Impacts of the 2012 CFP Board Requirements on the CFP Board Exam

A lot of people ask me how the new CFP Board Certification Education requirements will impact the actual exam. And the answer is that the new Financial Plan Development course requirement and the changes to the CFP Board exam are two separate events. How could the CFP Board possibly give a test in March 2012 that incorporates educational changes that take place in January 2012?

The CFP Board periodically updates the exam topic list, and it just so happens that this latest update coincides with the changes to CFP Board requirements for certification. However, the structure of the CFP exam is not going to change. There will be some new topics that the CFP Board will begin testing on, including a stronger emphasis on ethics and client communications, but it is material that should already be covered by your educational provider.

So the main concern for students through the rest of this year is not how changes will impact the actual exam, but how will the changes impact my timeline and my expense for gaining CFP® Certification? The answer is quite simple.

  1. If you enroll in an educational program prior to the end of the year, you will not be required to pay for or complete the new Financial Plan Development Course.
  2. If you enroll January 1, 2012 or later, you will be required to complete the new Financial Plan Development course. This equates to:
    1. Additional cost increase of nearly $700
    2. Increase in time investment of 1-3 months

If you are considering the CFP prior to the end of 2011, visit our website at to learn more or download our white paper for more information about the CFP Board 2012 Requirement change.

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