To become a CFP, financial services professionals must first take a comprehensive educational course and provide proof of course completion to the CFP Board. Upon receiving this proof, the CFP Board will authorize enrollment in an upcoming CFP exam session. The CFP Board offers these examinations three times each year at specifically approved locations.
Aspiring CFPs must also demonstrate professional experience equal to 3 years of full-time financial planning work or 2 years of financial planning apprenticeship. In addition, they must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher learning, or earn one within 5 years of passing the CFP exam.
New CFPs must also agree to background checks and fully disclose any criminal/employment termination history. To further pass the CFP Board’s Candidate Fitness Standards, new CFPs must pledge to adhere to a strict set of ethical requirements.