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Work Experience

Financial planning work experience is a key step in achieving Certified Financial Planner® certification, the standard in financial planning. Working directly with clients provides the opportunity to hone your skills and demonstrate that you’re able to serve clients in a real-world setting.


Prior to applying for CFP® certification, you must have completed three years of qualifying financial planning work experience. This work experience must have been completed in the eight years prior to applying for CFP certification and a maximum of four years after successfully completing the CFP examination.

Qualifying work experience is based on a 35-hour work-week and is defined as full-time (or equivalent part-time) financial planning related employment or self-employment.

Qualifying work experience

In your role, you must use job-related knowledge, skills, attitudes and judgments to meet your clients’ needs. Experience may be gained in the following areas of personal financial planning:

•    Financial Management
•    Investment Planning
•    Insurance and Risk Management
•    Tax Planning
•    Retirement Planning
•    Estate Planning and Legal Aspects

Qualifying work experience may include direct client-facing financial planning roles as well as roles that apply the knowledge, skills and abilities outlined in the CFP Professional Competency Profile to support the client-planner relationship, such as managing, training or assisting financial planners.

Types of roles

Click on the links below for examples of roles that meet FPSC’s work experience requirements. 

  • Face-to-face delivery of personal financial planning services to a client.
  • Direct support of the client-planner relationship in the delivery of personal financial planning services to a client (i.e. assisting or training roles for which key accountabilities link to the Competency Profile).
  • Supervision of financial planning professionals who deliver personal financial planning services to a client (i.e. sales manager or coaching roles for which key accountabilities link to the Competency Profile).
  • Teaching courses in personal financial planning at a post-secondary level (maximum two years).

Evaluation of Work Experience by FPSC

All work experience submissions are subject to approval. FPSC will review your specific work experience and evaluate your key accountabilities to determine its eligibility. Depending on the nature of responsibilities and their link to the Competency Profile, FPSC may approve all or part of your work experience.


When submitting your work experience to FPSC, remember to:

  • Provide a résumé detailing your previous work experience and specific start/end dates.
  • Provide a letter signed by your current or most recent supervisor, if applicable, with details of your position, nature of activities, start/end dates (if appropriate) and the signatory’s contact information.
  • For independent financial planners who are affiliated with financial institution(s) or fee-only planners with no financial institution affiliations, you must provide a letter from two personal financial planning clients which includes a detailed description of financial planning services provided, the length of time you have provided these services and the client’s contact information.

For more information about work experience, please refer to Policies and Guidelines for Obtaining and Maintaining CFP Certification and FPSC Level 1® Certification in Financial Planning.

Log in to your FPSC Portal to submit your work experience now.

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