Continuing Education Requirements For A CFP

Certified Financial Planners are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education during each two-year period. The ending date of each period is the final day of the month that certification renewal for a CFP is due. The CE requirement is effective immediately upon initial certification. The number of CE hours for a newly certified CFP is prorated for an initial certification period of less than two calendar years. Any CE hours in excess of the requirement may not be applied to subsequent reporting periods. CE hours earned for any one program may not be split between two reporting periods.

In each reporting period, 2 of the required hours must be obtained from a pre-approved program on CFP Board'sCode of Ethics orPractice Standards. No exceptions are made. The remaining 28 hours consist of programs related to any of the accepted subject topics related to investment, tax, insurance, estate, or retirement matters.

A CFP may complete anonline continuing course.

Courses offered by colleges and universities (including community colleges) may be accepted if they cover topics listed in the Subject Topics Accepted for CE Credit. Each semester credit equals 15 CE hours and each college quarter credit equals 10 CE hours for a CFP. Therefore, a course having 3 semester credits provides 45 hours of CE. Both credit and non-credit courses may be accepted. For non-credit courses, each 50-minute class session may be counted as one CE hour.

Programs provided by state and local bar associations, Certified Public Accountant societies, Financial Planning Association chapters, Society of Financial Service Professionals chapters, Association for Investment Management and Research chapters, state boards of accountancy, state insurance commissions, and estate planning councils will be accepted for CE credits, provided topics covered are listed in the CFP Board's Subject Topics Accepted for CE Credit.

Anincome tax course qualifies for CE credit.

CE hours from programs registered with CFP Board are reported for a CFP by the CE sponsor. CE programs not registered with CFP Board may be reported online by a CFP with payment of a nonrefundable processing fee to cover the cost of review. CE sponsors are encouraged to register CE programs with CFP Board. The sponsor of a CE course will convey if the program has been registered and the number of CE hours that the CFP Board has granted for the course. A list of registered CE sponsors and programs is available on the CFP Board's Web site. Programs designed to meet CFP Board's two-hour Code of Ethics and/or Practice Standards requirement have additional requirements and must be approved by CFP Board before they will be accepted.

A CFP should only report programs for CE credit that:

Address one or more topics listed in CFP Board's Subject Topics Accepted for CE Credit. Contribute to increasing the professional competency of participants. Are developed and conducted by persons qualified in the subject matter and in instructional design. Are current and correct in program content. Provide documentation to the CFP by the sponsors. Last at least 50 minutes.

An easy method for a CFP to obtaincheap CPE credit is on the Internet from the providers ofonline tax courses to income tax professionals.