Professional Designations



The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™(CFP®) certification is a voluntary certification that is recognized in the United States and several other countries for its (1) high standard of professional education, (2) stringent code of conduct and standards of practice, and (3) ethical requirements that govern professional engagements with clients. Currently, more than 83,000 individuals have obtained CFP® certification in the United States.

To attain the right to use the CFP ®  marks, an individual must satisfactorily fulfill the following requirements:

  • Education Requirement: Complete an advanced college‐level course of study addressing the financial planning subject areas that CFP Board’s studies have determined as necessary for the competent and professional delivery of financial planning services, and attain a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited United States college or university (or its equivalent from a foreign university).
  • CFP® Certification Examination Requirement: The examination, administered in two three-hour sessions over one day, includes case studies and client scenarios designed to assess one’s ability to integrate and apply a broad base of financial planning knowledge in the context of real life financial planning situations;
  • Experience Requirement: Complete 6,000 hours of professional experience related to the financial planning process, or 4,000 hours of Apprenticeship experience that meets additional requirements; and
  • Ethics Requirement: Agree to adhere to the high standards of ethics and practice outlined in the CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Standards of Conduct and to acknowledge CFP Board’s right to enforce them through its Disciplinary Rules and Procedures This demonstrates to the public one’s agreement to provide personal financial planning in the client’s best interest and to act in accordance with the highest ethical and professional standards for the practice of financial planning.


The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter is a globally respected, graduatelevel investment credential established in 1962 and awarded by the CFA Institute, the largest global association of investment professionals.

There are currently more than 150,000 CFA charterholders working in 163 countries. To earn the CFA charter, candidates must (1) pass three sequential, sixhour examinations, (2) have at least four years of qualified professional investment experience, (3) join CFA Institute as members, and (4) commit to abide by, and annually reaffirm, their adherence to the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct.

The CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct, enforced through an active professional conduct program, require CFA charterholders to:

  • Place the integrity of the investment profession and the interests of clients ahead of their personal interests
  • Maintain independence and objectivity
  • Act with integrity, competence, and respect
  • Maintain and improve their professional competence
  • Disclose conflicts of interest and legal matters


Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is the statutory title of qualified accountants in the United States who have passed the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination (Uniform CPA Exam) and have met additional state education and experience requirements for certification as a CPA. The CPA was established in law in 1896.

The requirements for licensure as a CPA, which are set by each state’s board of accountancy, include completing a program of study in accounting at a college or university, passing the Uniform CPA Exam, and obtaining a specific amount of professional work experience in public accounting (the required amount and type of experience varies according to licensing jurisdiction).

One of the world’s leading licensing examinations, the Uniform CPA Examination, serves to protect the public interest by helping to ensure that only qualified individuals become licensed as CPAs. The Uniform CPA Exam is set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and administered by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy. Eligibility to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam is determined by individual state boards of accountancy. Typically, the requirement is a U.S. bachelor’s degree including a minimum number of qualifying credit hours in accounting and business administration with an additional one-year study.