Pathway to CFP®

Pathway to CFP®

The CFP® Certification Requirements

In order to be certified, a CFP® candidate must meet all four requirements of the certification process described below, while an AFPCM candidate must meet the education, examination and the ethics requirements:


Before applying for the Certification Examination(s), a candidate must complete academic coverage of the financial planning curricula including: foundations in financial planning (AFPCM course), risk management and insurance planning, tax planning and estate planning, investment planning, retirement planning, and financial plan construction and professional responsibilities. Completion of the academic requirement is available through three educational paths, namely self-study or distance learning, part-time course, or full-time course.


Upon successful completion of the academic requirement, the candidate is eligible to apply for the Certification Examination(s). The Certification Examination is designed to assess the candidate's ability to apply his/her financial planning education to financial planning situations in an integrated format, thereby protecting the public by assuring that he/she is at the appropriate level of competency required for practice.


This centers on work which involves personal financial planning-related experience. It is designed to provide the public with the assurance that the candidate understands the counseling nature of personal financial planning. The requirement is three years, performed before or after the successful completion of the Certification Examination.

An individual demonstrates relevant work experience working with clients while:

  1. Engaging in practice described in FPAS’s Financial Planning Practice Standards;
  2. Applying the abilities, skills and knowledge described in FPAS’s Financial Planner Competency Profile; and
  3. Adhering to ethical principles described in FPAS’s Financial Planner Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility.

This experience may be gained in the following areas:

  • Account
  • Banking/Trust
  • Estate Planning
  • Financial Planning
  • Law
  • Insurance Planning
  • Portfolio Management
  • Retirement/Pension Planning
  • Securities/Managed Funds
  • Taxation

FPAS reserve the right to conduct interview(s) to determine the suitability of experience disclosed. Decision made thereafter by FPAS is final.

*If you perform some or all of the functions listed, you are considered to perform the primary element.

  • All levels of supervision are acceptable if the chain of supervision eventually leads back to the planner.
  • Must be directly responsible for information that is provided to the planner/client and have reasonable liability for the client.
  • Credit for teaching is limited to the instruction of the CFP® educational curriculum in a FPAS Registered Program. Teaching finance-related classes (for college credit) full-time at any non-FPAS Registered Program university is given two years worth of experience credit, but the third year of experience must be personal-financial planning experience or teaching the CFP® educational curriculum courses full-time at a FPAS Registered Program.
  • "Client" denotes a person who engages a practitioner and for whom professional services are rendered. Pro-bono experience is accepted as long as (1) there is a client and (2) you are acting as a financial planning professional who is capable and qualified to offer objective, integrated, and comprehensive financial advice to or for the benefit of individuals to help them achieve their financial objectives using the financial planning process.

Timeliness of Experience
Qualifying work experience can be earned prior to, concurrent with, or subsequent to your education and examination requirements. Experience earned more than 5 years prior to the certification examination, however, will not be accepted. When the experience is earned subsequent to the examination, you must complete the requirement within five years of the date of the successful completion of the examination. (Note: candidates who qualify through the challenge status must have three years experience earned prior to writing the Certification Examination ie Module 6 of the CFP® Programme).

Ethics and Images
Once the education, examination, and work experience requirements are satisfied, the CFP® candidate may download the Initial CFP® Application Form from FPAS website, which includes an ethics statement form and his/her license application with a bill for the initial license fee. Prior to certification, the CFP® candidate will be required to disclose past or pending litigation or agency proceedings and to acknowledge the right of FPAS to enforce its Professional Standards and Code of Ethics through due process described.

Once certified, CFP® certificants must fulfil a biennial continuing education requirement of 30 hours to stay up-to-date on planning strategies and financial trends affecting their clients. In addition, the FPAS monitors compliance with its Professional Standards and Code of Ethics by requiring an annual disclosure statement and by investigating consumer complaints and certificants' periodic disclosures of investigations or legal proceedings.

FPAS Code of Ethics is compulsory and must be completed by a licensed AFPCM, AWPCM and CFP® certificant.

  • Code of Ethics Workshop - Financial Advisers Act and Securities Act (FAA and SA) - 3 hours session and 3 in-house CPD credited within same calendar year from the AFPCM certification approval date.

Cross-Border Marks Use Policy

If an individual who is certified by an FPSB Affiliate moves to another territory that also has an FPSB Affiliate (in this case Singapore), he or she is permitted only incidental use of the CFP® marks in that new territory (Singapore) unless he or she also becomes certified by the FPSB Affiliate (FPAS) in the new territory. Incidental use is defined as use in articles, brochures, etc. for purposes other than seeking financial business in the new territory.

He or she cannot use the CFP® marks on his or her business card in Singapore, which is not considered incidental; he or she can include the biographical statement “Certified to advise on (country where he or she was originally certified) financial planning matters by the (name of the original FPSB Affiliate), an Affiliate of Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd.” The only way he or she can use the CFP® marks in Singapore is to become certified by FPAS.

The Associate Financial Planner or AFPCM

The Associate Financial Planner or AFPCM will be competent to recommend general financial planning strategies and to advise on the appropriate selection and use of various financial products for individuals, e.g. insurance, unit trusts, and a broad range of securities and banking products.

The AFPCM Certification Requirements

In order to be certified, an AFPCM candidate must meet the education, examination and the ethics requirements.