Why CFP Certificants?

Choosing a Financial Planner may be one of the most important decisions you make for yourself and your loved ones. Financial Planners can provide you and your family with guidance over your lifetime, or work with you to address specific concerns as needed. Regardless of how you choose to work together, a planner can play a central role in helping you meet your life goals and achieve financial well-being. Consequently, take the time to select a Financial Planner who is competent and trustworthy, one on whom you can depend for professional advice and services.

Mark of Quality

CFPCM and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM are marks which help you identify Financial Planners who are committed to competent and ethical behavior when providing Financial Planning services. CFPCM practitioners have taken the extra step to demonstrate their professionalism by voluntarily submitting to the rigorous CFPCM certification process. In addition to significant education and experience requirements, they must pass a comprehensive exam that tests their personal Financial Planning knowledge and skills, continually update their abilities and abide by FPSB India Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility (Code of Ethics) and Financial Planning Practice Standards (Practice Standards).

When you work with a CFPCM practitioner, you are the focus of the Financial Planning relationship and your needs drive the Financial Planner's recommendations. As a client, you can choose from a wide variety of planners and planning services.

CFPCM practitioners can work in several settings including small Financial Planning practices, large financial services firms, banks and other financial institutions. Planners are compensated for the services they provide in different ways, as well. Some are paid through commissions, and others through fees or a combination of both. While all CFPCM practitioners are trained to provide you with comprehensive Financial Planning services, some specialize in one or more areas, or work with specific types of clients. Interview several candidates and choose the one with whom you feel most comfortable and who best meets your needs.

Tested For Competency

When selecting a Financial Planner, you need to feel confident that the person you choose to help you plan for your future is competent and ethical. To earn the right to use the CFPCM marks, individuals must complete the following competency requirements.


A candidate must complete academic coverage of the Financial Planning curricula by undergoing the 6 Module CFPCM Certification Education Program through an Authorized Education Provider and pass corresponding Exam 1-4 conducted by NSE. However candidates applying through the Challenge Status Pathway are exempted from the Education Program considering their higher qualifications & work experience. Education criteria demonstrate to the public that the candidate has acquired the necessary knowledge to become a Financial Planner.


The CFPCM Certification Examination (also called Exam 5 based on Module VI-Advanced Financial Planning) is designed to assess the candidate’s ability to apply Financial Planning knowledge to real-life Financial Planning situations. By passing the CFPCM Certification Examination, the candidate demonstrates to the public that he/she is at the appropriate level of competency required to practice Financial Planning.


The experience requirement centers on work that involves Personal Financial Planning. Candidates under the Regular Pathway may complete the experience criteria pre or post appearing Exam 5 however candidates under Challenge Status pathway need to have attained relevant experience before appearing Exam 5. The Experience criterion is designed to provide the public with the assurance that the candidate understands the counseling nature of personal Financial Planning.

Financial Planning Practice Standards

You may be confused about how to distinguish Financial Planning from other kinds of financial advice. To help you understand what to expect from the Financial Planning process, CFPCM practitioners follow certain standards - called Financial Planning Practice Standards - when providing Financial Planning advice. Practice Standards describe the process you should reasonably expect a Financial Planner to use during a Financial Planning engagement. These standards are based on a six-step Financial Planning process.

The Financial Planning Process

  • Establishing and defining the client-planner relationship
  • Gathering client data including goals
  • Analyzing and evaluating the client's financial status
  • Developing and presenting Financial Planning recommendations and/or alternatives
  • Implementing the Financial Planning recommendations
  • Monitoring the Financial Planning recommendations

When providing Financial Planning advice, a CFPCM practitioner will define the scope of the work she or he will do with you, and clearly explain and document the services she or he will provide, the method of compensation and other relevant information. CFPCM practitioners will work with you to determine your personal and financial goals, needs and priorities; understand your time frame for achieving results; and discuss your tolerance for financial risk. Practice Standards also require the CFPCM practitioner to gather all necessary financial information about you when developing your personal Financial Plan.

A Matter of Trust

As more people call themselves "Financial Planners," finding the right professional to address your Financial Planning needs isn't always easy. Take your time when choosing a Financial Planner. Before making a decision, become familiar with the planner's business style and understand the level of services he or she provides. Look for a measure of the planner's commitment to ethical behavior and adherence to high professional standards. Most importantly, look for a Financial Planner who will put you and your needs at the center of every Financial Planning engagement.