About our designations
The CFP® certification is obtained by completing an advanced college-level course of study addressing the financial planning subject areas that the CFP® Board’s studies have determined as necessary for the competent and professional delivery of financial planning services, a comprehensive certification exam, and by agreeing to be bound by the CFP® Board’s Standard of Professional Conduct. As a prerequisite, the individual must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university (or foreign university equivalent) and have at least 3 years of full-time financial planning experience (or equivalent measured at 2,000 hours per year). This designation requires 30 hours of continuing education every 2 years and renewing an agreement to be bound by the CFP® Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct.
The CFP® certification is administered by the CFP® Board certification program, which is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Why a CFP® certification is important
CFP® professionals are rigorously trained to understand and lead with ethical requirements in mind; all CFP® professionals have committed to act in their clients’ best interests by adhering to the CFP® Board’s required fiduciary duty.
The AIF® designation certifies that the recipient has specialized knowledge of fiduciary standards of care and their application to the investment management process. To receive the AIF® designation, individuals must complete a training program, successfully pass a comprehensive, closed-book final examination under the supervision of a proctor and agree to abide by the AIF® Code of Ethics. In order to maintain the AIF® designation, the individual must annually renew their affirmation of the
AIF Code of Ethics and complete six hours of continuing education credits.
The certification is administered by the Center for Fiduciary Studies, LLC (a Fiduciary360 (fi360) company). Fi360 is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) for the AIF® Designation, recognized by FINRA.
Why an AIF® certification is important
The purpose of the AIF® Designation is to assure that those responsible for managing or advising on investor assets have a fundamental understanding of the principles of fiduciary duty, the standards of conduct for acting as a fiduciary, and a process for carrying out fiduciary responsibility.
A Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) is a financial professional with extensive knowledge of life insurance. The CLU® designation, offered by The American College, is obtained by completing 8 core, 3 elective courses and a final exam for each course. As a prerequisite, the Investment Advisor Representative must have 3 years of full-time business experience within the 5 years preceding the awarding of the designation. All candidates must meet ethics standards and agree to comply with The American College Code of Ethics and Procedures. This designation requires 30 hours of continuing education every 2 years.
Why a CLU® certification is important
A CLU® certification gives advisors in-depth knowledge of life insurance underwriting concepts and life insurance law within the context of overall risk management, the knowledge to help clients address their estate planning needs, and an understanding of solutions addressing the life insurance underwriting needs of business owners and professionals.
The Certified Financial Behavior Specialist® (FBS®) designation is a professional certification mark for financial professionals providing financial consulting services. The designation is conferred by the Financial Psychology Institute®. Certificate holders use the theories and tools of financial behavior to provide more holistic services to clients, better understand financial beliefs and behaviors, and work more effectively with individuals, couples, families, and organizations around money. To receive authorization to use the marks, the candidate must meet specific educational and continuing education requirements in the areas of behavioral finance and financial behavior, including 20 hours of continuing education units, or CEUs, in approved courses related to financial planning, financial behavior, or a related field every 2 years.
Why the FBS® certification is important
By using the marks, the FBS® designated professional promises to adhere to the ethical standards guide as defined in the Financial Psychology Institute's® Code of Ethics.
The Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC®) is recognized as the most rigorous and respected coach training and certification in the industry. The curriculum for becoming a CPCC® is organized by the Co-Active Training Institute and is accredited by the International Coach Federation (ICF). It is approved by the California Bureau of Postsecondary Education (BPPE), approved by the California Board of Behavior Sciences (BBS), licensed by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education, approved by the Human Resources Professionals Association (HRPA), recommended for college credit by the American Council on Education (ACE), and has been awarded a European Quality Award (EQA) by the European Mentoring and Coaching Council (EMCC).
Why the CPCC® certification is important
Certified Professional Co-Active Coaches navigate toward stronger relationships, integral solutions, and developing expressions of leadership unique to every individual they coach.
The FFC® coaching certification requires financial knowledge to understand the content in practice case studies and to pursue how financial information lives in the client’s life. To receive the FFC® certification, trainees must complete 3 distinct modules. The certification program models the coaching methodology with a team of mentor coaches from Sage Financial Solutions, led by Saundra Davis, MS, APFC®.
Why the FFC® certification is important
Financial Coaching allows financial professionals to develop and deepen goals-based financial understanding through the practice of foundational coaching and thoughtful conversation that illuminates and acknowledges opportunities for financially educating clients.
The ChFC® is offered by The American College. The ChFC® designation is obtained by completing eight required courses in general and contemporary financial planning, and compliance with the American College’s Code of Ethics and Procedures. Certification requires 6,000 hours of financial planning experience within five years of meeting the other requirements. To maintain the designation, recertification occurs annually through the American College’s Professional Recertification Program.
Why a ChFC® certification is important
The certification has contemporary financial planning issues folded into its knowledge base so that an advisor can understand the full scope of transitions and events that shape client lives.
The Retirement Income Certified Professional® (RICP®) designation reflects an extensive and intensive retirement income education that covers all retirement income styles and strategies. The RICP® designation is obtained by completing the American College’s three required courses in specialized retirement planning, as well as compliance with the American College’s Code of Ethics and Procedures. Participation in the annual Professional Recertification Program (PRP) is required to maintain the designation.
Why a RICP® certification is important
The certification allows the intellectually curious advisor to delve deeply into different retirement options for their clients.