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Qualifications

Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)
Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst™ (AIFA®)
Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)
Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)
Certified Estate Planner(CEP)
Certified Financial Planner™ (CFP®)
Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA)
Certified Manager (CM)
Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA)
Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®)
Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®)
Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®)
Certified Medical Planner (CMP©)
Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC®)
Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®)
Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM (CRPS®)
Certified Specialist in Retirement Planning (CSRP)
Enrolled Agent
Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional
Life Underwriter Training Council FellowSM
Master of Science in Financial Services
Master of Science in Taxation (MST)
Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)
Professional in Human Resources (PHR®)
Professional Plan Consultant (PPC)
Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA)
Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)
Registered ParaplannerSM (RP®)
Retirement Plans Associate (RPA)



Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®)


Administered by fi360, the Accredited Investment Fiduciary® (AIF®) professional designation is the industry's first and only designation that demonstrates knowledge and competency in the area of fiduciary responsibility, and communicates a commitment to standards of investment fiduciary excellence. Holders of the AIF® mark have successfully completed a specialized program on investment fiduciary standards and subsequently passed a comprehensive examination.
AIF designees have a reputation in the industry as being the best positioned to implement a prudent process into their own investment practices, as well as being able to assist others in implementing proper policies and procedures. For this reason, the AIF was named one of the “Ten Most Wanted” designations in the investment industry in Financial Planning magazine.

Curriculum The AIF program is offered in three distinct training formats: candidates may complete a Web-based Program; a Capstone Program (blended learning experience that combines the Web-based Program with a 1-day classroom session); or a Custom Program. The various training formats cater to the needs of the busy professional, yet deliver the same curriculum. Each format concludes with an examination in order to apply for and earn the AIF designation.

Examination Requirements Candidates for the AIF designation will be required to take a 90-minute, closed-book accreditation exam that must be passed with a 75% or better. The examination is administered at the conclusion of training for Capstone participants, and as an online examination for Web-based participants. Please note that a proctor is required for online examinations. At the end of the program, students need to submit a designee application with the first annual payment of the designation fee, and agree to abide by the designation's Code of Ethics in order to earn the AIF designation.

Additional Requirements Once accredited, AIF designees have the following annual obligations:
  • Sign and agree to abide by a Code of Ethics
  • Complete appropriate continuing education requirements
  • Submit a renewal application along with the annual dues
Continuing Education Requirements AIF designees are required to complete six hours of continuing education annually. The continuing education offerings are conveniently provided online via downloadable audio recordings and podcasts. This service is provided as part of the annual dues and requires no additional charge. Two hours may be fulfilled from outside sources.

Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst™ (AIFA®)


Administered by fi360, the Accredited Investment Fiduciary Analyst™ (AIFA®) professional designation is the first and only designation that focuses on the process of conducting fiduciary assessments. The AIFA designation not only signifies the same thorough knowledge of the prudent process for investment fiduciaries that the AIF designation represents, but also the ability to perform assessments of that process. AIFA designees' primary function is to perform, or assist in, assessments of an investment steward's, advisor's, or manager's conformance to a Global Fiduciary Standard of Excellence using fi360's ISO-like procedure of assessment. AIFA designees possess the ability and knowledge to advise clients of deficiencies in investment processes. It is also the required mark to perform a CEFEX Fiduciary Certification, the independent recognition of a fiduciary's conformity to all fiduciary practices and criteria.

Prerequisites To become an AIFA, one must have graduated from fi360's AIF training. In addition, there are specific prerequisite work experiences.

Curriculum The AIFA program is offered as a 3-day classroom-based program conducted at several universities and training facilities across the world. The classroom program uses a traditional style of instruction, incorporating and encouraging class participation throughout the program. Team and individual exercises are part of the program structure as well as team presentations of exercise findings and conclusions. All class participation, including group and individual exercises, carry weight in the grading process.

The course focuses on the process of conducting fiduciary assessments. It addresses new audit requirements under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and enables those who attain the AIFA designation to conduct assessments leading to certifications of adhering to Global Fiduciary Standards of Excellence. Instructors teach participants the four steps that comprise the standard, the practices, and the criteria necessary to fulfill each step, and the assessment techniques to verify conformity to the standard.

The course culminates with an accreditation exam for those wishing to obtain the AIFA designation. The evaluation of your success in the program is based on three main factors: AIFA quiz, the final exam, and participation.

Additional Requirements
Once accredited, AIFA designees have the following obligations:
  • Sign and agree to abide by a Code of Ethics.
  • Complete appropriate continuing education requirements.
  • Maintain current contact information in fi360's designee database.
  • Remit annual dues.


Continuing Education Requirements AIFA designees are required to complete 10 hours of continuing education annually. The continuing education offerings are conveniently provided online via downloadable audio recordings and podcasts. This service is provided as part of the annual dues and requires no additional charge. Two hours may be fulfilled from outside sources.

Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT)


Cisco Certified Entry Networking Technician (CCENT) validates the ability to install, operate and troubleshoot a small enterprise branch network, including basic network security. With a CCENT, a network professional demonstrates the skills required for entry-level network support positions - the starting point for many successful careers in networking. The curriculum covers networking fundamentals, WAN technologies, basic security and wireless concepts, routing and switching fundamentals, and configuring simple networks. CCENT is the first step toward achieving CCNA, which covers medium-size enterprise branch networks with more complex connections. No Prerequisites

Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CDFA)


A CDFA is an expert in the unique financial circumstances that surround a divorce. The professional training for the certification is focused on understanding and estimating the long-term costs of a divorce, because divorce settlements can impact a person's financial picture for a very long time. Areas of expertise include:
  • Tax consequences of divorce agreements
  • The process of dividing and valuing property fairly
  • Determining how much alimony and/or child support is appropriate and for how long
  • Modeling the future values of retirement and pension funds
Prerequisites
  • Currently working in the financial services, accounting, or family law profession.
  • Three years experience in the financial services, accounting, or family law profession.
  • Prior financial function calculator experience is recommended.

Certified Estate PlannerTM (CEP®)


The Certified Estate Planner™ (CEP®) certification conveys in a clearly comprehensible way to that CEP certified individuals are qualified to help the community understand the various options and degrees of estate planning. It also demonstrates that CEP certified individuals are a part of a professional team and capable of developing a customized plan that fits their unique set of circumstances.

Prerequisites
  • Valid current license in either the financial, legal or tax profession or receive permission for enrollment based on some other relevant professional interest

Certified Financial Planner™ professional(CFP®)


The CFP® certification process, administered by CFP Board, identifies that those individuals who have been authorized to use the CFP® certification marks in the U.S. have met rigorous professional standards and have agreed to adhere to the principles of integrity, objectivity, competence, fairness, confidentiality, professionalism, and diligence when dealing with clients.

CFP certificants must pass the comprehensive CFP Certification Examination; pass CFP Board's Candidate Fitness Standards; agree to abide by CFP Board's Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, which puts clients' interests first; and comply with the Financial Planning Practice Standards, which spell out what clients should be able to reasonably expect from the financial planning engagement. These are just some of the reasons why the CFP® certification is becoming increasingly recognized.
To become certified, candidates are required to meet the following initial certification requirements:

Education 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 Board’s financial planning subject areas include insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.

Examination Pass the comprehensive CFP Certification Examination. The examination, administered in 10 hours over a two-day period, includes case studies and client scenarios designed to test one’s ability to correctly diagnose financial planning issues and apply one’s knowledge of financial planning to real world circumstances.

Experience Complete at least three years of full-time financial planning-related experience (or the equivalent, measured as 2,000 hours per year).
Ethics Agree to be bound by CFP Board’s Standards of Professional Conduct, a set of documents outlining the ethical and practice standards for CFP professionals.
Individuals who become certified must complete the following ongoing education and ethics requirements in order to maintain the right to continue to use the CFP marks:

Continuing Education Complete 30 hours of continuing education hours every two years, including two hours on the Code of Ethics and other parts of the Standards of Professional Conduct, to maintain competence and keep up with developments in the financial planning field.

Ethics Renew an agreement to be bound by the Standards of Professional Conduct. The Standards prominently require that CFP professionals provide financial planning services at a fiduciary standard of care. This means CFP professionals must provide financial planning services in the best interests of their clients.
CFP professionals who fail to comply with the above standards and requirements may be subject to CFP Board’s enforcement process, which could result in suspension or permanent revocation of their CFP certification.

Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA)


This certification has been recognized as the only financial services credential in the US to meet an international standard for personnel certification (ISO 17024) and earn accreditation by the American National Standards Institute. Administered through the Investment Management Consultants Association® (IMCA®), CIMA® certification is the only credential designed specifically for advanced investment consultants. CIMA certification signals that a professional has completed the rigorous program and has achieved a high level of competency, professionalism, and investment expertise.

Prerequisites:
  • Three years of financial services experience.
  • A satisfactory record of ethical conduct, as determined by IMCA's Admissions Committee.

Certified Manager (CM)


CM is sponsored by the Institute of Certified of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM) in the United States of America. The CM program develops and enhances general management skills and prepares individuals performing or aiming at performing managerial duties to take the CM management certification exams. Those who successfully complete the CM exams achieve the CM.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)


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 Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). The exam is one of the “Three E’s” – education, examination, and experience – that are required for licensure as a CPA. Consequently, passing the examination is not, in itself, sufficient to meet requirements for licensure.

Licensing The licensing authority and requirements for CPAs falls under the jurisdiction of the Board of Accountancy for the state, district, or country in which a CPA practices. In adherence to the AICPA mission, the Institute seeks the highest possible level of uniform certification and licensing standards while promoting and protecting the CPA designation. The national organization representing the state boards is the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy (NASBA).

Requirements The requirements, which are set by each state board of accountancy, include:
1. Completing a program of study in accounting at a college or university.
2. Passing the Uniform CPA Exam.
3. Obtaining a specific amount of professional work experience in public accounting (the required amount and type of experience varies according to licensing jurisdiction).

Ethics Upon joining the AICPA, a member agrees to abide by its Code of Professional Conduct and Bylaws adopted by a vote of the membership. The bylaws provide a structure for enforcement of the Code by the Institute's Professional Ethics Division. When allegations come to the attention of the Ethics Division regarding a violation of the Code, the division investigates the matter, under due process procedures, and depending upon the facts found in the investigation, may take a confidential disciplinary action, settle the matter with suspension or revocation of membership rights, or refer the matter to a panel of the Trial Board Division for a hearing. The bylaws mandate publishing the member's name if he or she is found guilty by a hearing panel, suspended, or expelled by settlement.

The bylaws of 51 state and/or territorial CPA societies provide for their participation in a Joint Ethics Enforcement Program so that, depending upon membership status, actions taken by one or more of these societies or the AICPA are in the names of both the society and AICPA. State regulatory agencies (Boards of Accountancy) issue practice licenses to CPAs and only those agencies may act to affect those licenses. The AICPA does not license CPAs. Those state regulatory agencies may take disciplinary action affecting practice licenses under statutes, regulations, and rulings of the state. Also, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and other Federal government agencies may, under Federal law or regulation, discipline CPAs who practice before these agencies.

Certified Specialist in Retirement Planning® (CSRP)


There are tremendous planning opportunities for clients in both structuring retirement plans and taking distributions. CPAs and financial planners need to understand investment options, their tax aspects, and coordinated planning with other professionals. The future growth of the small and medium size firm is tied to providing expanded financial tax services. The Certified Specialist in Retirement Planning® (CSRP) program allows you to take advantage of this unique opportunity to develop your practice in an area that is valued by your clients - while earning a professional designation which will greatly enhance your career.

The Certified Specialist in Retirement Planning® (CSRP) program includes a curriculum of core and elective courses that will greatly enhance your knowledge. Candidates must complete all five core courses, as well as two electives, and pass a related exam for each. The courses offered in the Certified Specialist in Retirement Planning® program vary in level of knowledge from basic to advanced.

Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA)


The Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA) designation signifies that an individual working in this field has attained comprehensive training in the following professional knowledge areas: Fiduciary & Trust Activities, Financial Planning, Tax Law & Planning, Investment Management, and Ethics.
The certification is designed to:
  • Establish a recognized standard of knowledge and competence for the trust and wealth advisory field
  • Formally recognize those who meet these standards
  • Provide employers and clients with a tool to identify skilled, knowledgeable professionals
  • Support the benefits of professional continuing education and development

Curriculum Candidates must pass an examination that covers the knowledge areas below:
  • Fiduciary & Trust Activities (25% of the exam)
  • Financial Planning (25% of the exam)
  • Tax Law & Planning (25% of the exam)
  • Investment Management (20% of the exam)
  • Ethics (5% of the exam)
Additional Requirements Candidates must meet the experience, education, ethics and examination requirements determined to be competency measures for wealth management professionals.

Professional Experience & Education – Candidates must meet one of the following requirements:
  • A minimum of three years experience in wealth management as well as completion of an ICB-approved wealth management training program.
  • Five years experience in wealth management and a bachelor's degree.
  • Ten years experience in wealth management.

Professional Reference – Candidates must submit one letter of recommendation from their manager attesting to their qualifications for certification, including their wealth management experience and ethical character. Wealth management experience is defined as direct experience in the various facets of delivering financial planning and fiduciary services relating to trusts, estates, IRAs and individual asset management accounts. This experience further includes providing administrative, investment management, tax, legal and marketing services.

Ethics Statement – Candidates must sign ICB's Professional Code of Ethics statement, which is the last page of the application.

Application – Candidates must complete and submit an application, affirming that they comply with the eligibility requirements at the time of submission, and pay the application fee.

Continuing Education Requirements Every three years, certificants must complete three continuing education credits in Ethics, and 45 credits of continuing education in each of the following four knowledge areas (a minimum of six hours is required in each):
  • Fiduciary and Trust Activities 
  • Personal Financial Planning
  • Tax Law
  • Investments Management

Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®)


The Chartered Financial Analyst® (CFA®) designation is conferred by the CFA Institute. A financial analyst seeking membership to the CFA Institute must:
  • Meet eligibility requirements
  • Fully comply with the CFA Code of Ethics and Standards of Professional Conduct
  • Study books, journal articles, and other readings designated by the Institute
  • Successfully pass three examinations, each approximately six hours in length and administered by the CFA Institute
The candidate for the CFA designation must have at least a single current and principal engagement:
     
  • In financial analysis of securities investment for a bank, investment company, insurance company, or other financial services or investment management firms
  • As an assistant, associate, or full professor or dean of a college or university, who teaches and/or researches
  • As an economist involved in financial analysis of securities investment
  • As a portfolio manager
  • As a financial analyst of securities investment within a public agency
  • As a financial analyst of securities investment for a corporate pension, profit sharing or other retirement fund
  • As a manager of financial analysts or portfolio managers involved with securities investment and who, before assumption of management obligations, was a financial analyst or portfolio manager
The CFA is awarded to candidates who have passed the examinations and met the other requirements specified by the CFA Institute.

Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®)


The Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) designation program focuses on the comprehensive financial planning process as an organized way to collect and analyze information on a client's total financial situation; to identify and establish specific financial goals; and to formulate, implement, and monitor a comprehensive plan to achieve those goals.
The ChFC® program provides financial planners and others in the financial services industry with in-depth knowledge of the skills needed to perform comprehensive financial planning for their clients.

Curriculum Candidates must pass an examination for the following six required courses and two elective courses to earn the ChFC designation:

Required Courses
HS 300: Financial Planning: Process and Environment
HS 311: Fundamentals of Insurance Planning
HS 321: Income Taxation
HS 326: Planning for Retirement Needs
HS 328: Investments
HS 330: Fundamentals of Estate Planning
HS 332: Financial Planning Applications
Elective Courses (choose 2)
HS 322: The Financial System in the Economy
HS 334: Estate Planning Applications
HS 352: Financial Decisions for Retirement
As a general rule, candidates should plan to spend 50-70 hours studying for each course. The program can be completed as quickly as a candidate desires, but most students complete their designation requirements within 15-24 months.

Examination Requirements Each exam is a two-hour, 100 question, computer-administered exam.

Additional Requirements Candidates must meet experience requirements and ethical standards, including three years of business experience immediately preceding the date of use of the designation are required. An undergraduate or graduate degree from an accredited educational institution qualifies as one year of business experience and, when using formal education as qualifying experience, the remaining two years must immediately precede the date of the award.

Continuing Education Requirements Each designee who falls in one of the following categories must complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years. If you do not fall into one of these categories, you are exempt from CE requirements:
  • Licensed insurance agent/broker/consultant
  • Licensed security representative/registered investment advisor
  • Financial consultant, attorney, accountant, employee benefits specialist, and any other individual who provides insurance, employee benefits, financial planning, or estate planning advice and counsel to the public

Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®)


The Chartered Life Underwriter® (CLU®) credential is specifically designed to enhance the knowledge of people employed in the life insurance industry. Most, but not all, individuals who seek or have earned this designation are also licensed insurance agents or brokers. The CLU is conferred only upon successful completion of a ten-part course of study that covers fundamentals of economics, finance, taxation, investments, and other areas of risk management as they apply to life insurance. The course of study can be completed through home study or by attendance of courses offered by either a branch of the American Society of Chartered Life Underwriters or an affiliated college or university.
Enrollment in the CLU program requires that an individual have at least three years of professional experience in the insurance industry, preferably in life insurance. There are no degree requirements, although a high school diploma is strongly suggested. Three recommendations from clients and/or professional colleagues are also requested. The course of study consists of ten college-level courses, each lasting approximately 15 weeks. A three-hour examination taken at the conclusion of each course must be passed to successfully complete the program.

Certified Medical Planner (CMP©)


A Certified Medical Planner© undertakes a year long study of topics specifically related to financial planning for medical professionals. A CMP© has an expertise in catering to the needs of doctors in order to meet their specific financial goals.
Contemporaneous new concepts like: Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA); human resource management and employee outsourcing; medical information technology; fixed rate capitation and traditional reimbursement; Medicare, Medigap, Medicaid and private healthcare economics; Activity Based Medial Cost Management (ABMCM); medical practice valuations and appraisals; office sales ands contracting; medial unions; medical compliance matters, physician HMO, IPA, MCO and PPO contracting; marketing, advertising, sales and cost volume profit analysis are covered.

Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC®)


The Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) designation, offered through The International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE), recognizes retirement planning professionals who demonstrate a mastery of subject matter, a commitment to the retirement planning profession, and adherence to a code of ethics and continuing education requirements.

Prerequisites Candidates for CRC certification must meet the following eligibility requirements:
  • Bachelor's degree (or higher) or its equivalent in any discipline from an accredited college or university and a minimum of two years relevant retirement-related professional experience (within the last five years); or
  • High school diploma or its equivalent and five years relevant retirement-related professional experience (within the past seven years); and
  • A complete background check.

Examination The CRC certification examination was designed to ensure that all CRC certificants possess the necessary knowledge and skills to competently fulfill their responsibilities as retirement counseling professionals. The four-hour exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions covering the domains of retirement counseling practice and knowledge.

Additional Requirements Upon passing the examination, candidates must initial the Certificate Holder's Statement indicating adherence to the CRC Code of Ethics.

Continuing Education Requirements To maintain use of the certification, certificants must annually complete 15 hours of approved continuing education and pay an annual renewal fee.

Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®)


The Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM (CRPC®) program is offered through the College for Financial Planning® and focuses on the pre- and post-retirement needs of individuals, asset management, estate planning, and the entire retirement planning process using models and techniques from real client situations.

Curriculum The CRPC curriculum is based on a client-centered, problem-solving method that uses case studies to give students a hands-on approach to the material. Also included are thousands of open-ended, multiple choice, and case analysis questions that help candidates prepare for the national exam and equip them with the knowledge that will benefit their clients. Topics covered include the following:
  • The Retirement Planning Process & Meeting Multiple Financial Objectives
  • Sources of Retirement Income
  • Personal Savings: Investing for Retirement
  • Employer-Sponsored Plans
  • Individual Deferred Compensation
  • Planning for Incapacity, Disability & Long-Term Care
  • When to Retire
  • Retirement Plan Distributions
  • Asset Management & Investment Strategy During Retirement
  • Income Taxes & the Retiree
  • Estate Planning
  • Retirement Cash Flow Considerations

Examination Candidates must pass an end-of-course, multiple-choice examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations.

Additional Requirements Candidates must sign and return the Code of Ethics, which includes agreeing to abide by the Standards of Professional Conduct and Terms and Conditions. Candidates must also provide disclosure of any criminal, civil, self-regulatory organization, or governmental agency inquiry, investigation, or proceeding relating to their professional or business conduct. Conferment of the designation is contingent upon the College for Financial Planning’s review of matters, either self-disclosed or that are discovered by the College that are required to be disclosed.

Maintenance Requirements Continued use of the CRPC designation is subject to ongoing renewal requirements. Every two years individuals must renew their right to continue using the CRPC designation by:
  • Completing 16 hours of continuing education.
  • Reaffirming to abide by the Standards of Professional Conduct and Terms and Conditions, and self-disclose any criminal, civil, self-regulatory organization, or governmental agency inquiry, investigation, or proceeding relating to their professional or business conduct.
  • Paying a biennial renewal fee.

Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM (CRPS®)


The Chartered Retirement Planning SpecialistSM (CRPS®) program is offered through the College for Financial Planning® and focuses on the design, installation, maintenance, and administration of retirement plans.

Curriculum The curriculum for the CRPS designation encompasses specific content covering both theory and practical application. The curriculum is developed by the college's faculty with input from the country's top investment and financial firms, giving students the benefit of applying their learning to real-world situations and cases. Topics covered include the following:
  • Types & Characteristics of Retirement Plans
  • Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)
  • SEP, SIMPLE & SARSEP Plans
  • Defined Contribution Plans
  • 401(k) Plans
  • Defined Benefit Plans
  • Nonprofit Organization & Government Plans
  • Qualified Plan & IRA Distributions
  • Plan Design, Installation, Administration & Amendments
  • Plan Establishment, Operation, Investment Objectives, Penalties & Termination
  • Fiduciary Issues, Prohibited Transactions, Claims & Examinations
Examination Candidates must pass an end-of-course, multiple-choice examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations.

Additional Requirements Candidates must sign and return the Code of Ethics, which includes agreeing to abide by the Standards of Professional Conduct and Terms and Conditions. Candidates must also provide disclosure of any criminal, civil, self-regulatory organization, or governmental agency inquiry, investigation, or proceeding relating to their professional or business conduct. Conferment of the designation is contingent upon the College for Financial Planning’s review of matters, either self-disclosed or that are discovered by the College that are required to be disclosed.

Maintenance Requirements Continued use of the CRPS designation is subject to ongoing renewal requirements. Every two years individuals must renew their right to continue using the CRPS designation by:
  • Completing 16 hours of continuing education.
  • Reaffirming to abide by the Standards of Professional Conduct and Terms and Conditions, and self-disclose any criminal, civil, self-regulatory organization, or governmental agency inquiry, investigation, or proceeding relating to their professional or business conduct.
  • Paying a biennial renewal fee.

Investment Adviser Certified Compliance Professional


The IACCP Program primarily focuses on the general foundation knowledge that is associated with the job responsibilities and functions that most investment adviser compliance professionals with two years experience are expected to perform, and does not purport to test on the more specialized knowledge that is associated with a highly experienced and expert compliance professional. The IACCP program delivers the education, tools and support needed to:
  • Manage a successful compliance program
  • Earn a professional designation
  • Demonstrate an understanding federal and state securities regulatory requirements to shape your investment advisory firm’s compliance program
  • Gain experience in transforming rules and regulations into meaningful compliance policies and procedures
  • Develop judgment to apply appropriate regulations and rules to help assure complete coverage of compliance tasks
  • Understand the roles, responsibilities and potential liabilities of compliance officers including the Chief Compliance Officer (CCO)

Life Underwriter Training Council Fellow (LUTFCH)


The new LUTCF® curriculum combines classroom learning and field training to equip agents and financial advisors with the knowledge and skills to put them on the path to career success. The content integrates four practice specialties, life insurance and annuities, health and employee benefits, multiline, and financial advising and investments providing both an overview of each but also addressing their interdependencies—critical for agents and advisors to understand when advising clients. Topics cover the real life issues of today, from multigenerational homes, to single parent households and same sex marriages. The curriculum consists of three, nine-week courses, consisting of eight weeks of instruction followed by a week of study and review for the exam, making it feasible for students to complete the LUTCF® program in one year or less.

Master of Science in Financial Services (MSFS)


The goal of a Master of Science in Financial Services program is to prepare students for careers in any financial service field, particularly financial planning and financial analysis. Planning tools, analysis strategies, and implementation methods are generally part of this type of program. Coursework for a Master of Science in Financial Services is generally all in finance; business courses such as accounting or information systems are typically not included. Although admissions requirements may vary, the most common educational prerequisite for a Master of Science in Financial Services program is a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution. Programs require 30-36 semester hours. Some programs are offered online, but necessitate that certain requirements be fulfilled on campus. Coursework can include:
  • Acquisitions and mergers
  • Analyzing business' value
  • Derivative markets
  • Capital markets and financial institutions
  • International finance
  • Portfolio management and security analysis
Prerequisites:
  • Bachelor's degree

Master of Science in Taxation (MST)


The Master of Science in Taxation (MST) degree program is designed for professionals seeking to gain comprehensive, practical knowledge of tax accounting, tax law, and tax research, while also achieving a deeper understanding of the broader concepts of tax methodology and tax procedure. The MST curriculum is continually reviewed and revised to ensure that students are receiving relevant, updated information that will create marketable skills in a fast-paced business environment.

Personal Financial Specialist (PFS)


The Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) program allows CPAs to gain and demonstrate competence and confidence in providing estate, tax, retirement, risk management and/or investment planning advice to individuals, families and business owners through experience, education, examination, and a resulting credential. A PFS is a CPA with the powerful combination of extensive tax expertise and comprehensive knowledge of financial planning. This knowledge is critical to obtaining the most valuable, objective advice possible. All areas of personal financial planning—including estate, retirement, investments and insurance—have tax implications, and the PFS professional has the experience, ethics, and expertise to get the job done right.
Prerequisites:
  • Be a member of the AICPA
  • Hold an unrevoked CPA certificate issued by a state authority
  • Have at least two years of full-time teaching or business experience (or 3000 hours equivalent) in personal financial planning within the five-year period preceding the data of the CPA/PFS application

Professional in Human Resources (PHR®)


The Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) certification demonstrates mastery of the technical and operational aspects of HR practices and U.S. laws and regulations. The professionally relevant credential is for the HR professional who focuses on program implementation, has a tactical/logistical orientation, is accountable to another HR professional within the organization and has responsibilities that focus on the HR department rather than the whole organization.
Prerequisites:
  • A minimum of 1 year of experience in a professional-level HR position with a Master's degree or higher,
  • OR A minimum of 2 years of experience in a professional-level HR position with a Bachelor's degree,
  • OR A minimum of 4 years of experience in a professional-level HR position with a high school diploma

Professional Plan Consultant


Retirement plan sponsors need service provider professionals to help them navigate the legal and regulatory landscape, implement an efficient process for plan administration, and to help plan participants and beneficiaries achieve their retirement goals. The PPC™ Designation demonstrates to your clients and prospects that you have the knowledge and ability to provide these services at the highest level.
Prerequisites:
  • Three years of direct financial plan industry sales, service, and/or support experience

Qualified 401(k) Administrator


The Qualified 401(k) Administrator (QKA) credential is offered for retirement plan professionals who work primarily with 401(k) plans. Applicants for the QKA credentials are from various professional disciplines. They typically assist employers and consultants with the recordkeeping, non-discrimination testing and the administrative aspects of 401(k) and related defined contribution plans.
Prerequisites:
  • A minimum of two years experience in retirement plan related matters is required along with completion of ASPPA’s QKA examination series to be a candidate for this credential.

Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA)


The Qualified Pension Administrator (QPA) credential was created by ASPPA to recognize professionals who are qualified to perform the technical and administrative functions of qualified plan administration. QPAs assist employers, actuaries, and consultants in performing functions such as determination of eligibility benefits, computation of benefits, plan recordkeeping, trust accounting and disclosure, and compliance requirements.

QPFC

No longer offered.

Registered ParaplannerSM(RP©)

Individuals who hold the RP® designation have completed a course of study encompassing the financial planning process, the five disciplines of financial planning and general financial planning concepts, terminology and product categories. Additionally, individuals must pass an end-of-course examination that tests their ability to synthesize complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations.

All designees have agreed to adhere to Standards of Professional Conduct and are subject to a disciplinary process.

Designees renew their designation every two-years by completing 16 hours of continuing education, reaffirming adherence to the Standards of Professional Conduct and complying with self-disclosure requirements.

No Prerequisite

Retirement Plans Associate


The Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) designation is earned by individuals in the group benefits arena who complete the extensive four-course curriculum and successfully pass the examination. The RPA designation helps professionals:
  • Develop strategic skill sets by attaining broad but deep expertise in Defined Contribution plans, Defined Benefit plans, and investments
  • Provide greater value to your organization by broadening your exposure to a wide range of issues impacting all aspects of retirement plans
  • Attain increased knowledge, a sense of achievement, a competitive edge, and industry recognition
No Prerequisite