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About Financial Planning Standards Council

As a professional standards-setting and certification body working in the public interest, FPSC’s purpose is to drive value and instill confidence in financial planning. FPSC ensures those it certifies (Certified Financial Planner® professionals and FPSC Level 1® Certificants in Financial Planning) meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience and ethics.

CFP® designation: The standard

The most widely recognized financial planning designation in Canada and worldwide, the CFP designation provides assurance to Canadians that the design of their financial future rests with a professional financial planner who will put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.

There are approximately 17,000 Certified Financial Planner professionals across Canada, part of an international network of more than 175,000 CFP professionals in 26 territories around the world.

Ensuring the highest standards in financial planning

FPSC ensures that CFP professionals and FPSC Level 1 certificants meet appropriately high standards of knowledge, skills, abilities and ethics through rigorous requirements for education, examinations and experience.

To obtain the CFP designation, candidates must complete a rigorous education program, pass two national exams and have three years of qualifying work experience. To maintain certification, every year they complete new professional education courses and agree to adhere to the Standards of Professional Responsibility for CFP Professionals and FPSC Level 1 Certificants in Financial Planning.

A commitment to globally recognized certification criteria

Dedicated to maintaining its own quality standards, FPSC is one of a handful of certification bodies in Canada to have received ISO 17024 accreditation from the Standards Council of Canada for meeting globally recognized standards for certification bodies.

Based on internationally recognized criteria and procedures, this accreditation assesses and recognizes FPSC’s commitment to impartiality and management of conflict of interest, and ensures the credibility, objectivity and technical competence of FPSC’s certification activities. 

Working for the financial well-being of Canadians and the betterment of the financial planning profession

FPSC is continually working toward the formal professionalization of financial planning. FPSC believes that everyone who claims to be a financial planner should be required to meet stringent proficiency and ethics requirements, including high levels of education and experience. These rigorous requirements are met by all CFP professionals.

In most Canadian provinces there is no legislated standard in place for the estimated 100,000 people who claim to offer financial advice. With the exception of Quebec, people who call themselves financial planners are not required to obtain any credentials whatsoever.

Recognition of financial planning as a distinct profession will safeguard and enhance the financial well-being of Canadians and ultimately lead to the betterment of the financial planning profession.