Chartered Financial Planner® Designation

CIFP's Chartered Financial Planner® credential is a holistic, comprehensive financial planning designation that is based on the six-step financial planning process. Canadians can be assured that working with a Chartered Financial Planner professional, they are dealing with an individual with an advanced level of knowledge in all spheres of financial planning who possesses the technical proficiencies to devise integrated financial plans for clients.

Underpinning the Chartered Financial Planner program of study and the code of conduct for credential holders are professionalism and ethical behaviour and above all else, placing the interests of the client above all other matters in the engagement.

The Chartered Financial Planner designation is approved through FSRA in Ontario as a Financial Planner (FP) Title.

In our commitment to clarity and distinction within the Canadian financial services marketplace, we've made a deliberate decision not to introduce an acronym for the Chartered Financial Planner designation at this time. Our aim is to re-establish and emphasize the full significance of the Chartered Financial Planner title, ensuring it stands out as a hallmark of excellence and professionalism in the industry. By doing so, we strive to reinforce the value and prestige of the designation, making it easily recognizable and respected among professionals and the public alike.

Following successful completion of the Chartered Financial Planner program of study and, subject to meeting a qualifying work experience requirement and agreeing to abide by a code of conduct and ethics and standards of practice, the credential holder has earned the right to use the prestigious Chartered Financial Planner certification mark (annual continuing education obligations must be met to maintain certification).

The program of study for the Chartered Financial Planner credential is comprised of four core courses and the Program Review and Evaluation Course which serves as a review of the learning objectives addressed throughout the Program.

  1. Retirement Planning Course

    • Unit 1: Introduction to Retirement Planning
    • Unit 2: Government Sponsored Retirement Income Programs
    • Unit 3: Employer Sponsored Pension Plans
    • Unit 4: DPSPs, RRSPs and TFSAs
    • Unit 5: RRIFs, LIFs, and Locked-In RIFs
    • Unit 6: Education Planning
    • Unit 7: Taxation during Retirement
    • Unit 8: Retirement Savings Plans
    • Unit 9: Post-retirement Planning
    • Unit 10: Retirement Decisions

    Pre-requisite: none

    Suggested study time: 70 – 100 hours (4 – 6 months); course must be completed within one-year of registration

    Language: English and French

    Course delivery: online, self-study; optional printed text available for purchase

    Course grading:

    Formal assessments (30%): end-of-unit assessments completed and submitted online

    Final course examination (70%): maximum of 3 hours; minimum grade of 60% required; if unsuccessful on first attempt, learner can register for an examination re-write subject to applicable fees

  2. Risk Management and Estate Planning Course

    • Unit 1: RDSPs and Risk of Disability
    • Unit 2: Health and Long-term Care Insurance
    • Unit 3: Risk of Death
    • Unit 4: Life Insurance Products, Issues and the Industry
    • Unit 5: Risks of Property and Liability Losses
    • Unit 6: Insurance Contracts and Risk Management
    • Unit 7: Family Relationships and Support Obligations
    • Unit 8: Family Property and Other Issues
    • Unit 9: Wills and Powers of Attorney for Property
    • Unit 10: Living Wills, Forms of Property Interests, Intestacy and Probate
    • Unit 11: Personal Trusts
    • Unit 12: Estate Planning in Special Situations
    • Unit 13: Death and Taxes

    Pre-requisite: none

    Suggested study time: 70 – 100 hours (4 – 6 months); course must be completed within one-year of registration

    Language: English and French

    Course delivery: online, self-study; optional printed text available for purchase

    Course grading:

    Formal assessments (30%): end-of-unit assessments completed and submitted online

    Final course examination (70%): maximum of 3 hours; minimum grade of 60% required; if unsuccessful on first attempt, learner can register for an examination re-write subject to applicable fees

  3. Strategic Investment Planning Course

    • Unit 1: Strategic Investment Planning
    • Unit 2: Personal-use Assets
    • Unit 3: Guaranteed, Interest-producing Investments
    • Unit 4: Structure of Bonds and Debentures
    • Unit 5: Features of Bonds and Debentures
    • Unit 6: Common and Preferred Shares
    • Unit 7: Fundamental and Technical Analysis
    • Unit 8: Financial Derivatives, Foreign Exchange and Alternative Investments
    • Unit 9: Mutual Funds
    • Unit 10: Tax-driven Investments
    • Unit 11: Investment Theory
    • Unit 12: Financial Economics
    • Unit 13: Professional Responsibility

    Pre-requisite: none

    Suggested study time: 70 – 100 hours (4 – 6 months); course must be completed within one-year of registration

    Language: English and French

    Course delivery: online, self-study; optional printed text available for purchase

    Course grading:

    Formal assessments (30%): end-of-unit assessments completed and submitted online

    Final course examination (70%): maximum of 3 hours; minimum grade of 60% required; if unsuccessful on first attempt, learner can register for an examination re-write subject to applicable fees

  4. Income Tax Planning Course

    • Unit 1: Introduction to Income Tax Planning
    • Unit 2: Proprietorships and Partnerships
    • Unit 3: Corporations
    • Unit 4: Income Tax Planning and Research
    • Unit 5: Taxation of Employees and Alternative Minimum Tax
    • Unit 6: Taxation of Property Income
    • Unit 7: Taxation of Capital Property
    • Unit 8: Making Use of Tax Advantages

    Pre-requisite: none

    Suggested study time: 70 – 100 hours (4 – 6 months); course must be completed within one-year of registration

    Language: English and French

    Course delivery: online, self-study; optional printed text available for purchase

    Course grading:

    Formal assessments (30%): end-of-unit assessments completed and submitted online

    Final course examination (70%): maximum of 3 hours; minimum grade of 60% required; if unsuccessful on first attempt, learner can register for an examination re-write subject to applicable fees

  5. Chartered Financial Planner Examination Review

    • Formal Assessment #1
    • Formal Assessment #2
    • Chartered Financial Planner Examination

    Pre-requisite: RP, RMEP, SIP, ITP or Equivalent

    Suggested study time: 50 – 75 hours (2 – 4 months); course must be completed within one-year of registration

    Language: English and French

    Course delivery: online, self-study; optional printed text available for purchase

    Course grading:

    Formal assessments (15%): end-of-unit assessments completed and submitted online

    Chartered Financial Planner Examination (85%): maximum of 4 hours; minimum grade of 60% required; if unsuccessful on first attempt, learner can register for an examination re-write subject to applicable fees

To attain full certification as a Chartered Financial Planner professional, candidates must complete both educational and non-educational components:

Educational Components

Educational components required to attain certification as a Chartered Financial Planner professional include:

  • successful completion of the CIFP Chartered Financial Planner program of study which entails:
    • learning the content contained within the education Program
    • successful completion of each core course within the education Program (i.e. Retirement Planning Course, Risk Management and Estate Planning Course, Strategic Investment Planning Course and Income Tax Planning Course)
    • successful completion of the Chartered Financial Planer Examination Review and the Chartered Financial Planner Examination
    • NOTE: Successful completion of each core course means online submission of all end-of-unit formal assessments, attaining a minimum grade of 60% on the final course examination and attaining a minimum cumulative course grade of 60% (based on a weighting of 30% for the end-of-unit formal assessments and 70% for the final course examinations).

      Successful completion of the Chartered Financial Planner Review means online submission of the two formal assessments, attaining a minimum grade of 60% on the final course examination and attaining a minimum cumulative course grade of 60% (based on a weighting of 15% for the two formal assessments and 85% for the final Chartered Financial Planner examination).

Non-Educational Components

Non-educational components required to attain certification as a Chartered Financial Planner professional include:

  • having a minimum of one year of qualifying work experience as adjudged by CIFP (confirmation of qualifying work experience by the candidate's employer or other appropriate party must accompany the certification application)
  • completing and submitting the Chartered Financial Planner Certification Application to CIFP (subject to review and approval by CIFP)
  • providing appropriate answers to the self-declaration questions contained within the Chartered Financial Planner Certification Application
  • attesting to abide by the terms and conditions of the Chartered Financial Planner Certification Marks License Agreement
  • attesting to abide by the Code of Conduct for Chartered Financial Planner credential holders
  • attesting to abide by the Practice Standards for Chartered Financial Planner credential holders
  • paying the applicable certification fee

As a Chartered Financial Planner professional, you have an obligation as per the Code of Conduct (Principle of Disclosure of Information and Compensation) to notify clients and prospective clients that you hold the Chartered Financial Planner credential in good standing. This disclosure must be done in a timely manner:

'A Chartered Financial Planner professional is required to disclose all material information to clients, in keeping with relationship disclosure information obligations, that may reasonably be construed to potentially impact the engagement. This includes disclosing to clients and prospective clients, in a timely manner, that the individual holds the Chartered Financial Planner designation in good standing (provided such disclosure is factually accurate)…'


Chartered Financial Planner Designation Program Fees

Chartered Financial Planner Program Enrollment: $1499.00 + GST/HST

  • enrollment fee includes:
    • enrollment into all courses within the Chartered Financial Planner program of study and
    • registration for the final examination of each course
  • examination re-write fee if unsuccessful on the first examination attempt: $130.00 + GST/HST

NOTE: if a candidate is unsuccessful on their first examination attempt as well as on their subsequent examination re-write, the candidate must re-register in the course (a re-registration fee will apply)

  • optional printed version of online course material (per course): $80.00 + GST/HST

Annual Chartered Financial Planner certification renewal: $249.00 + Applicable Provincial Regulation Fee* + GST/HST

To enrol into the Chartered Financial Planner Program, you can either call the CIFP Education Services Department at 1-866-635-5526 or enrol directly through the CIFP.ca website by creating an account.

*In Ontario, the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of Ontario (FSRA) levies an annual fee based on the total number of individuals holding an FSRA-approved credential (which enables the credential holder to use the 'Financial Planner' or 'Financial Advisor' title). FSRA charges this mandatory fee directly to each approved credentialing body (e.g. CIFP). Strictly on a cost recovery basis, CIFP, in turn, flows this FSRA- initiated regulatory fee to each individual who holds an approved credential (i.e. the Chartered Financial Planner designation).