PFP ® FAQs

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.
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
The PFP® is recognized across Canada with the exception of Quebec. CSI provides course programming for the Quebec-based Financial Planner (PI. Fin.) designation.
To earn the PFP® designation, you must complete one of the approved education paths prior to writing the Applied Financial Planning Certification Examination.
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
Go to the PFP website section on the education paths and use the contact link for the college of your choice.
In addition to the educational requirements, you must:
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.
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.
You can apply for the PFP® directly online. First, CSI will confirm that you have completed the course requirements. Then you will be prompted to:
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.
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.
Yes. The certificate will be mailed to you and typically arrives 4 - 6 weeks from when you were granted the designation.
No. If you would like to purchase a frame designed exclusively for the PFP® designation, you may do so through CSI's frame shop.
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
The benefits are behind the PFP® Login. When we announce any exclusive webinars, we will notify you by email.
As of January 1, 2018, to maintain your PFP® designation, you must complete a total of 20 hours of continuing education with 15 hours in professional development and 5 hours in ethics and compliance.
For 2017 and prior years the CE requirement was 12 hours of CE annually (9 in professional development and 3 in compliance).
See the Maintenance Requirements section of the PFP® Portal for details.
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.
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.
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.
All PFP®s must renew their designation annually by their anniversary date (the date the designation was originally granted).
You will receive email notices 4 weeks and 1 week prior to expiry to remind you to renew your licence.
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)
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.
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 you need to know:
PFP®s are given the opportunity to reactivate their licence after a lapse of up to 5 years. If your designation has lapsed for more than 5 years, you'll be required to re-take and successfully complete the Applied Financial Planning (AFP) Certification Examination and meet the work experience requirement in addition to agreeing to the PFP® Code of Ethics and the Certification Mark License Agreement.
  • If you allow your designation to lapse for less than 60 days of your renewal date you will be able to renew on line without penalty
  • If you allow your designation to lapse beyond 60 days, but less than one year of your licence renewal date you will be required to:
    Pay a $50 administration fee in addition to your annual licence fee
  • If you allow your designation to lapse longer than one year, but less than 5 years you will be required to:
    Pay a $50 administration fee and $275 reinstatement fee in addition to the annual renewal licence fee of $275 as well as provide proof of completion of CE requirements for all years of lapse.
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
We have set up a special inbox for PFP® inquiries.
For 2017 and prior years the CE requirement was 12 hours of CE annually (9 in professional development and 3 in compliance).
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.
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.
Brochures are available on demand and can be accessed through the PFP® Login section of the PFP® Portal.

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