We’ve developed a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to answer your questions.
What is the CFP® Certification Program?
The CFP Certification Program is designed by some of Australia’s most respected and experienced financial planners and academics. Split across five units, each unit is designed to advance your existing knowledge and expertise and ensure that you meet the standards of excellence required for the designation.
What will I study?
The program is split across five units to test your competencies, knowledge and capabilities as a professional. All the units are delivered online through FPA Learn – the FPA’s education platform. To help you study, you will have access to Subject Matter Expert chatrooms, live tutorials and a comprehensive eBook for the first four units (CFP 1 to 4).
Here’s a quick unit summary of five CFP units:
CFP 1 FPA Professionalism
This unit provides the ‘building blocks’ to best practice financial planning and world class professional standards.
CFP 2 Applied Strategies 1
This unit is the first of three units on strategy development, a fundamental part of your role as a financial planner. You will learn to develop integrated strategies for each client and formulate recommendations based on the ethical and professional standards of the industry and regulatory framework.
CFP 3 Applied Strategies 2
This unit focuses on strategy development, relating to leaving the workforce. Whilst the unit covers superannuation and estate planning, you will also cover specific issues relating to clients leaving the workforce, pension and benefit strategies, plus strategies for expatriate clients too.
CFP 4 Investment Strategies
This unit focuses on the development of investment strategies, based on the personal
circumstances of your client. The topics within the unit cover a wide range of modern
day strategies and the risks and benefits that come with each.
CFP Certification Unit
This unit is an ‘assessment unit’ that verifies your mastery of the knowledge and practical application required to become an accomplished CFP professional. This unit will require you to complete a:
- A financial plan case study
- 4-hour, 70-item multiple choice examination
- Supervised meetings with clients
- Detailed record submission of your professional experience
What are the program assessments?
The CFP Certification Program’s unit assessments are designed to encourage critical thinking and additional research to help you better understand the competency requirements of a CFP professional.
You will encounter five types of assessment in the CFP Certification Program:
- Assignment (For CFP 1-4)
The assignment is a 100-point written assessment that utilises various case studies to test your knowledge. You have six weeks to complete the assignment
- Examination (CFP 2 and 3 only)
The final exam for CFP 2 and 3 comprise of three parts – a 10-item multiple choice exam, five short answer questions and two major case study questions. This exam is delivered online through FPA Learn. As the test is online, you are able to choose between the morning session and the afternoon session. You will have three hours plus 15 minutes reading time to complete this.
- Financial plan case study (CFP C Unit only)
You will be required to create a 55-page financial plan based on a comprehensive case study for the CFP C unit. You will have eight weeks to complete this.
- CFP C Examination (CFP C Unit only)
This is a 70-item online multiple choice exam that will test your financial planner competency according to the FPSB’s Financial Planner Competency Profile. You will have four hours plus 15 minute reading time to complete this exam.
- Observations & Record of Experience
You will be asked to provide evidence of real client interactions at work. The tasks that you will be asked to record will depend on the pathway you choose for the experience designation.
What student support do you offer?
To help you with your study, we have set up FPA Learn as the key area where you will be able to access a number of learning tools to expand and strengthen your learning. In FPA Learn, you will be able to access the following:
- Subject matter experts
Each unit has a dedicated subject matter expert who is available to assist you with any technical issues. Interaction with the subject matter expert is via dedicated chatrooms
There are a number of chatrooms within FPA Learn to help you communicate and exchange ideas with students. With chatrooms, you can post questions about the content, assignment or examination.
- Live tutorials
You will have the opportunity to participate in live tutorials with our subject matter experts. The live tutorials are designed to be practical and interactive to help you with your assessment preparations for both the assignment and the final exam. Apart from live tutorials, you will be able to attend a live drop-in session with the SME to discuss any technical or operational questions in preparation for your assessment.
You’ll also have access to various resource materials, such as the CFP unit materials, online quizzes and technical readings.
Am I eligible for advanced standing for my previous education?
Yes! You may be able to get advanced standing for your financial planning postgraduate education. Read our Approved degree list to see what programs will get you advanced standing for the CFP units.
If you completed the FASEA-approved ethics bridging course, you will be eligible to received advanced standing for the CFP 1 – FPA Professionalism unit. In lieu of the coursework, you will be requested to complete the FPA’s Code of Professional Practice online module.
Advanced standing is not available for the CFP Certification Unit (CFP C). Unfortunately, we do not offer advanced standing for work experience.
Will I receive education credits when I complete program?
Yes! Completion of the 5-unit CFP Certification Program will provide you with a minimum of two credits towards a FASEA-approved degree. Some higher education institution will provide up to four credits for a FASEA-approved Master. Contact [email protected] for more information.
How to I enrol?
If you are new to the program, please complete a New Admission application for us to review your details for eligibility into the program. For returning students, please log into your FPA Member Centre to enrol in your next unit.
We’re here to help with your enrolment. Please complete the form below, call us at 1300 337 301 or send us an email [email protected]
How much does each CFP unit cost?
Each CFP unit is $1,600. View the breakdown of fees for enrolments into the program.
Save on your course
If you are currently employed or licensed by an FPA Professional Practice or Professional Partner, you qualify for a 10% saving on new enrolment into any unit of the program this semester. Please contact us on 1300 337 301 for the discount code to include on the payment page for your chosen course.
Do I become a CFP Professional immediately after I finish the program?
After completing all the requirements for the CFP Certification Program, you must meet the experience requirements before you can apply:
- Two years full-time (or part-time equivalent), client-facing AR experience within the last five years (not including the professional year)
- Four years full-time (or part-time equivalent) relevant experience that directly or indirectly support the financial planning process
For more information please contact us on1300 337 301 or via email.
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
Our Education team offers guidance, tools and support you need to successfully become a CFP® professional, no matter what stage of the process you’re in.
Please complete the form below, and we’ll give you a call to talk through your options. Alternatively, you can call our Education team 1300 337 301 between 9:30am and 5:00pm (AEDT), Monday to Friday.