The CFP examination is a six-hour, computer-based exam consisting of a combination of stand-alone, multiple-choice (20%-30%), and case-based constructed-response (70%-80%) questions. The test specifications are published in the FP Canada Blueprint: CFP Examination. Each question on the exam focuses on specific elements of the FP Canada Standards Council™ Competency Profile and integrates several financial planning areas. The CFP exam is administered twice a year and is available in English and French. The next CFP exam will take place on May 26 and 27, 2021. Registration opens in early January 2021.
A total of 878 candidates wrote the November 2020 CFP exam, which was held at in-person test centres across Canada and through online proctoring. The CFP exam is the final exam on the path to Certified Financial Planner® certification. Of the 878 candidates, 533 candidates were first-time writers and 345 candidates re-attempted the exam. Among first-time writers, the pass rate was 73%, and among repeat writers the pass rate was 70%, for an overall pass rate of 72%. CFP exam pass rates naturally fluctuate from administration to administration as a result of differences in the candidate population and levels of candidate readiness.
The next sitting of the CFP exam will take place on May 26 and May 27, 2021.
|March 23||Early bird registration closes|
|April 27||Exam registration closes|
|May 4||Last day to submit transcripts|
|May 26-27||May 2021 CFP exam takes place|
|To be determined||Results released for the May 2021 CFP exam|
|October 13-14||October 2021 CFP exam takes place|
|Early Bird Discounted|
Rate ends two months
before exam sitting
|After Early Bird|
closes one month
before exam sitting
|Exam Registration & Practice Exam||$925 + tax||$1025 + tax|
|Exam Registration||$750 + tax||$850 + tax|
To view a complete list of examination fees, including alternate location, postponement or withdrawal fees, click here.
To write the CFP exam, you must have successfully completed an FP Canada-Approved Core Curriculum education program, the FP Canada Institute™ Introduction to Professional Ethics (IPE), an FP Canada-Approved Advanced Curriculum program and the FP Canada Institute CFP Professional Education Program within the past four years. You will need to submit transcripts that indicate your successful completion of all FP Canada courses, through your FP Canada™ Portal, approximately one month prior to the scheduled examination sitting or such other date as established by FP Canada. If you are rewriting the exam and have met the requirements within the past four years, you do not need to re-submit your transcripts.Submit Your Transcript
FP Canada offers alternate paths to CFP certification for candidates with the following qualifying credentials: Relevant Professional Qualifications, Pl. Fin., and Foreign CFP Professionals. To apply for an exemption based on those qualifying credentials, you will need to submit documentation from the governing body confirming your qualifications and good standing through your FP Canada portal, no later than one month prior to the exam.
If you hold a relevant professional qualification in good standing in Canada, you may be eligible for exemption from FP Canada-Approved Core Curriculum and Advanced Curriculum programs and the FP Canada Institute Introduction to Professional Ethics, and may proceed directly to the FP Canada Institute CFP Professional Education Program. Relevant professional qualifications include:
If you hold the Pl. Fin from IQPF, you may be eligible for exemption from all education requirements and may proceed directly to the CFP examination.
If you hold a CFP credential from an FPSB member organization, you may be eligible for exemption from all education requirements and may proceed directly to the CFP examination. Following CFP certification, you must successfully complete the FP Canada Institute CFP Professional Education Program within one year to maintain the certification.
If you hold the QAFP certification and wish to pursue CFP certification, there are two options available to you:
Option 1: To qualify to write the CFP examination, you must successfully complete the FP Canada Institute QAFP Professional Education Program within one year of QAFP certification or the FP Canada-Approved Advanced Curriculum and the QAFP-to-CFP Certification Bridge Program.
Option 2: If you have not completed the QAFP Professional Education Program, to qualify to write the CFP examination you must successfully complete the FP Canada-Approved Advanced Curriculum and the CFP Professional Education Program
You must successfully complete the CFP examination within 4 years (or 4 attempts) of successfully completing the CFP Professional Education program. If you are not successful on the exam within four years (or four attempts), you will need to successfully repeat the CFP Professional Education Program.
Candidates have two options for the administration of the CFP exam: writing the exam at an in-person testing centre, or via online proctoring with their own computer from home or another private location. You will be asked to select an in-person test centre or online proctoring as your exam location as part of the registration process for the CFP exam.
Online proctoring provides candidates with the opportunity to write the exam from home or another private location using their own computer, webcam, microphone and internet connection. The exam is written in a secure environment on downloaded software – the same exam software that is used at in-person test centres. Before selecting online proctoring as an option, consider if your computer system meets the technology and system requirements necessary for participation in online proctoring. Note that there are no exceptions for these requirements. More information on technology and system requirements can be found in the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination and by clicking here.
You will be asked to indicate your preferred exam location on the CFP examination application. FP Canada will strive to accommodate your preferred location, but if the location has reached capacity your second preferred location will be assigned to you. In the rare event that your first and second preferred locations are at capacity, an alternate exam location will be proposed to you. A list of standard locations is available in the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.
The Practice Exam is a study tool to help prepare you for the CFP examination. It allows you to experience how the actual exam looks and feels – and most importantly provides feedback on your performance. Candidates who have prepared with the Practice Exam have often reported feeling more familiar with the exam software, said the diagnostic report provided useful feedback on their performance and said they felt better prepared to write the exam. We encourage you to take advantage of this tool and recommend that you complete the Practice Exam early in your preparation process.Order the Practice Exam
Based on the FP Canada Blueprint: CFP Examination, the Practice Exam has the same structure, format and types of questions as the actual exam and uses the same software that you’ll use on exam day.
After purchase, you have a total of nine hours to complete the six-hour exam and you may only write it once. You can log in and out as many times as you wish provided total time logged in does not exceed nine hours. You can view the Practice Exam questions, their response options and the rationales for each correct and incorrect answer as often as you like until exam day. Self-scoring will require additional time beyond the time it takes you to complete the Practice Exam. There is no time limit for self-scoring or for reviewing the diagnostic report – you can use it right up to exam day.
Following completion of the Practice Exam, you will receive detailed sample responses for all exam questions to allow you to self-score the exam, as well as a diagnostic report to help you identify areas that may require more study. The self-scoring feature can provide unique insight into what is required for successful completion of the exam. By comparing your practice answers to the sample responses, you will understand:
You may perceive that the level of difficulty of the actual exam varies from the Practice Exam; however, materials on the Practice Exam have appeared on actual FP Canada examinations. With more time to write the Practice Exam than the actual exam, access to study materials while you write it and that your performance on the Practice Exam has no direct consequences may impact your perception of the level of difficulty. When you write the actual exam, there may be some differences in administration settings and there are tighter time constraints for writing; these factors could make the actual exam seem more difficult than the Practice Exam.
Refunds are not provided for the purchase of the Practice Exam. Use of the Practice Exam is restricted to candidates who have registered or are registering to write the CFP examination and is for personal study use only. The Practice Exam is updated annually for currency and the exam questions were last refreshed in January 2020. The Practice Exam is available in English and French.
If you have questions about the Practice Exam, please contact us at email@example.com. Questions or comments received less than 2 days prior to the CFP examination will be answered after the examination. There are no additional explanations or tutoring on the Practice Exam content. Please refer to your study materials to better understand the concepts presented in the Practice Exam.
Tips and tools to help you prepare to write the CFP exam.
Maximize your study efforts for the CFP exam with an exclusive webinar facilitated by FP Canada Standards Council’s Examinations department. To help exam candidates gain insight into the exam and exam processes, the webinar will answer frequently asked questions such as:
If you are registered for the CFP examination, you have access to more than 50 sample exam questions on your FP Canada Portal including sample case studies, retired exam questions – both multiple-choice and constructed-response, keys to competency and much more.Access These Tools
Familiarize yourself with the examination software by using our exam software tutorial. The tutorial gives you an opportunity to experience how the software will work.Try the Software Tutorial
Arriving to your exam prepared and knowing what to expect is your best strategy for success. For detailed information about the CFP examination, refer to the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.
We strongly encourage you to use the FP Canada Standards Council Competency Profile, and materials from your FP Canada-Approved Core Curriculum and Advanced Curriculum programs, CFP Professional Education Program and Introduction to Professional Ethics course to prepare for the CFP examination. It’s important to understand that the elements of financial planning competency focus not only on knowledge required, but on how CFP professionals must behave in practice. The questions on the CFP examination will refer to one or more elements of competency. You’ll be expected to understand the competencies and how they should be applied in practice.
Please note: FP Canada Standards Council does not review, recommend or endorse any external study help providers, courses or materials as representative of the CFP examination.
This checklist will help you prepare to write the CFP examination. For detailed information about the CFP examination, refer to the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.
Log in to your FP Canada Portal to register for the exam.
In-Person Test Centre
If you have any questions regarding the CFP examination or your responsibilities or rights as a candidate, contact FP Canada's Certificant and Student Services at firstname.lastname@example.org, 416-593-8587 or 1-800-305-9886.