Professional Designations

Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) Designation

The AIF Designation certifies that the recipient has specialized knowledge of fiduciary standards of care and their application to the investment management process. To receive the AIF Designation, the individual must meet prerequisite criteria based on a combination of education, relevant industry experience, and/or ongoing professional development, complete a training program, successfully pass a comprehensive, closed-book final examination under the supervision of a proctor and agree to abide by the Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards. In order to maintain the AIF Designation, the individual must annually attest to the Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards, and accrue and report a minimum of six hours of continuing education. The Designation is administered by the Center for Fiduciary Studies, the standards-setting body of fi360.

CFP® Designation

To become certified as a CFP® Professional, one must meet the following requirements in the areas of education, examination, experience, and ethics.

Education Requirements

The education requirement for attaining CFP® certification and to attain the right to use the CFP® designation, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the requirements as stated below. The education requirements include two main parts:

  1. Complete college or university-level coursework through a program registered with the CFP® Board, addressing the major personal financial planning areas identified by the CFP® Board’s most recent Job Analysis Study; and
  2. Verify that you hold a regionally accredited college or university bachelor’s degree or higher (accreditation must be recognized by U.S. Department of Education at the time the degree is awarded).

Examination Requirement

Pass the CFP® Certification Examination. This examination is administered over several hours and includes case studies and client scenarios designed to test one’s ability to correctly diagnose financial planning issues and apply one’s knowledge of financial planning to real world circumstances.

Experience Requirement

An individual must complete at least three (3) years full-time financial planning related qualifying experience, or the equivalent of 2,000 hours per year for a total of 6,000 hours, is required to satisfy the three (3) year Experience Requirement.

Ethics Requirement

CFP® professionals agree to adhere to the high standards of ethics and practice outlined in the CFP® Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct (“Standards”) and to acknowledge the CFP® Board’s right to enforce them through its Disciplinary Rules and Procedures (“Disciplinary Rules”). The CFP Board has a set of documents outlining the ethical and practice standards for CFP® professionals to abide by.

Continuing Education Requirements

Individuals who become certified must complete the following ongoing education and ethics requirements in order to maintain the right to continue to use the CFP® marks:

  • Continuing Education – Complete 30 hours of continuing education hours every two years, including two hours on the Code of Ethics and other parts of the Standards of Professional Conduct, to maintain competence and keep up with developments in the financial planning field; and
  • Ethics – Renew an agreement to be bound by the Standards of Professional Conduct. The Standards prominently require that CFP® professionals provide financial planning services at a fiduciary standard of care. This means CFP® professionals must provide financial planning services in the best interests of their clients.

CFP® professionals who fail to comply with the above standards and requirements may be subject to CFP® Board’s enforcement process, which could result in suspension or permanent revocation of their CFP® certification.