A national professional body working in the public interest, FP Canada™ is dedicated to championing better financial wellness for all Canadians by certifying professional financial planners and leading the advancement of professional financial planning in Canada. At a time when society is facing unprecedented technological disruption in all walks of life, Canadians have a greater need than ever for personalized financial planning advice with a human touch. FP Canada provides the financial planning profession with the leadership it needs to help Canadians achieve financial well-being in this new digital era.
At a high level, FP Canada sets the strategic direction for professional financial planning in Canada. FP Canada also achieves its mandate through two distinct divisions. Through the FP Canada Standards Council™ division, FP Canada establishes financial planning standards and enforces those standards among FP Canada certificants—Qualified Associate Financial Planner™ professionals and Certified Financial Planner® professionals. Through the FP Canada Institute™ division, which is dedicated to elevating the practice of financial planning, FP Canada provides professional education, tools, and resources to help financial planners meet the needs of all Canadians.
FP Canada operates in all provinces except Québec; however, through a strategic partnership with Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF), the only body in Québec authorized to confer financial planning diplomas, FP Canada’s standards are adopted nationally. There are approximately 21,000 professional financial planners in Canada who, through QAFP certification and CFP certification, meet FP Canada’s standards.
FP Canada is continually working toward the formal professionalization of financial planning. In most Canadian provinces there is no legislated standard in place for the estimated 100,000 people who claim to offer financial advice. With the exception of Québec, people who call themselves financial planners are not required to obtain any credentials whatsoever. FP Canada believes that everyone who claims to be a financial planner should be required to meet stringent proficiency and ethics requirements, including high levels of education and experience. These rigorous requirements are met by all FP Canada certificants.
Recognition of financial planning as a distinct profession within the financial services and advice landscape will reduce consumer confusion regarding their choice of financial advisor and will safeguard and enhance the financial well-being of Canadians and ultimately lead to the betterment of the financial planning profession.
A division of FP Canada, the FP Canada Institute; is dedicated to elevating the practice of financial planning. The FP Canada Institute provides professional education, practice support tools and other resources to financial planners and financial planning students to help them meet the needs and expectations of all Canadians seeking financial planning advice from a certified professional.
The FP Canada Institute currently offers three e-learning programs: Introduction to Professional Ethics (IPE), the CFP Professional Education Program, and the QAFP Professional Education Program (available in mid-2020). These e-learning programs help prospective and existing financial planners apply their technical knowledge, learn key facets of human behaviour that affect the planning engagement and decision-making, and develop essential professional skills in the areas of communications, critical thinking and ethics. These programs complement the Core Curriculum and Advanced Curriculum Programs offered by colleges, universities and third-party educators on the paths to certification. In the years ahead, the FP Canada Institute will be adding more education programs and developing tools and other resources to enrich financial planners’ knowledge and skills and equip them with the tools to serve clients as effectively as possible.
A division of FP Canada, the FP Canada Standards Council ("the Standards Council") establishes and enforces financial planning standards, sets the certification requirements for professional financial planners and develops and delivers certification examinations. The Standards Council ensures FP Canada certificants—Qualified Associate Financial Planner professionals and Certified Financial Planner professionals—meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience, and ethics.
The Standards of Professional Responsibility, set and enforced by the Standards Council, define the ethical and professional responsibilities of FP Canada certificants. By ensuring adherence to these standards, the Standards Council protects both the Canadian public and the reputation of the financial planning profession. The Standards Council thoroughly investigates all allegations of misconduct with respect to FP Canada certificants and exercises disciplinary action when appropriate.
The FP Canada Research Foundation is an independently operated registered charity administered with the support of FP Canada and the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF). The Foundation’s mission is to fund, promote and disseminate financial planning research for the benefit of Canadians. As the financial planning profession continues to evolve and clients’ needs become increasingly complex, planners need practical techniques founded on solid, quantifiable research that can help them stay ahead of the curve.
The FP Canada Research Foundation is committed to providing this type of ground-breaking research. Its focus includes technical research that tests financial planning strategies and challenges existing models to ensure Canadians are getting the best advice to suit their unique circumstances. In addition, the Foundation facilitates important research into behavioural considerations and the impact of financial planning on society.
FP Canada pursues its mandate with the support of its partners in the financial planning profession. This includes organizations that oversee the certification of financial planners in other jurisdictions, as well as regulatory bodies and representatives from the financial services industry. In particular, the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) is a Proud Partner of FP Canada. IQPF is the only organization in Québec authorized to grant financial planning diplomas.
FP Canada fulfills its mandate under the leadership of its Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Team, with the support of three standing Board Committees, four independent Panels and several Partners in the Profession.Board of Directors
FP Canada values inclusion and diversity and is committed to working towards an inclusive and diverse organization; to being reflective of Canada’s population; and to valuing different perspectives and experiences.
FP Canada’s Executive Leadership Team is committed to ensuring impartiality and objectivity in all our activities, including certification and education. FP Canada undertakes to act impartially in relation to its students, candidates, certificants and all other stakeholders, and all of FP Canada’s policies and procedures are designed to be fair and consistent. FP Canada identifies and assesses risks that may result in a conflict of interest or pose a threat to impartiality.
Further, FP Canada employees, volunteers and contractors also understand the importance of impartiality and the consideration of any potential conflict of interest in carrying out their activities, including certification and education. Conflicts of interest and objectivity are addressed through a strong governance structure, comprehensive policies and procedures and binding agreements to ensure that all activities are conducted in an independent and impartial manner.
Dedicated to maintaining its own quality standards, FP Canada is one of a handful of certification bodies in Canada to have received ISO 17024 accreditation from the Standards Council of Canada for meeting globally recognized standards for certification bodies.
FP Canada regularly contributes to discussions with government officials, regulators and other stakeholders on issues that impact the financial planning profession in Canada and worldwide. We work to ensure that FP Canada’s standards for professional financial planning are incorporated into legislation, regulation and rules, advancing our goals to professionalize financial planning, reduce consumer confusion, instill confidence in financial planning and help to safeguard and enhance the financial well-being of all Canadians.
FP Canada is part of an international network of 26 territories that confer CFP certification around the world, through their affiliation with the not-for-profit Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB). There are more than 175,000 CFP professionals worldwide. Canada has the fourth largest number of CFP professionals worldwide, behind only the United States, Japan and China.
Created by FP Canada and the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF) in 2009, Financial Planning Week is dedicated to raising awareness among all Canadians of the importance and benefits of professional financial planning.
FP Canada is pleased to recognize individuals who contribute to excellence in financial planning through the following programs:Donald J. Johnston Lifetime Achievement Award in Financial Planning
FP Canada’s predecessor organization was incorporated in 1995. Since that time, FP Canada has become the premier standards-setter for financial planning in Canada, elevating the standards of the CFP designation and establishing CFP certification as the standard for financial planners.
The 2019-20 fiscal year was a monumental one for FP Canada and for professional financial planning in Canada. To celebrate the many accomplishments achieved in partnership with our key allies and stakeholders, we’ve produced our first integrated Annual Report since the launch of FP Canada.
Explore the microsite to learn more about the past year.
The Fairness Commissioner conducts impartial and unbiased third-party reviews of complaints by an FP Canada certificant regarding FP Canada’s processes.