Frequently Asked Questions
General information about the CFPCM certification program
Effective 1 April 2019, the CFP certification program in India is directly administered by U.S.-based Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd.(FPSB Ltd.), owner of the international CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM certification program outside the United States. FPSB Ltd. is the sole entity in India with authority to:
- Authorize education providers to offer CFP education courses;
- Authorize a CFP certification exam administrator in India; and
- Award CFP certification to those who successfully complete CFP education, CFP exam and other CFP certification requirements.
Information for current CM professionals
You can access your account via the Online Certification Management System (OCMS) portal to update the system with recently completed continuing professional development (CPD) points. FPSB Ltd. is also working with several CPD/conference providers in India to streamline the CPD reporting process and will provide an update later in the year. For more information on the activities and programs admissible for CPD points, click here.
FPSB Ltd. is pleased to present the Journal of Financial Planning in India! In this edition, CFP professionals will find a collection of insightful articles authored by industry experts and academics within FPSB Ltd.’s global network. We understand that continuing professional development (CPD) is of great importance to you as you seek to enhance your skills and retain your CFP certification.
We hope this journal and future editions will become a staple in furthering your professional development and connecting you to the global financial planning profession.
Yes. When a CFP professional wants to practice financial planning using the CFP marks in more than one territory, the CFP professional must become certified to use the CFP marks in each territory where the CFP professional intends to practice. If a practitioner becomes certified in more than one territory, he or she must abide by the certification renewal requirements of the FPSB affiliate organization in each territory, and will also be subject to oversight by the FPSB affiliate organization in each territory.
For more information on requirements in a specific territory, please refer to that territory’s specific website. For a list of FPSB affiliate organizations, please see https://www.fpsb.org/about/member-organizations/.
Step 1. A candidate can apply for the initial CFP certification only after successfully clearing CFP Exam and having required work experience (refer the experience criteria here – https://india.fpsb.org/legacy-experience/).
Step 2. Having met the criteria in Step 1, duly fill the CFP certification application form –https://india.fpsb.org/new-cfp-form/ and upload the required documents as mentioned in the application form.
Step 3. FPSB Ltd will verify the uploaded documents. (This may take 10-15 working days).
Step 4. Once the documents are in order, a payment link will be sent to the candidate on their registered email id for payment of fees of $100.
Step 5. Once the candidate makes the payment and it is verified by FPSB Ltd., the candidate will receive a digital copy of the CFP certificate on their registered email id.
Refer the CFP mark usage policy – https://india.fpsb.org/cfp-marks-use/
Information for current CFPCM professionals
FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course is an education pathway to the CFP® exam, much in the same way as each Specialist course lists down the curriculum to be completed and education-certified to be eligible for that Specialist exam.
The culmination of this course lies in a candidate constructing a financial plan based on a case study, issued by FPSB, and submitting the plan to FPSB for assessment.
FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course has three modules – Financial Planning Principles, Process and Skills; Engaging Clients in the Financial Planning Process; and Developing Effective Financial Plans. Sample financial plans and guidance on creating a financial plan are also provided as a supporting material.
Candidates of the new program who have passed all the three Specialist certification exams (FPSB® Investment Planning, FPSB® Risk and Estate Planning, and FPSB® Retirement and Tax Planning), and have completed the Ethics course and have also taken all the three Specialist certifications are eligible to register for the FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course.
Active candidates of the legacy pathway who have passed all the 4 components of the legacy exam (Exam 1 to 4) are also eligible to register for the FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course after transitioning to the new program, completing the Ethics course and taking all the three Specialist certifications.
There are two modes available to a candidate – (a) Instructor-led Learning (through Authorized Education Providers, also referred as AEPs), and (b) Self-paced learning.
Attestation is not required from AEPs in the MyFPSBlearning toward a candidate completing FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course. Similarly, there is no mock test/ practice test built in the course material to signal a self-paced candidate’s readiness to appear in the CFP® exam.
However, a candidate may be asked the source of his/her learning as well the time spent, the tools used in constructing financial plan and the extent of reliance on such tools.
Candidates pursuing the FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course have the option to be guided by Mentors, who are CFP CM professionals approved under the FPSB Mentorship Program. It is an informal structure with no obligation to either party. Candidates can take advantage of the mentor’s experience, knowledge and practice skills to develop their learning on financial plan construction. The Mentor shall work with the candidate in a defined number of interactions wherein the candidate will be provided practical insights on his/her approach to the preparation of a financial plan.
FPSB appointed assessors, who are evolved CFPCM practitioners, are vested with the role of assessing and grading the financial plan submitted by a candidate. An assessor, or FPSB, in their own right may ask a candidate to make an oral defence of his/her submitted plan or some part of the plan.
The submitted financial plan will be assessed in a specified time frame. The result will be either ‘standard met’ or ‘standard not met’. In the latter case, the candidate may be asked to either resubmit the plan or modify a certain area of the submitted plan.
It is only after a successful assessment of the submitted financial plan (‘standard met’) that a candidate is advanced to write the CFP® exam. The number of attempts at the CFP® exam are not capped.
CFP® exam is a 3-hour test consisting of two sections:
Section 1: 25 standalone MCQs on Financial Planning Principles and Regulatory environment of financial planning; each question is of 1 mark each.
Section 2: 25 MCQs based on a case study, such questions testing capability on each of the core financial planning component; each question is of 3 marks each.
Thus, there shall be a total of 50 questions for 100 marks to be solved in 3 hours.
Test Software embedded worksheets will be additionally provided for calculations, though candidates can utilize their own financial calculators approved by FPSB for examination.
The cost of the CFPcm exam is $122 per attempt. The exam will be available monthly or a bi-monthly cycle of assessment.
The course material of the FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course can be purchased by a candidate through his/her online learning portal MyFPSBlearning for US $ 120. The course material is in digital format.
Candidates of the new program who have passed all the three Specialist certification exams (FPSB® Investment Planning, FPSB® Risk and Estate Planning, and FPSB® Retirement and Tax Planning), and have completed the Ethics course and have also taken all the three Specialist certifications are ONLY eligible to register for the FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course. You must complete the remaining Specialist courses, complete the Ethics course and take all the three Specialist certifications to be eligible to apply for the course.
Likewise, candidates of the legacy program must first complete the remaining Specialist courses, Ethics course, take all the three Specialist certifications before they become eligible to apply for the FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course.
Updated program launched 1 June 2020 – information about the updated program
FPSB Ltd. will continue to administer the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification. The education and exam topics for CFP certification have been reconfigured from the former program’s five-exam structure into a new four-exam structure. FPSB Ltd. will provide learning materials, including sample questions, Powerpoints and textbooks to support the study process. The four education and exam topics are outlined below according to how they will be grouped on the exam.
- Personal financial management; investment planning and asset management; regulatory environment, law and compliance. (Educational materials available now, enroll at https://india.fpsb.org/students/.)
- Retirement and tax planning and optimization. (Educational materials available now, enroll at https://india.fpsb.org/students/.)
- Risk and estate planning. (Educational materials available now, enroll at https://india.fpsb.org/students/.)
- Integrated financial planning: This education and exam integrates all three above-mentioned education areas to provide comprehensive financial planning. Successfully passing the exams of all three above topics is a prerequisite to enroll in the final education topic of integrated financial planning. (Educational materials available October 2020)
FPSB Ltd. no longer offers AFP certification in India. Instead, FPSB Ltd. offers the opportunity for voluntary certifications on the learning path to CFP certification, aligned with the education topics. Information on each certification is below.
Exams will be offered online only. Once a course is completed and passed, students will have an opportunity to register for an online certification exam.
Please note, Due to the integrity of our exam, FPSB must use a Secure Lock Down Browser. In order to use this browser windows is the only compatible operating system and iOS will not be allowed. As such, students will not be able to take exams on a Macbook. Also, the secure browser does not allow the student to navigate to other tabs, therefore excel/ open office will not be allowed in the exams either. Please refer to our exam procedures and exam prep course work for more information.
The last day to enroll for the former program was 31 May 2020. Coursework and all exams for the former program must be completed no later than 31 March 2021. Experience must be completed within five years of successfully passing your first exam.
Students (Legacy Program) – information for students interested in the former program through 31 May 2020
Examinations for all FPSB Ltd. exams available from 3 August at NSE Academy.
FPSB Ltd.’s CFP certification exams shall be available for payments and enrollments on the NCFM online portal from 3 August 2020. Please visit https://www.ncfm-india.com/ORE/OREloginPage.jsp to register for an exam. We will continue to assess the situation and make changes as appropriate. In the meantime, please feel free to contact FPSB Ltd. with any questions or concerns.
Given the challenges during this time, FPSB Ltd. will extend all active legacy student registrations to 31 March 2021 to ensure students have time to sit for exams. Additional updates will be posted to india.fpsb.org/news-and-events and our social channels (Facebook,Twitter and LinkedIn) as we are informed of further changes.
FPSB Ltd. has entered into agreements with several Authorized Education Providers to provide financial planning education courses that fulfill the education requirement of FPSB Ltd.’s CFP certification program in India, as well as prepare individuals to sit for CFP exams (administered by NSE Academy in India).
Registration for the Legacy Program is now closed. The last day to enroll for the former program was 31 May 2020. Coursework and all exams for the former program must be completed no later than 31 March 2021. Experience must be completed within five years of successfully passing your first exam.
For any queries related to the Registration process / Form filling / Document submission / Payment issues /modules not visible on NSE portal please contact 9833782677 or email on email@example.com.
Yes, CFP exams are now available through the NSE exam portal. Individuals who are verified by FPSB Ltd. as being students, can register for one or more CFP exams until 31 March 2021.
Step 1. Login to NCFM using your NCFM username and password on the below mentioned website: https://www.ncfm-india.com/ORE/OREloginPage.jsp
Upload photograph on the NCFM registration form, if not already done. Come to step 2 if already done.
Step 2 Check seat availability for the CFP Exams at your preferred #NSE IT Test Centre by clicking ‘Check Seat Availability’ tab.
Subsequently, follow either Step 3A OR Step 3B as below:
Step 3A. If the preferred centre and date is available, schedule your examination online by clicking the ‘Pay Fees’ tab; select the mode of payment (Debit Card/Credit Card), select your preference for the name of the Exam, date, time, venue from the drop down list, and submit the payment directly to NSE on the online platform. Hall Ticket is generated after the payment has been done.
Note: Under the Tab ‘Query/Report (Certificate/Hall Ticket/Invoices)’ students have access to view their Hall Ticket, Previous Test Scores, Current A/C Balance and Payment Invoice.
Step 3B. In case the student has sufficient money parked in his/her NCFM account he/she may directly go to the option ‘Book your seat’ and schedule the examination.
Note: Students of regular pathway can schedule Exam 1 – 4 in any sequence; the student can schedule Exam 5 only after successfully passing all the four exams. Students of Challenge status pathway will skip Exams 1 – 4 and directly book Exam 5.
After enrolling for the exam, the student will receive email and SMS alert from NSE on his/her registered email ID and mobile number confirming his/her Examination details.
It is compulsory to carry the photo ID to the examination centre.
Name of Examinations
1. Risk Analysis & Insurance Planning (Exam 1)
2. Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits (Exam 2)
3. Investment Planning (Exam 3)
4. Tax Planning & Estate Planning (Exam 4)
5. Examination 5 – Advanced Financial Planning
#List of NSE IT Test Centres can be accessed at:
Exams are valid for 5 years. All exams must be passed within the prior 5 years to be considered for CFP Certification.
FPSB Ltd. does not set the pricing or fees for education courses in India. Each Authorized Education Provider establishes its own course cost and pricing.
Until 31 March 2021, the fees for CFP exams (1 – 5) in India will remain the same as they were over the past year.
Until 30 Sept 2020, the basic renewal fee for CFP certification in India will be US $100.
FPSB Ltd. does not offer AFP certification.
Digital Badging – Showcase your expertise with your digital credentials
In 2019, FPSB Ltd. began issuing new digital credentials to all current CFPCM professionals in India. Consisting of a digital certificate and a digital badge, FSPB Ltd.’s online credentialing system will replace the paper certificates issued to you in the past. However, should you wish to print and frame your certificate from FSPB Ltd., you will have an option to do so.
Your digital credential for CFP certification, which is blockchain-verified to help prevent fraud, will allow people to securely and easily verify your CFP certification status across all types of online platforms, including your email signature, website, blog, LinkedIn profile and other social media accounts. FPSB Ltd. is pleased to offer this technology to CFP professionals in India, and will provide additional information on how to leverage these digital credentials to highlight your achievements as a CFP professional at the time of delivery.
You can watch this video to see how to get the most out of your digital credential through printing, sharing and embedding.
Always Accessible – Never worry about losing your certificate; your credential will always be present at its web address.
Easily Shareable – You want to share your achievement. Digital credentials let you showcase your achievement on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Control Your Privacy – Take advantage of searchability and have your achievement be discoverable on search engines, or set it to private and share with only selected people. How and when you share your credential is up to you.
Print at Any Time – Easily print a high-quality PDF of your certificate, whenever you’d like.
Learning, Verified. – Your achievement can be verified at any time. Your certification(s) on LinkedIn can be linked to your live credential so anyone, anywhere can see what you have achieved.
Queries related to the transition of Legacy Program to the New Curriculum in India.
Candidates taking the transition are charged only their renewal fees of USD110. All candidates can procure content regarding their selected specialist courses for Online study at a nominal cost of US$60 & Capstone Course US$120. In case a candidate opts to progress by going through an Authorised Education Provider, candidates can avail the discount for their Course content material through discount coupon provided by the AEP.
The new CFP exam is a combination of Financial Plan Assessment and a final exam of 3 hours which will include one case study to be shared only in the examination. The syllabus of exam and all modalities about making a financial plan is available to Education Providers, Mentors and students through MyFPSBLearning on our website.
A differentiated proposition in the new pathway is the Integrated Financial Planning course which seeks to evaluate the Financial Plan preparation skills of a student. Once successful on this metric, the student can access the final 3-hour CFP certification exam.
The transition to the New Program is processed at a charge of US$110, which enables a candidate access to buy course content, appear for Specialist Exams, apply for Certifications and other resources available in MyFPSBLearning, with a validity period of one year from the date of transition to completing the remaining exams, or further renew registration at the applicable renewal fee.
As of now only Online Mode is available for the New Program. As a security feature the Online Proctored exams can be given on Windows OS enabled laptops and desktops with fully functional webcam/microphone. Only physical calculators are allowed and access to OpenOffice and excel is presently not permitted.
The Hardware and Internet connection is the responsibility of the candidate in the Online Proctored mode. Ensuring compatible hardware can be done by taking mock tests. Alternate Internet connection should be available in case the primary internet connection goes down. 20 mins is the maximum break which the system is configured to handle, which is more than sufficient time in such situations to make the shift.
The CFP certification once obtained must be renewed only on the basis of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) points and payment of renewal fees. This is the global norm of renewing CFP certification, and is followed in India, too. SEBI mandates that their Registered Investment Advisers (RIA) can renew their accredited certification not by way of CPD points but by retaking the same accredited certification exam again on renewal, if the particular exam has been passed by RIA at least once in prior three years. So, it is applicable to only those CFP professionals who have used CFP certification in obtaining/renewing their RIA license from SEBI.
This is in development and can take up to 3 months’ time to come to production after proper testing.
A candidate in the New Program is given up to a maximum of 3 years from the date of registration to complete all the Specialist exams or start all over again on the way to CFP certification. It is assumed that 12-15 months is a good enough duration to complete the entire exam criteria.
There are no pre-approved cut score or pass marks percentage in New Program exams. The exams are assessed for uniform difficulty on month to month and are initially fixed and subsequently equated every month based on a metric that underlines capability of passed candidates to practice on the market place the skills that they acquire.
The initial registration validity will be one year from the date of transition. If some exams remain to be cleared at the end of initial registration validity, it can be extended for another year by paying renewal fees, but not beyond three years overall to clear all the exams.
Board will launch the Integrated Financial Planning course in June, 2021 and if there are enough students to take exam, the first CFP exam in the New Program will be scheduled in the middle of July, 2021
The Ethics course is to be taken online only once before taking one or more Specialist certifications or CFP certification.
No. This is not a policy in the New Program.
Mentors will be an approved class who will be providing training to students to prepare a financial plan
All questions (75 in number) in each of the three Specialist exams are MCQs only, and will carry 1 mark each, with no differential grading among easy, medium and difficult question. The CFP exam will consist of 25 standalone MCQs of 1 mark each and another 25 MCQs based on a case study, each such case study based MCQ will carry 3 marks. Thus, the assessment of CFP certification exam will be out of 100 marks.
Please refer the below table to get a clear understanding on credits for legacy exams passed when transitioning to the New Program.
|Legacy Program||New Program|
|Exam 3 Investment Planning||Investment Planning|
|Exam 2 Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits & Exam 4 Tax and Estate Planning||Retirement and Tax Planning|
|Exam 1 Risk Analysis and Insurance Planning & Exam 4 Tax and Estate Planning||Risk and Estate Planning|
|Legacy Exams 1,2,3,4||Investment Planning, Retirement and Tax Planning, Risk and Estate Planning|