CFP – Certified Financial Planner

What is CFP?

CFP stands for Certified Financial Planner. Having Global Standards, a certification which teaches fundamentals of Financial Planning and Wealth Management. It teaches required Skills and Discipline to be a good advisor and creates expertise in analyzing the client situation to provide a customize advise. A CFP professional is a guide cum coach to individual clients helping them strategize and achieve their Financial Goals. With continuous hand holding and support, a CFP acts like a personal Financial Advisor to the Client and his/her Family.

Background of CFP

CFP is administered by FPSB – Financial Planning Standards Board US having presence in 27 countries. FPSB manages, develops and operates certification, education and related programs to benefit the global community by establishing, upholding and promoting worldwide professional standards in financial planning. FPSB demonstrates its commitment to excellence with the marks of professional distinction – CFP, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER and CFP Logo Mark – which it owns outside the United States. FPSB and the FPSB global network administer CFP and other certification programs in the following 27 territories.

From the idea of a professional practice called financial planning in the U.S. in the early 1970s, to the call for an independent organization to oversee CFP certification internationally in the late 1990s, the road to a global financial planning profession has had many twist and turns over the past five decades and just as many dedicated travelers. FPSB’s creation in 2004 was a logical step in the evolution of financial planning and the CFP certification program. At the end of 2021, there were over 203,000 CFP professionals worldwide.

Why CFP?

The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER credential is the most desired and respected global certification for those seeking to demonstrate their commitment to competent and ethical financial planning practice. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals meet initial and ongoing education, experience and professional development requirements, pass a rigorous exam that assesses competency and adhere to a code of ethics, pledging to provide financial planning in the interest of clients and with the highest ethical and professional standards.

By completing internationally recognized initial and ongoing CFP certification requirements, a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professional demonstrates to clients and potential clients a commitment to professionalism and that she or he has met rigorous competency, ethics and professional practice standards to provide comprehensive financial planning services. CFP certification benefits a variety of individuals and groups, including:

The Public: Consumers rely on the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER marks to help them identify competent, ethical financial planners who have committed to placing their clients’ interests first.

Practitioners: Financial planners and financial advisers value CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification, with many saying they were able to increase both their compensation and client base within 12 months of becoming certified with the CFP marks.

Firms: Financial services firms value CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals for their contributions to productivity and profitability, as well as for lowering firms’ compliance risks and increasing client satisfaction.

Regulators: CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals rate compliance with relevant laws and regulations, adherence to an ethical code and acting in the best interest of clients as most important when providing financial planning advice to clients.


FPSB enters into licensing and affiliation agreements with nonprofit organizations (or their equivalent) around the world to authorize the organizations to establish and operate the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification program in a territory. FPSB Affiliates are authorized to administer the CFP certification program on behalf of FPSB in a territory. FPSB Associates are either preparing to administer the CFP certification program on behalf of FPSB in a territory or supporting FPSB’s delivery of CFP certification in a territory.

1 AUSTRALIA Financial Planning Association of Australia Ltd. (FPA)   
2 AUSTRIA Österreichischer Verband Financial Planners (OVFP) 
3 BRAZIL Planejar – Associação Brasileira de Planejamento Financeiro
4 CANADA FP Canada
5 CHINESE TAIPEI Financial Planning Association of Taiwan (FPAT)
6 COLOMBIA Asociación Colombiana de Planeación Financiera (ACPF)
7 FRANCE Association Francaise des Conseils en Gestion de Patrimoine Certifiés (CGPC)
8 GERMANY Financial Planning Standards Board Deutschland e.V. (FPSB Deutschland) 
9 HONG KONG Institute of Financial Planners of Hong Kong Ltd. (IFPHK)
10 INDIA Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. in India
11 INDONESIA Financial Planning Standards Board Indonesia (FPSB Indonesia)
12 IRELAND FPSB Ireland Ltd
13 ISRAEL Financial Planners Association in Israel (FPAI)
14 JAPAN Japan Association for Financial Planners (JAFP)
15 MALAYSIA Financial Planning Association of Malaysia (FPAM)
16 NEW ZEALAND Financial Advice New Zealand
17 PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA Financial Planning Standards Board China Ltd. (Shanghai) 
18 REPUBLIC OF KOREA Financial Planning Standards Board Korea (FPSB Korea)
19 SINGAPORE Financial Planning Association of Singapore (FPAS)
20 SOUTH AFRICA Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa (FPI)
21 SWITZERLAND Swiss Financial Planners Organization (SFPO)
22 THAILAND Thai Financial Planners Association (TFPA)
23 THE NETHERLANDS Federatie Financieel Planners (Federation of Financial Planners)
24 UNITED KINGDOM Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI)
26 TURKEY Finansal Planlama Derneği (FPD)


National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) has renewed its accreditation of FPSB Ltd.’s CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification. NISM renewed its accreditation of the 19-year-old CFP certification program in India after reviewing FPSB Ltd.’s application, which outlined FPSB Ltd.’s mission, reputation, global affiliations, financial strength and policies and quality standards related to curriculum development and exam administration for the CFP certification program in India. NISM’s accreditation of the CFP certification is valid from 1 March 2022 until 28 February 2024, and is eligible to be renewed every two years, subject to program monitoring and approval by NISM.

“FPSB Ltd. is pleased that India’s CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals offering investment advice are eligible to register as Investment Advisers under Securities and Exchange Board of India regulations,” said Noel Maye, CEO of FPSB Ltd. “FPSB Ltd. and the community of over 2,300 CFP professionals in India are committed to benefiting the Indian public by establishing, upholding and promoting competency, ethics and practice standards and certification requirements for CFP professionals and for the financial planning profession in India. The accreditation by NISM strengthens our efforts to attract a new pool of talent into the financial planning profession in India.”


Individuals who are at least age 18 and have completed HSC/12th (Std XII/HSC) may register for one of our specialist certifications.  You will need a graduate level education qualification to apply for CFPCM certification.

Individuals in India can be recognized by FPSB Ltd. as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM professional upon:

  • Completing all education courses and successfully passing certification exams to obtain your FPSB® Investment Planning Specialist, FPSB® Retirement and Tax Planning Specialist, FPSB® Risk and Estate Planning Specialist certifications
  • Meeting FPSB Ltd.’s ethics requirement
  • Completing the FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning Course and financial plan assessment
  • Successfully passing the CFP® exam
  • Meeting FPSB Ltd.’s experience requirement
  • Paying an annual CFP certification fee


There are Two Major Pathways to become CFP

  1. Regular
  2. Experienced/Challenge Path Way

Regular Pathway

  1. Self Study – If you wish to prepare for the examination all by yourself considering if you have required understanding of the scope and modules, you can register with the board directly and have access to the reading material. In such case you will be given 2 attempts to clear FPSB Module Mock Test to score minimum 70% marks, failing to do so, candidate will have to switch to instructor led option.
  2. Instructor Led – Candidates can enroll with any of the Authorized Education Provider who are licensed, certified and have experienced trainers to teach candidates.
  3. Recognition of prior qualification/certification – In this option candidates who are qualified with certain eligible qualification, will be given the FPSB mock examination exemption for certain modules and can directly attempt the module examination.  

Challenge Path Way

Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. recognizes the need for an accelerated pathway to test the competency of certain professionals in financial services who have specified qualifications along with relevant experience. Such individuals, upon verification of their credentials, shall be exempted from writing three component level Specialist exams. They shall be inducted in the FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course, which consist of two-stages of evaluation i.e. Financial Plan Assessment and CFP® Exam. This tests the all-round financial planning knowledge, skills and abilities expected of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals.

To be eligible to undertake the course through Challenge Pathway the candidates should have:

  1. Passed at least one of the approved Educational Qualifications / Professional Certification listed below and
  2. Have minimum 3 years’ work experience as specified below

Approved Qualifications/Professional Certifications:

  1. Chartered Financial Analyst, from CFA Institute (USA) 
  2. Chartered Financial Consultant (CHFC), from American College (USA)
  3. Certified Public Accountant, from AICPA (USA) 
  4. Chartered Accountant, from ICAI, India (or equivalent recognized degree globally) 
  5. Actuary from Institute of Actuaries of India (or such recognized Actuary body globally)  
  6. Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) 
  7. Post Graduate Certificate Programme in Finance, Post Graduate Diploma in Finance or other equivalent courses offered by Indian Institute of Management 
  8. Advanced Wealth Management Course, from IIBF 
  9. Postgraduate degree in Economics, Commerce, Finance/Financial Planning from a UGC approved University
  10. MBA (Finance) or PGDFM from an AICTE approved Institute

Documents: The documents in support of the above will be certificates/degrees/ marksheets.

Relevant Experience:

  • Employed individuals:

At least three years of prior work experience at the time of submission of documents will be considered in case of employees of a:

  • bank
  • mutual fund asset management/ trustee company
  • insurance company
  • securities company
  • portfolio manager
  • brokerage
  • Registered Investment Adviser (in the capacity ’persons associated with investment advice’)
  • Academic institution or FPSB’s Authorized Education Provider#   

Such experience shall be in one of the following broad job activities:

  • funds management
  • investment advice
  • accounting/fund accounting/auditing
  • corporate finance
  • customer relationship/investor service
  • lecturing in Academic Institutions on Economics/Commerce/Finance or teaching/training on FPSB’s CFP certification curriculum based on Financial Planning Education Framework#


Investment Planning Specialist

Risk and Estate Planning Specialist

Retirement and Tax Planning Specialist

Integrated Financial Planning 


FPSB Student Registration is valid for One year from the time of Registration. A total of Three years to complete the Certification.


Fee Structure

Regular Pathway

18000   18000
Material Cost
 – Investment Planning Specialist 6500 3250 3250
 – Retirement and Tax Planning Specialist 6500 3250 3250
 – Retirement and Tax Planning Specialist 6500 3250 3250
 – Integrated Financial Planning Material 13000 6500 6500
Examination Fee      
 – Investment Planning Specialist 6750   6750
 – Retirement and Tax Planning Specialist 6750   6750
 – Retirement and Tax Planning Specialist 6750   6750
 – Integrated Financial Planning Material 13500   13500
Financial Plan
10500   10500
Certification Fee
8600   8600
Certification Fee
8600   8600
TOTAL 111950 16250 95700

Challenge Status 

Activity Fee Remarks
INR 5000   
(subject to approval)+ Full course material
INR 18000 + INR
Bundled price
INR 34000
Plan Assessment
INR 10500  Per attempt
CFP® Exam INR 13000  Per attempt
INR 8600  Initial and
annual renewable fee
of Challenge registration
INR 11500 Prior to
lapsation of 365 days from initial registration, and annual thereafter