ADV Brochure Supplement

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Minimum Qualifications for the College for Financial Planning's Professional Designations

AAMS ADPA APMA AWMA CMFC CRPC CRPS MPAS RP

  • AAMS®, or Accredited Asset Management SpecialistSM
  • ADPA®, or Accredited Domestic Partnership AdvisorSM
  • APMA®, or Accredited Portfolio Management AdvisorSM
  • AWMA®, or Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM
  • CMFC®, or Chartered Mutual Fund CounselorSM
  • CRPC®, or Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM
  • CRPS®, or Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM
  • MPAS®, or Master Planner Advanced StudiesSM
  • RP®, or Registered ParaplannerSM

The College for Financial Planning awards its designations to individuals who successfully complete the following requirements.

Education

The College offers several proprietary professional designation programs covering the asset management, retirement planning, and financial planning sectors. Programs are offered in both self-study and instructor-led formats and require the successful completion of a specific curriculum covering both theoretical and practical application of the material. The curricula are developed by the College's full-time faculty with input from the country's top investment firms.

AAMS®

Individuals who hold the AAMS® designation have completed a course of study encompassing investments, insurance, tax, retirement, and estate planning issues. The program is designed for approximately 120-150 hours of self-study. The program is self-paced and must be completed within one year from enrollment.

ADPA®

Individuals who hold the ADPA® designation have completed a course of study encompassing wealth transfers, federal taxation, retirement planning and planning for financial and medical end-of-life needs for domestic partners. The program is designed for 80-100 hours of self-study. The program is self-paced and must be completed within one year from enrollment.

APMA®

Individuals who hold the APMA® designation have completed a course of study encompassing client assessment and suitability, risk/return, investment objectives, bond and equity portfolios, modern portfolio theory and investor psychology. Students have hands-on practice in analyzing investment policy statements, building portfolios, and making asset allocation decisions including sell, hold, and buy decisions within a client's portfolio. The program is designed for 80-100 hours of self-study. The program is self-paced and must be completed within one year from enrollment.

AWMA®

Individuals who hold the AWMA® designation have completed a course of study encompassing wealth strategies, equity-based compensation plans, tax reduction alternatives, and asset protection alternatives. The program is designed for approximately 120-150 hours of self-study. The program is self-paced and must be completed within one year from enrollment.

CMFC®

Individuals who hold the CMFC® designation have completed a course of study encompassing all aspects of mutual funds and their uses as investment vehicles. The program is designed for approximately 120-150 hours of self-study. The program is self-paced and must be completed within one year from enrollment.

CRPC®

Individuals who hold the CRPC® designation have completed a course of study encompassing pre-and post-retirement needs, asset management, estate planning and the entire retirement planning process using models and techniques from real client situations. The program is designed for approximately 120-150 hours of self-study. The program is self-paced and must be completed within one year from enrollment.

CRPS®

Individuals who hold the CRPS® designation have completed a course of study encompassing design, installation, maintenance, and administration of retirement plans. The program is designed for approximately 120-150 hours of self-study. The program is self-paced and must be completed within one year from enrollment.

MPAS®

Individuals who hold the MPAS® designation have completed the Master of Science degree program with the College majoring in personal financial planning or financial analysis. The program consists of 30 semester credits and delves deeply into personal financial planning content using research-based coursework and real-world case studies. Graduates of the program are required to demonstrate critical thinking skills and complex problem-solving techniques.

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. The program is designed for approximately 80-120 hours of self-study. The program is self-paced and must be completed within one year from enrollment.

Examination

Individuals are required to pass an online, timed and proctored end-of-course examination with a 70% score or higher. The examination tests the individual's ability to relate complex concepts and apply theoretical concepts to real-life situations. Individuals in the MPAS® designation program are required to complete assignments, projects, research, and papers, and meet all graduation requirements for the Master of Science degree.

Designation Application

After successful completion of the end-of-course examination, individuals apply for authorization to use the designation. The application includes:

  1. Adherence to Standards of Professional Conduct
    • Integrity
      Provide professional services with integrity, honor, fairness, and dignity and maintain client trust and confidence.
    • Objectivity
      Maintain objectivity and impartiality with respect to services rendered and advice given.
    • Competency
      Maintain an adequate level of knowledge and skill and effectively apply that knowledge while recognizing its limitations.
    • Confidentiality
      Keep client information confidential, disclosing only when authorized or compelled by law.
    • Professionalism
      Comply with all laws and regulations as required and applicable, refraining from actions that bring dishonor to you or your profession.
  2. Self-Disclosure
    Applicants must disclose 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 which are discovered by the College that are required to be disclosed.
  3. Adherence to Terms and Conditions
    The Terms and Conditions outline designees' rights to use the College's Marks and acknowledge the rights of the College to protect the Marks from unauthorized use by individuals or entities.

Renewal Requirements

Following initial conferment of one of the College for Financial Planning's professional designations, authorization for continued use of the credential must be renewed every two years by completing 16 hours of continuing education (40 hours of CE for MPAS®); reaffirming compliance with the Standards of Professional Conduct, Terms and Conditions; and complying with self-disclosure requirements.

The College monitors its designees' compliance with the designation requirements and standards. Any alleged violations are subject to disciplinary procedures.

Disciplinary Procedures

Complaints against a designee may be filed by any individual using the Complaint Submission form found on the College's Financial Designation Resource website, www.cffpdesignations.com. The College for Financial Planning investigates all complaints and its Ethical Conduct Committee determines whether allegations are justified and whether the conduct warrants disciplinary action.

If a violation of the Standards of Professional Conduct is found, disciplinary sanctions shall be based on the seriousness of the situation and may include, but are not limited to:

  • reprimand;
  • suspension; or
  • revocation.

About the College for Financial Planning

The College for Financial Planning is a regionally-accredited institution of higher education accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and is a member of the North Central Association. The College is a wholly owned subsidiary of Apollo Group, Inc. located in Phoenix Arizona. The College offers a Master of Science degree with a Personal Financial Planning major and two Master of Science in Finance degrees, several proprietary professional designations, and the CFP Certification Professional Education Program. Founded in 1972, the College is the country's oldest provider of financial planning education and has over 140,000 graduates from its Master's and non-degree programs.