A national professional body working in the public interest, FP Canada™ (formerly known as Financial Planning Standards Council) is dedicated to fostering better financial health for 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 – Certified Financial Planner® professionals and FPSC Level 1® certificants in Financial Planning (effective January 1, 2020, the Qualified Associate Financial Planner™ designation—QAFP™ certification—will replace FPSC Level 1 certification). 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, the only body in Québec authorized to confer financial planning diplomas, FP Canada’s standards are adopted nationally. There are approximately 19,000 professional financial planners in Canada who, through FPSC Level 1 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: the QAFP Professional Education Program™, the CFP Professional Education Program™ and Introduction to Professional Ethics™ (IPE). 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™ establishes and enforces financial planning standards, sets the certification requirements for professional financial planners and develops and delivers certification examinations. The FP Canada Standards Council ensures FP Canada certificants ― Certified Financial Planner® professionals and FPSC Level 1® certificants in Financial Planning ― meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience and ethics.
The Standards of Professional Responsibility for CFP® Professionals and FPSC Level 1 Certificants in Financial Planning, set and enforced by the FP Canada 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 Senior Management Team, with the support of three standing Board Committees, four independent Panels and several Partners in the Profession.
FP Canada is one of a handful of certification bodies in Canada to have received and maintain ISO 17024 accreditation from the Standards Council of Canada. Based on internationally recognized standards, this accreditation recognizes FP Canada’s commitment to impartiality in its certification processes and decision-making. It ensures the credibility, objectivity and technical competence of FP Canada’s certification programs.
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:
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.
View our latest summary financial statement for the year ended March 31, 2019 or view previous annual reports for each fiscal year shown below.
The Fairness Commissioner conducts impartial and unbiased third-party reviews of complaints by an FP Canada certificant regarding FP Canada’s processes.
A career at FP Canada puts you at the centre of a growing profession within a vibrant, team-oriented work environment. We believe in rewarding innovation, supporting creativity, and making a positive impact on society.
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