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Our History
Since incorporation in 1995, FPSC has become the premier standards-setter for financial planning in Canada, elevating the standards of the CFP® designation and establishing CFP certification as the standard for financial planners. The timeline below highlights key milestones in FPSC’s ongoing mission to drive value and instill confidence in financial planning.


    FPSC releases the Financial Planning Body of Knowledge (FP-BoK), an unprecedented authoritative compendium of all the detailed knowledge expected of a CFP professional and FPSC Level 1 certificant. Together with the revalidated FPSC Competency Profile, the FP-BoK serves to further define the knowledge and competencies expected of CFP® professionals and FPSC Level 1® certificants in Canada, and the differences between the two. The FP-BoK comprises 12 financial planning topics: Financial Planning Profession and Financial Services Industry Regulation; Financial Analysis; Credit and Debt; Registered Retirement Plans; Government Benefit Plans; Registered Education and Disability Plans; Economics; Investments; Taxation; Law; Insurance; and Human Behaviour. 

    For more highlights, read our 2017 Year in Review.



    FPSC provides extensive feedback to the Ontario government’s Expert Committee to Consider Financial Advisory and Financial Planning Policy Alternatives, continuing to work with the Ontario government to implement a solution to best protect consumers.

    FPSC and the Insurance Council of British Columbia sign a Memorandum of Understanding that leverages each organization’s processes to provide more effective oversight and strengthen consumer protection in BC.

    FPSC enhances it governance structure to maintain the continued rigour, efficiency and relevance of FPSC’s work and a better alignment of responsibility and accountability. Among the key changes is the creation of an independent Standards Panel, composed of financial planners and members of the public, to oversee all financial planning standards.

    Personal finance educator and author Kelley Keehn takes on the new role of FPSC Consumer Advocate and is interviewed more than 100 times by a variety of media about FPSC research, the importance of getting professional financial planning help and how to find a qualified planner.

    Financial Planning Week, now in its seventh year, sees record attendance at FPSC-hosted events in Toronto and Vancouver, as well as an unprecedented level of industry involvement across the country. 

    FPSC’s consumer websites experience their highest ever traffic. The “Find a Planner or Certificant” search tool receives over 200,000 page views, and there are more than 66,000 sessions on

    For more highlights, read our 2016 Year in Review.



    Changes are made to the FPSC® Rules of Conduct, including to Rule 8 (disclosure and conflicts of interest ), Rule 12 (supervisory responsibilities), Rule 17 (implementation of financial planning strategies) and Rule 24 (communications with FPSC), as well as a wording change to Rule 20 (intervention in client matters not covered by the engagement).

    FPSC and IQPF publish the Canadian Financial Planning Definitions, Standards & Competencies, the first unified, definitive source on financial planning definitions and professional financial planning standards in Canadian history.

    FPSC joins IQPF in the development of unified Projection Assumption Guidelines to aid in making medium and long-term financial projections.

    A CE requirement in Professional Responsibility is added for CFP® professionals and FPSC Level 1® Certificants in Financial Planning.

    The Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planners is renamed the Financial Planning Coalition™.

    FPSC launches, a website providing information and product-free advice to help consumers use financial planning to navigate various life stages.



    Enhancements are made to the path to CFP certification, including the introduction of the FPSC Level 1 Certification in Financial Planning and new Routes to CFP Certification.

    The Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planners presents recommendations for a professional model for self-regulation of financial planners to the Ontario Ministry of Finance during their consultations to review the merits of tailored regulation of financial planners.

    “Here’s the Plan™” campaign launched, providing a variety of tools that CFP professionals can use to help clients understand the value of financial planning and of working with a CFP professional.

    FPSC President & CEO Cary List is appointed to Canada’s first National Steering Committee on Financial Literacy.



    FPSC Board of Directors adopts organizational purpose: To instill confidence in the financial planning profession.

    FPSC President & CEO Cary List named Chair of the Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planners, a group comprised of members from FPSC, Canadian Institute of Financial Planners (CIFPs), Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (IAFP) and Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF).

    FPSC welcomes a record number of attendees at annual Financial Planning Week symposium in Toronto.

    FPSC Foundation renamed Financial Planning Foundation as it enters into partnership with Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) to further develop the range and scope of research funded.



    FPSC introduces new Continuing Education Approval Program.

    New governance structure eliminates member organization framework.

    Eighteen firms represented at FPSC's first Firms Meeting.



    Release of the Standards of Professional Responsibility for CFP Professionals and FPSC Registered Candidates which includes the FPSC® Code of Ethics, FPSC® Financial Planning Practice Standards, FPSC® Fitness Standards and FPSC® Rules of Conduct.

    Launch of the Fellow of FPSC™ program to recognize individuals who have helped advance FPSC's vision.

    FPSC announces its role as one of five members of the Coalition for Professional Standards for Financial Planners.

    Revalidation of Certified Financial Planner® Professional Code of Ethics, FPSC® Financial Planning Practice Standards and the CFP Professional Competency Profile.

    FPSC and IQPF announce common principles for Codes of Ethics for planners.



    FPSC becomes one of the first certification bodies in Canada to receive ISO 17024 accreditation from the Standards Council of Canada for meeting globally recognized standards for certification bodies.

    FPSC implements enhanced requirements to the CFP certification program. These include transition to a two-stage exam, the addition of an FPSC-Approved Capstone Course and a three-year work experience requirement.



    Financial Planners Standards Council renamed Financial Planning Standards Council to better reflect the purpose and vision of the organization.

    FPSC declares inaugural Financial Planning Week across Canada.

    FPSC holds its first Financial Planning Vision 2020 symposium in Toronto, issuing a call to action to enact meaningful change for the benefit of all Canadians.

    FPSC and Institut québécois de planification financère (IQPF) sign landmark memorandum of understanding, simplifying the process for CFP professionals to practice in Quebec and for Pl. Fin. (financial planners) to practice in the rest of Canada.



    FPSC implements new governance structure, appointing first Public Director to represent interests of members of the public using financial planning services.



    CFP Professional Competency Profile adopted as the framework for the international standard of competence for CFP professionals worldwide.

    FPSC launches annual Educator Conference to encourage dialogue with educators.

    Cary List named FPSC's President & CEO, following retirement of founding President Don Johnston.



    Donald J. Johnston Award launched to recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the financial planning profession.

    Launch of CFP Professional Competency Profile, outlining the abilities, skills and knowledge necessary for CFP professionals to serve the financial planning needs of clients.



    FPSC Foundation launched to meet the need for a related but separate organization to carry out independent, unbiased financial planning research.



    Launch of first set of FPSC® Financial Planning Practice Standards, to be adhered to by all CFP professionals.



    FPSC launches Professional Competency Analysis: Reassess CFP professional competency profile that sets standards for the profession, and guides development of CFP Examination and guidelines for financial planning curriculum.

    FPSC launches national television awareness campaign.



    More than 55% of financial advisors working at the 14 largest planning firms in Canada hold the CFP credential.



    FPSC surveys Canadians to provide first benchmark of consumer understanding of financial planning as a professional service.

    FPSC formalizes complaint review and disciplinary procedures and appoints Director of Standards Enforcement.

    FPSC commissions independent certification audit and conducts first job analysis, validating veracity of CFP examination and ensuring ongoing relevance of CFP certification.



    Financial Planners Standards Council of Canada renamed Financial Planners Standards Council.



    FPSC enters into agreement with the CFP Board of Standards to become sole Canadian licensor of CFP® professional certification marks.



    Financial Planners Standards Council of Canada (FPSC) is incorporated as a not-for-profit organization, setting the foundation for the establishment of uniform professional standards for financial planners in Canada.