You can display your competence and understanding in one or more core areas of PFP by displaying a digital badge awarded upon completion of each of the five certificate requirements.
The four technical certificates (retirement, investment, estate, risk management/insurance planning) can be earned in one of 2 ways:
The fifth certificate, PFP Practical Applications Certificate, is earned upon successful completion of the continuing education courses (purchase the “online” bundle.) No exam is required.
There is also no prescribed order for the certificates. The certificate exams are online and proctored remotely via webcam and audio (either laptop or USB external) anytime 7 days a week throughout the year. If you do not pass the exam the first time, one free re-take is included at no extra charge.
If you currently hold the PFS credential, these will qualify as continuing education requirements. There is no need to take the certificate exam as your PFS credential exam tests the material covered in the individual certificates.
What's the difference between earning a certificate and becoming certified?
Earning a PFP certificate demonstrates comprehensive understanding of specialized knowledge as it relates to the specific topic covered by that certificate. Your achievement is displayed with a digital badge. A certificate is not considered a professional designation.
In contrast, CPAs can be certified with the Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) credential in the wider integrated discipline of personal financial planning through a broad assessment process, including relevant education, examinations, and work experience. Achieving the PFS credential enables you to hold yourself out as a CPA/PFS and to represent yourself as being certified in personal financial planning.