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CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals (CFP® professionals) are dedicated to using the financial planning process to serve the financial needs of individuals, families and businesses. Most CFP® professionals have earned a four-year college degree in a finance-related field, and have completed a course of study in financial planning approved by CFP Board.

To earn the prestigious CFP® certification and remain certified as a CFP® professional, individuals voluntarily agree to meet rigorous education, examination and experience standards.

Certification Requirements


CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals must successfully complete CFP Board’s comprehensive certification examination, which tests an individual’s understanding of the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits, retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.


CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professionals must acquire three years of financial planning-related experience before receiving the right to use the CFP® certification marks.


CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professionals must voluntarily ascribe to CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and additional requirements as mandated. CFP practitioners who violate the code can be disciplined, including permanent loss of the right to use the CFP certification marks.


CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professionals must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years to stay current in financial planning knowledge, including ethics.

Compliance with these four areas informs you that an individual who holds the CFP® certification mark is well prepared and qualified to give sound, professional advice.