What Is Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is a professional certification mark for financial planners conferred by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) in the United States, Financial Planning Standards Council in Canada and 22 other organizations affiliated with Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), the international owner of the CFP mark outside of the United States.

To receive authorization to use the designation, the candidate must meet education, examination, experience and ethics requirements, and pay an ongoing certification fee. The information relates specifically to CFP certification in the United States. In the UK, the CFP licence is available to financial planners through membership of the Institute of Financial Planning.


Education requirements

To earn the CFP designation, candidates must meet several requirements—the first of which is the educational requirement, which requires candidates to have a bachelor’s degree or higher from an accredited U.S. college or university. As a first step to the present CFP certification criteria, students must master a list of nearly 100 topics on integrated financial planning. The topics cover major planning areas such as:


General Principles of Finance and Financial Planning

Insurance Planning

Employee Benefits Planning

Investment and Securities Planning

State and Federal Income Tax Planning

Estate Tax, Gift Tax, and Transfer Tax Planning

Asset Protection Planning

Retirement Planning

Estate Planning


To fulfill the education requirement, students are required to complete course training in the above listed topic areas in order to meet the first requirement to sit for the 10 hour CFP Board Certification Examination. A bachelor’s degree (or higher), or its equivalent in any discipline, from an accredited college or university is required to attain CFP certification. The bachelor’s degree requirement is a condition of initial certification; it is not a requirement to be eligible to take the CFP Certification Examination.

Below are the 6 Modules in the CFP certification course:

Module 1 – Foundation in Financial Planning

Module 2 – Risk management and Insurance Planning

Module 3 – Tax Planning

Module 4 – Investment Planning

Module 5 – Retirement Planning and Estate Planning

Module 6 – Financial Plan Construction and Professional Responsibilities

IFP Modules


M1         Fundamentals of Islamic Financial Planning

M2         Risk Management and Takaful Planning

M3         Islamic Investment Planning

M4         Zakat and Tax Planning

M5         Islamic Estate and Waqf Planning

M6         Financial Plan Construction and Professional Responsibilities

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