your renewal, download the PDF renewal form.
What happens if I do not renew my licence?
PFP®s who do not renew are declared to be “not in good standing.” You will no longer have access to benefits from CSI and will be removed from PFP® Directory. You'll also receive a letter stating that you're no longer eligible to use the PFP® trademarks. If you continue to use them, legal action may be taken.
What happens if I let my designation lapse?

If you allow your designation to lapse you will be required to:

When I was granted the PFP there was no annual license fee. Why do I have to pay an annual fee now?

CSI consulted with key stakeholders in the industry to develop a designation program better able to meet the needs of financial organizations, regulators and consumers. The PFP® gives you access to an array of benefits through CSI. It will also boost your credibility with employers and clients because you are:

  • Abiding by a strict code of conduct
  • Keeping current by committing to ongoing professional development by meeting the annual continuing education requirements
CUSTOMER SERVICE & CORPORATE
Where can I direct inquiries specific to the PFP® designation?
We have set up a special inbox for PFP® inquiries.
If your response can be answered directly by our customer service team, the turnaround time is 24 hours. If your request requires further investigation, we'll strive to get back to you within 3 business days.
Why do I see a PFP and a PFP® being used?

In 2011 the PFP® was introduced to meet the evolving needs of the industry. CSI consulted with industry stakeholders to develop the current program. Those who chose to recertify were granted the PFP®. Those who had the PFP® and did not recertify may continue to use the letters, but do not have the explicit right to use the trademark, are not included on the PFP® directory and are not eligible to receive any PFP® benefits unless they meet the new standard.

Can I order PFP® brochures to hand out to my clients?
Brochures are available on demand and can be accessed through the PFP® Login section of the PFP® Portal.