General Continuing Education (CE) Sponsors submit a program application to CFP Board to verify that the content meets CFP Board's standards.
Organizations must first register with CFP Board as a General CE Sponsor using the online application link below. Sponsors must renew their registration at the end of each calendar year in order to remain active.
The complete requirements for General CE Sponsor registration are detailed within CFP Board's Continuing Education Sponsor Registration Agreement and Continuing Education Fee Schedule (PDF, 53KB).
All CE Programs must address one or more topics listed in CFP Board's Principal Topics.
CE Sponsor programs must meet the following requirements:
A video guide covering General CE Program requirements and definitions can be found in CFP Board's Resources for CE Sponsors.
A Subject Matter Expert (SME) must be involved in the authorship and review of a course. An SME must demonstrate significant practical experience or higher education (an academic degree, industry credentialing, or at least 5 years of experience in the relevant field).
All general CE programs must identify their level of complexity, a descriptor that demonstrates the knowledge level of a program. This information will help CFP® professionals determine if a program is appropriate for their professional development goals. CFP Board recognizes three levels of complexity:
Programs must not be specific to public accounting, computer hardware and software, marketing, practice management, sales or specific company or product presentations.
CFP Board defines practice management programs as programs focused on the planning, development, and management of a CFP® professional's business operations, including topics such as office management, business model design, budgeting processes, leadership training, and other activities that do not directly contribute to the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed for a CFP® professional to provide competent and ethical financial planning to clients.
CFP Board defines Live Programs as those in which the instructor or discussion leader conducts the program in real-time; the instructor and students are engaged in the program at the same time.
CFP Board defines Self-Study Programs as those in which the instructor and student are not interacting in real time or programs for which the student engages in the learning activity without an instructor.
Each Self-Study Program will require evidence of satisfactory completion, including an assessment scored by the CE Sponsor. The assessment requirements are as follows:
Sponsors must assign class hours to Self-Study programs using one of two methods for quantifying hours*:
* Exam time may not be included in the average completion time.
CE Sponsors must submit attendance lists to CFP Board using CFP Board's specified Attendance Reporting Form within four weeks of a program's completion. Completed Attendance Reporting Forms must be submitted by email to email@example.com. Attendance Reporting
CE Sponsors are required to provide Certificates of Completion to individuals who successfully complete programs registered with CFP Board and must include the following as demonstrated in this sample certificate:
CE Sponsors are also required to maintain records regarding their programs for a period of four years following the date of each program completion and must include:
All records are subject to audit and review by CFP Board.
CFP Board's CE Quality Assurance Initiative was approved by the Board of Directors in November 2013. The first phase of the initiative was launched on January 1, 2015 and resulted in updates to the General CE Program standards. For information regarding the updates, please reference the following resources:
Webinar: 2015 CE Sponsor Updates
Download a Quick Reference Guide
The full details of the updated requirements have been incorporated into the standards outlined above.
Contact CFP Board's Continuing Education Staff directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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