Our Designations and what they mean

Why a CFP® Professional?

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 the CFP Board.

To earn the prestigious CFP® certification and remain certified as a CFP professional, individuals must meet four main requirements.

Certification Requirements:

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER Professionals must successfully complete the CFP Board's comprehensive certification examination, which tests an individual's knowledge on various key aspects of financial planning.

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 the 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.

CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM and federally registered CFP (with flame logo) are certification marks owned by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. These marks are awarded to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM (AWMA®)

Individuals who hold the AWMA® designation have completed a course of study encompassing wealth strategies, equity-based compensation plans, tax reduction alternatives, and asset protection alternatives.  Additionally, individuals must pass a proctored and timed end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations.

All designees have agreed to adhere to Standards of Professional Conduct and are subject to a disciplinary process.

Designees renew their designation every two-years by completing 16 hours of continuing education, reaffirming adherence to the Standards of Professional Conduct and complying with self-disclosure requirements.

The educational program encompasses specific content covering both theory and practical application. The curriculum is developed by the College for Financial Planning's highly esteemed faculty with input from the country's top investment and financial firms that gives students the benefit of applying their learning to real-world situations and cases. As a regionally accredited institution of higher learning, the College applies rigorous pedagogical principles to all its curricula. The College for Financial Planning, with more than 39 years of financial services education expertise, is the most established and experienced provider of financial planning education in the industry.

Certified Long Term Care

The "Certified in Long-Term Care" (CLTC) program is the long-term care insurance industry's only independent professional designation. Created in 1999, the course is focused on the field of long-term care planning and provides legal, accounting, insurance and financial service professionals the critical tools necessary to address the subject matter with their middle-age clients.

The goal is to teach students how to create a plan that preserves the emotional, physical, and financial well-being of a client's family should care be necessary. Once established, options to fund that plan, including Medicare, Medicaid, the Veterans Administration, self-funding and long-term care insurance, are reviewed and recommended where appropriate.

The CLTC designation which is owned by the CLTC Board of Standards, Inc. is not affiliated with or funded by any insurance sales or marketing organization. The quality of the program is evidenced by the granting of continuing education credits by all states as well as established programs such as the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®) designations. It has also been approved in those states that have set strict criteria for professional designations.

Successful passing of a proctored exam is required in order to qualify for certification. Graduates are also required to take continuing education to maintain their certification.

Unlike any other designation, CLTC offers graduates continuing support through benefits that include:

  • Updates on trends in the long-term care industry
  • Personal assistance in helping graduates craft the right plan for their clients
  • Educational material that helps reinforce the message that clients must establish a plan for long-term care