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How to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional

The initial CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification process requires candidates to meet requirements under four categories:



Candidates for CFP certification must hold the Qualified Financial Adviser (QFA) designation, and master theoretical and practical personal financial planning knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study which is approved by FPSB Ireland.

There are 2 approved courses:

1) Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning

Delivered by The Institute of Banking College of Professional Finance (a recognised college of UCD), in association with the Irish Tax Institute. Further details can be found here.

2) Postgraduate Diploma in Business in Financial Planning

Delivered by LIA, and accredited by Atlantic Technological University Sligo. Further details can be found here.

Both awards stand alone as qualifications independent of CFP certification.



Candidates for CFP certification must pass a comprehensive CFP certification examination that tests their ability to apply integrated financial planning knowledge to real world client situations. Based on regular research of what planners do, the CFP certification examination covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance. The CFP certification examination in the Republic of Ireland is administered by FPSB Ireland under the strictest examination requirements, as defined by Ireland’s higher education and testing authorities.

CFP examinations are typically held in February and May each year. The next examinations are scheduled for Saturday 10th February 2024 and 25th May 2024.



Candidates for CFP certification must have a minimum of three years’ experience in the personal financial planning process prior to being awarded CFP certification to ensure that they possess financial counselling skills in addition to personal financial planning knowledge.



As a final step to certification, candidates for CFP certification must agree to abide by a strict Code of Ethics that defines their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers. CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct and agree to act fairly, diligently and with integrity, offering clients professional services that are objective and based on clients’ needs. CFP professionals must disclose in writing to clients information about their sources of compensation and conflicts of interest.

Below is the full Guide to CFP Certification:

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