Guidelines for enrolling in CHALLENGE PATHWAY
Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. recognizes the need for an accelerated pathway to test the competency of certain professionals in financial services who have specified qualifications along with relevant experience. Such individuals, upon verification of their credentials, shall be exempted from writing three component level Specialist exams. They shall be inducted in the FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course, which consist of two-stages of evaluation i.e. Financial Plan Assessment and CFP® Exam. This tests the all-round financial planning knowledge, skills and abilities expected of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER professionals.
To be eligible to undertake the course through Challenge Pathway the candidates should have:
- Passed at least one of the approved Educational Qualifications / Professional Certification listed below and
- Have minimum 3 years’ work experience as specified below
Approved Qualifications/Professional Certifications:
- Chartered Financial Analyst, from CFA Institute (USA)
- Chartered Financial Consultant (CHFC), from American College (USA)
- Certified Public Accountant, from AICPA (USA)
- Chartered Accountant, from ICAI, India (or equivalent recognized degree globally)
- Actuary from Institute of Actuaries of India (or such recognized Actuary body globally)
- Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
- Post Graduate Certificate Programme in Finance, Post Graduate Diploma in Finance or other equivalent courses offered by Indian Institute of Management
- Advanced Wealth Management Course, from IIBF
- Postgraduate degree in Economics, Commerce, Finance/Financial Planning from a UGC approved University
- MBA (Finance) or PGDFM from an AICTE approved Institute
Documents: The documents in support of the above will be certificates/degrees/ marksheets.
- Employed individuals:
At least three years of prior work experience at the time of submission of documents will be considered in case of employees of a:
- mutual fund asset management/ trustee company
- insurance company
- securities company
- portfolio manager
- Registered Investment Adviser (in the capacity ’persons associated with investment advice’)
- Academic institution or FPSB’s Authorized Education Provider#
Such experience shall be in one of the following broad job activities:
- funds management
- investment advice
- accounting/fund accounting/auditing
- corporate finance
- customer relationship/investor service
- lecturing in Academic Institutions on Economics/Commerce/Finance or teaching/training on FPSB’s CFP certification curriculum based on Financial Planning Education Framework#
Documents: The experience shall be considered under due attestation from the HR of the institution, corporate, RIA or the authorized person of academic institution/FPSB’s Authorized Education Provider. If the experience of three years is with more than one company, the same will be supported by appointment letters/relieving letters to account for the total relevant experience.
#The experience as an Academic will be exclusive for three years and shall not be combined with corporate experience.
- Self-employed individuals:
At least three years of prior work experience shall be considered in the field of financial intermediation/distribution/advice by self-employed professionals in the capacity of:
- Individual, proprietary firm
- Partnership firm, LLP
Out of the abovesaid three years’ prior work experience, two years’ experience is acceptable in any one of the following broad components of financial planning. For the remaining period of one year (or at least one year in the entire experience), the applicant should have experience in “two or more” of the following components.
- Personal Financial Management; Cash flow management; Budgeting, etc.
- Investment Planning; Asset management; Portfolio management, etc
- Risk Management; Insurance Planning
- Tax Optimization – individuals, firms and corporate
- Retirement Planning – solutions for individuals and employees
- Estate Planning; Wealth Transfer – for individuals and in Family office setup
Documents: The relevant experience documents by the self-employed shall be the incorporation documents showing date of formation of firm, business activity, etc., and/or registration details as ARN, IRDA license, Retirement Adviser certificate from appropriate Regulator/s or agencies. The commission statements received from product companies (MF/Insurance) and/or IT returns to support the continuation of activity in the relevant period (of the said experience) may as well be submitted.
How to apply?
Applicants, on being satisfied that they meet the education and experience criteria above, shall fill up a form in FPSB’s portal MyFPSBLearning, shall submit scanned copies of relevant documents and shall pay the document verification fee. Upon verification and subsequent approval of the criteria, FPSB shall authorize the candidate to register (through an Authorized Education Provider or self-study) by paying a consolidated registration fee and the courseware fee.
FPSB reserves the right to approve the documents toward qualification and experience. The process of document verification may take up to 20 working days. Applicants whose documents are not approved as satisfactory may have the option of registering in the Regular Pathway.
Evaluation Process and Maximum Duration for completing the course:
The registered candidates shall prepare a financial plan on a given Case Study in an Assessment Cycle. On successful assessment of their submitted financial plan, they shall advance to the stage of writing the CFP® Exam.
The Assessment Cycle starts on or around the 15th of every alternative month (say on 15 Jul, 15 Sep, 15 Nov, …) with the posting of a case study in the eligible candidate’s portal account. Candidate shall construct a financial plan in roughly the next 30 days (say by 16 Aug, 17 Oct, 15 Dec, …). The plans are assessed by experienced CFP practitioners over the next one month and the results of assessment are notified by the end of that subsequent month (say by 30 Sep, 30 Nov, 31 Jan, ……). Candidates who pass Financial Plan Assessment stage are then eligible to enroll in the immediate Exam Registration Window (between 1-5 Oct, 1-5 Dec, 1-5 Feb, …) and appear in the CFP® Exam that takes place later in the same month on a Monday/Wednesday between dates 19th and 25th of the same month (say on 19 Oct, 19 Dec, 20 Feb, …)
Candidates shall be required to complete the Global Ethics course in their portal before taking the CFP® Exam. After passing the CFP® Exam, they shall also complete CFP Professional Ethics Declaration and pay an initial certification fee to become certified as CFP professionals.
A candidate in the Challenge Pathway shall be eligible to complete the above within a maximum period of three years, with annual renewals from the date of initial registration. However, as can be seen from the above Cycle progression, the minimum period needed shall be just over four months.
The complete fee structure of the Challenge Pathway to attain CFP Certification as applicable with effect from 1st July 2022 is given in the Annexure.
Eligibility of accelerated pathway for certain individuals
FPSB offers this accelerated route to re-certify or attain initial CFP certification through evaluation in the FPSB® Integrated Financial Planning course for the following individuals:
- Past CFP professionals (lapsed certification beyond 5 years from application date)
- SEBI Registered Investment Adviser (RIA) with active license
- CFP professionals in good standing with one of the Affiliate bodies of FPSB Ltd.
- Past candidates who had passed CFP exam more than 5 years before application date
- Already registered Regular Pathway candidates who deem themselves eligible as per laid down criteria for Challenge Pathway
Individuals in (1) to (4) above can submit their details in the Form Preview stating relevant credentials and documents in support thereof. As their credentials are deemed pre-verified by FPSB/FPSB Affiliate/SEBI, on scrutiny and approval they would straightaway register by paying a bundled price (please see Annexure).
Individuals in (4) shall be required to submit their documents of qualification and experience up to a period of 5 years after they pass the CFP® Exam. The minimum qualification is graduate in any discipline along with at least three years relevant experience, considered for CFP certification.
Individuals in (5) above shall be required to submit their documents in support of qualification and experience criteria and shall pay document verification fee. If approved, their registration in the Regular Pathway shall be carried forward with original validity date to the Challenge Pathway. They shall only pay full course material fee (please see Annexure).
Note : Candidates who obtain CFP certification through the Challenge Pathway must, in addition to passing the CFP Exam also pass all three Specialist Exams in order to use CFP certification as a basis for obtaining/renewing SEBI’s Investment Adviser registration, or else pass the NISM Investment Adviser Exam/other NISM-accredited Investment advisor exam for RIA purposes.
For any further clarification on the above, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
The following is the complete fee structure of the Challenge Pathway to CFP Certification:
(Fee applicable from 1st July 2023)
|Document Verification||Rs. 5000|
|Registration (subject to approval)+ Full course material||Rs. 18000 + Rs. 16000||Bundled price Rs. 34,000|
|FPSB Financial Plan Assessment & CFP Final Exam Fee||Rs. 23,500|
|CFP Certification||Rs. 8600||Initial and annual renewable fee|
|Renewal of Challenge Pathway registration Fee||Rs. 11500||Prior to lapsation of 365 days from initial registration|
|Features||CFP Challenge Status Pathway|
|Recorded video lectures|
|Instructor 1 on 1 support to resolve doubts|
|Physical Study material|