Meeting Your Continuing Education Requirements

CFP® professionals must complete 25 hours of Continuing Education (CE) annually and FPSC Level 1® certificants must complete 12 hours of CE annually. FP Canada-approved CE activities may be found through the FP Canada-Approved Continuing Education Search Tool. CE activities that are not FP Canada-approved may also meet FP Canada’s requirements, but you must self-assess these activities for fit within the five CE Credit Categories.

Important Changes to Your Continuing Education Requirements – Effective January 1, 2020

FP Canada is making changes to its certification programs. Effective January 1, 2020, CFP professionals will be required to complete two hours of CE in the category of Professional Responsibility annually (a change from the current one-hour annual requirement); for a total of 25 CE credits required annually. Also effective January 1, 2020, FPSC Level 1® certification will be replaced by QAFP certification and all current FPSC Level 1 certificants will automatically become QAFP professionals. QAFP professionals will be required to complete 12 CE credits annually.
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Benefits of Using the FP Canada-Approved Continuing Education Search Tool

FP Canada recommends that you meet your CE requirements through CE activities approved by FP Canada. FP Canada-Approved activities can all be found through the FP Canada-Approved CE Search Tool and will provide you with the following benefits:

  • You will be assured that the CE activities have been evaluated as meeting FP Canada’s requirements.
  • You will be assured that CE activities in the category of Professional Responsibility focus on the application of FP Canada Standards Council Standards of Professional Responsibility.
  • You will not need to assess or calculate CE credits for any CE activities approved through the CE Approval Program.
Visit the Continuing Education Search Tool to find FP-Canada approved CE activities.

 

Other CE Opportunities

FP Canada recognizes that there are a number of CE opportunities for CFP professionals and FPSC Level 1 certificants and that not all of these will be approved through the FP Canada CE Approval Program. To ensure that CE activities that are not approved through the FP Canada CE Approval Program meet your annual certification requirements, you must:

  • Become familiar with the CE guidelines, including the definitions of the five CE Credit Categories, common education activities and guidelines for calculating CE credits;
  • Assess CE activities for fit with the five CE Credit Categories.
  • Assess CE activities in the category of Professional Responsibility to ensure that they focus on the application of the FP Canada Standards Council Standards of Professional Responsibility. CE that focuses on direct knowledge of the Standards of Professional Responsibility rather than their practical application will not qualify;
  • Calculate your number of CE credits for CE activities completed; and
  • Secure supporting documentation outlining the content of CE activities completed and maintain the documentation for three years in the event of an FP Canada audit.

 

Guidelines for Calculating CE Credits

  • CE credits are accumulated on a calendar year basis (January 1 to December 31).
  • In order to qualify, the content of the activity must be related to the categories of Financial Planning, Professional Responsibility, Practice Management, Product Knowledge or Giving Back. Learn more about FP Canada’s five Continuing Education credit categories.
  • One hour of qualifying activity is equivalent to one CE credit.
  • A full day of instruction may qualify for a maximum of eight CE credits. Time spent for meal and coffee breaks must be subtracted from the total hours claimed for CE credits.
  • Excess CE credits in the category of Professional Responsibility may qualify under the category of Financial Planning.
  • Excess CE credits may not be carried over for more than one calendar year.

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    Guidance for Calculating CE Credits for Common CE Activities

    These can be claimed for CE credits (one hour = one CE credit). When calculating the number of hours for CE credits, meals and breaks may not be included. The maximum amount allocated for one full day of education is eight CE credits.

    In-house training can be claimed for CE credits (one hour = one CE credit). When calculating CE credits, time spent for meals and breaks may not be included. The maximum amount allocated for one full day of training is eight CE credits.

    Self-study courses usually have a recommended number of study hours. The full number of study hours may be claimed as CE (if they meet FP Canada’s CE requirements) upon successful completion of the course, up to a maximum of 50 credits.

    University or college credit courses for one full semester may qualify for CE credits, if the curriculum meets FP Canada’s CE requirements. A maximum of 50 CE credits may be claimed for each full semester course.

    Courses that are completed to prepare for a relevant professional license or designation may qualify for CE upon completion, up to a maximum of 50 credits.

    Writing articles, technical newsletters, books and course materials qualify for CE credits provided such activities meet FP Canada’s CE requirements and have a target audience of: professionals engaged in financial planning; or post-secondary students preparing for a career in financial planning. A maximum of 15 CE credits may be claimed for the time spent researching and writing. Re-releases of existing documents with revision are eligible for a maximum of 10 CE credits.

    Please note that content written for marketing purposes will not qualify for CE credits.

    Teaching or acting as an instructor, discussion leader or speaker to financial planning professionals or post-secondary students; qualifies for a maximum of 15 CE credits. Two credits per hour of actual teaching/presenting time can be claimed for the first time the class or session is conducted, up to a maximum of 15 credits. For second and subsequent offerings of the same course or session, only in-class time or session time can be counted, up to a maximum of 10 credits per year.

    Please note that teaching or presenting seminars/courses designed for marketing purposes will not qualify for CE credits.

    CE credits may be awarded for volunteering with community organizations, industry associations, charitable groups or others in a way that assists Canadians in understanding the importance of financial planning or enhances their financial well-being. In addition, CE credits may be awarded in instances where a CFP professional or FPSC Level 1 Certificant is using their financial planning skills in a volunteer capacity to support an organization. Hours of volunteer service may qualify for a maximum of 5 credits per year under the ‘Giving Back’ category.

    Other activities may qualify for CE credits. To determine whether an activity would qualify as an education activity for CE accumulation purposes, please send your inquiries to info@fpcanada.ca.

     

    Supporting Documentation for CE Credits

    FP Canada Certificants subject to audit must demonstrate compliance by providing supporting documentation to confirm the completion of their CE requirements.

    Supporting documentation for FP Canada-Approved CE could include, but is not limited to, the following:

    • A certificate of attendance issued by the granting institution. The certificate must include the participant's name, date and duration of the activity, and a signature and/or stamp of the education provider;
    • A transcript from the education provider. The transcript must include the participant's name, date of enrolment and/or date of completion, and the name of the course;
    • Written confirmation from the education provider. The letter must be on letterhead and must include the participant's name, name, date and duration of the activity, signature and/or stamp of the education provider, and the signatory's contact information;
    • Written confirmation from the Training or HR department offering in-house training. The letter must include the participant's name, name, date and duration of the activity, signature of the department head or representative, and the signatory's contact information;
    • Written confirmation from the volunteer organization. The letter must include the participant’s name, date of the volunteer service and a description of the nature and duration of the volunteer activity;
    • A contract for teaching engagement. The contract must include the instructor’s name, the year/semester of the course and a description of the nature and duration of the courses; or
    • A contract for writing assignment. The contract must include the writer’s name, a copy of the article, and the year written (must be written in the year reported).

    Supporting documentation for educational content of CE activities that have not been approved through FP Canada's CE Approval Program must also be supported by documentation to verify the educational content of the activities completed. Supporting documentation could include, but is not limited to, the following:

    • Course descriptions;
    • Content agendas indicating the duration of the program and summary of the content;
    • PowerPoint presentations;
    • Course syllabi;
    • Table of contents; or
    • Articles.

    Other forms of supporting documentation may be accepted at the discretion of staff.

    Please note that missing documentation will result in the CE activity being denied in the case of an FP Canada audit.

     

    Reporting CE Activities

    FP Canada certificants are required to attest to the completion of their CE requirements for the calendar year specified on the annual renewal application.

    You are not required to submit CE supporting documentation at time of certification renewal, but you must have supporting documentation available in the event of an FP Canada audit. Any excess credits carried over from the previous year may also be subject to audit. It is recommended that you keep all CE supporting documentation for at least three years.

    FP Canada offers an online tool to track completed CE credits. This online tool must be used by those who are selected for audit. The online CE Tracker tool can be found on your FP Canada Portal, under the ‘My Account’ tab.

     

    CE Audit Requirements

    To maintain the integrity of FP Canada’s certification programs, a percentage of CFP professionals and FPSC Level 1 Certificants are selected randomly for CE audit each year. Individuals who are selected for audit will be requested to submit supporting documentation for their CE credits taken in the previous calendar year. Certificants whose certification has lapsed and then been reinstated are automatically subject to audit.

    Individuals who are found to have falsified their CE attestation are in breach of the FP Canada Standards Council Code of Ethics, as outlined in the FP Canada Standards Council Standards of Professional Responsibility. These cases are forwarded to FP Canada’s Enforcement department for further action under the FP Canada Standards Council Disciplinary Rules and Procedures.

    FP Canada reserves the right to audit any CFP professional at any time and for any reason.

    FP Canada certificants who fail to comply with the CE requirements or CE audit requirements within the stipulated period may be subject to disciplinary action by FP Canada.

    Misstated or fraudulent reporting of CE credits will be reported to the FP Canada Standards and Enforcement department as a violation of the FP Canada Standards Council Standards of Professional Responsibility.

     

    Questions?

    For more information about Continuing Education requirements, see our FAQ: Continuing Education. If you have further questions, contact FP Canada Stakeholder Support at info@fpcanada.ca, 416-593-8587 or 1-800-305-9886. Our office is open from Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. ET.