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Q.1    What is CFPCM Certification?
Ans- CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM certification or CFPCM certification is an international program in the field of Financial Planning, wealth management and financial advisory services.

CFPCM certification is a mark of excellance granted to individuals who meet the strict standards of education, examination, experience and ethics. It is very prestigious and internationally accepted Financial Planning qualification, recoginized and respected by the global financial community.

Financial Planning is one of the fastest growing careers across the world. Being one of the fastest growing economies, India currently has around 5 crore families with investible surplus. Assuming one financial planner is handling approx. 1,000 clients we need at least 50,000 Certified Financial Planners in India immediately. This is set to grow at a faster rate. CFPCM certification was rated as Gold Standard in Financial Planning by the Wall Street Journal in the year 2006.

CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM certification or CFPCM Certification is a mark of excellence granted to individuals who meet the stringent standards of education, examination, experience and ethics. It is the most prestigious and internationally accepted Financial Planning certification recognized and respected by the global financial community. CFPCM Certification is the highest level of certification in the field of Financial Planning worldwide with over 1,26,016 CFPCM certificants, who are widely respected by consumers, professionals and industry.

Q.2    Who should consider CFPCM certification?
Ans- CFPCM certification is for financial services professionals, customer relationship officers, insurance agents, stock brokers, those looking to expand their careers in the financial services business, and graduates who want to be professionally and globally recognized.

Q.3    What are the prospects of a career in Financial Planning?
Ans- Financial Planning is one of the fastest-growing professions across the world and Financial Planners are the most sought after professionals by a fast growing working population that earns well, and needs expert handling of their finances. The opportunities are aplenty with Banks, Financial Planning Outfits, Wealth Managers, Life Insurers, Accounting Firms, Stock brokers seeking professionals with such expertise. Financial Planners offer expert opinions on issues related to retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, investment planning, insurance planning, financial management of small businesses and trusts, stock brokering, debt and risk analysis. Needless to say a career as a Financial Planner can prove both challenging and rewarding.

Q.4   How is it like working as a Financial Planner?
Ans- Recognizing Financial Planning's occupational benefits, there are many surveys that indicate a career in Financial Planning as the top career choice worldwide. Most Financial Planners enjoy relatively low stress, have a high earning potential and enjoy a high degree of workplace autonomy. The personal satisfaction element cannot be underestimated. Very often, independent Financial Planners find that people are just overwhelmed and need direction, so it's their job to listen, understand their situation and offer some options that will help them. It gives them satisfaction to help people do better, not just with their finances but with blending the financial side with the other sides of clients' lives so that they can achieve their goals.

Q.5    What are the benefits of undergoing the CFPCM certification program and the CFPCM marks?

  • Enhanced career and employment opportunities in Financial Services Sector.
  • Personal satisfaction in knowing you have earned the profession's highest standard and met the global benchmark.
  • Satisfied clients who appreciate the comprehensive approach to Financial Planning and extend long term relationships and referrals.
  • Your expertise and credibility as a qualified professional is instantly communicated.
  • More revenue streams by increasing your product and service offering to your clients.
  • Enhanced Social Status by joining the league of professionals.
  • Recognition in over 23 countries across the world.
  • Opportunities to showcase your knowledge on Financial Planning & Advising through various media vehicles.
Q.6    How are Financial Planners paid?
Ans- Financial Planners may earn in any of the following three ways:
  • A Planner can be paid by a salary from the company for which the Planner works; by fees based on an hourly rate, a flat rate, or on a percentage of the assets and/or income.
  • By commissions paid by a third party from the products sold to clients to carry out the Financial Planning recommendations.
  • By a combination of fees and commissions whereby fees are charged for the amount of work done to develop Financial Planning recommendations and commissions are received from any product sold.
As the profession is in its nascent stage various models are being tried and tested by the Financial Planners in India. But surely over a period of time the clear trend is towards a fee-only model like other professions, i.e. medicine, law, accountancy, etc.

Q.7    Who offers CFPCM certification in India?
Ans- Financial Planning Standards Board India (FPSB India) offers the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM certification or CFPCM certification Program. FPSB India is the sole licensing body that awards CFPCM certification in India through an agreement with US based FPSB, Ltd. The mission of FPSB India is to help benefit the public by granting the CFPCM certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for Personal Financial Planning. CFPCM certification is awarded by affiliate organizations of FPSB, Ltd. in their respective countries of operation. Kindly note FPSB India's authorized Education Providers are only training and administrative entities authorized by FPSB India and not the CFPCM certification awarding bodies. FPSB India reserves the rights of awarding and relinquishing CFPCM certification as per the certification policies.

Q.8    What is FPSB India?
Ans- Financial Planning Standards Board India (FPSB India) is a Public-Private Enterprise and a Professional Standards Setting body that proactively guides the development and promotion of standards for Financial Planning professionals to benefit the public in the country. FPSB India closely works with all the stakeholder's viz. the Government, the Regulators, the Industries/Associations, the Corporations, the Media and the General Public to achieve its objectives. It is a Professional Certification Organization, part of leading Global Confederation established by prominent financial service corporations with an objective to professionalize the concept of Financial Planning in India. FPSB India is supported by 50 Financial Services Organizations in the country as its Charter Members.

Q.9   Is CFPCM certification a Global certification?
Ans- Yes, currently CFPCM certification is offered and recognized in 23 countries including Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, China, Chinese Taipei, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Netherland, Republic of Korea, Singapore, South Africa, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States of America. FPSB, Ltd. enters into licensing and affiliation agreements with non-profit organizations (or their equivalent) around the world that allows the organizations to establish and operate the CFPCM certification program in a country or region. FPSB Affiliates who meet and maintain FPSB's affiliation criteria of high standards are authorized to administer the CFPCM certification program on behalf of FPSB in a country or region. FPSB India is one of the Affiliates of FPSB, Ltd. CFPCM certification undertaken in any of the affiliate country is recognized globally and governed by cross border policy usage.

Q.10  What is the cross border CFPCM marks use policy of FPSB?
Ans- To benefit the public, FPSB regulates how CFPCM professionals use FPSB's CFPCM or CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM marks outside the borders of the country or region in which they first received CFPCM certification.

Incidental Use
FPSB permits incidental use of the CFPCM marks by CFPCM professionals outside the country or region of their initial certification. Incidental use consists of displays of the CFPCM marks in/on:

  • articles published in a new country or region.
  • business cards or brochures distributed while traveling abroad.
  • websites targeted toward stakeholders in the country or region of initial certification that are viewable outside the area's borders.
Cross-Border Use
If an individual wishes to hold himself or herself out as a CFPCM professional or use the CFPCM marks outside his or her country or region of initial certification for anything other than incidental use, the CFPCM professional can pursue one of two options:
  • Cross-Border Certification: An individual using the CFPCM marks in more than one country or region can become cross-border certified by obtaining CFPCM certification from the FPSB Affiliate in the new country or region and abiding by the certification renewal requirements of both FPSB Affiliates. Once the CFPCM professional has completed the process, he or she can identify himself or herself as a CFPCM professional in those territories as well.
  • Restricted Use of the CFPCM Marks: If an individual does not want to/cannot become certified in a new territory, he or she can always communicate the fact that he or she has obtained CFPCM certification in the country or region of initial certification.
Q.11  What are the 4Es criteria for awarding CFP Certification?
Ans- CFP Certification worldwide is awarded by FPSB Affiliates to competent and qualifying candidates fulfilling the 4 E Criteria of CFPCM Certification, i.e. Education, Examination, Experience and Ethics.

Q.12 What is the Education Criterion?
Ans- A candidate must complete academic coverage of the Financial Planning curriculum by undergoing the first five Modules of CFPCM certification Education Program through an authorized Education Provider or through Self Study and pass corresponding Exam 1-4 facilitated by NSE. After a candidate is successful in all the examinations 1, 2, 3 & 4, he/she is eligible to appear in the Advanced Financial Planning examination termed as Exam 5. Candidates applying through the Challenge Status Pathway are deemed to have accomplished the Education Program considering their higher qualifications and work experience. The Education criterion demonstrates to the public that the candidate has acquired the necessary knowledge to become a Financial Planner.

Q.13  What is the Examination Criterion?
Ans- 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 has the required level of competency to practise Financial Planning. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) has been appointed by FPSB India to conduct the CFPCM Certification Examination.

Q.14 What is the Experience Criterion?
Ans- The experience requirement qualifies work experience that involves Personal Financial Planning. Candidates under the Regular Pathway may complete the experience criteria pre or post appearing for Exam 5. However candidates under Challenge Status pathway need to have attained relevant work experience before appearing for Exam 5. The Experience criterion is meant to provide the public with the assurance that the candidate understands different products of Financial Planning and their intricacies for a specific client apart from the counseling nature of personal Financial Planning.

Q.15 What is the Ethics Criterion?
Ans- To get the CFPCM certification, candidates after meeting Education, Examination & Experience criteria must agree to abide by FPSB India's Code of Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct, Practice Standards and Disciplinary Rules and Procedures. Careful adherence to these standards of professional conduct helps turn initial consultations into trusted, long-term consulting relationships with clients and gain public confidence in the Profession and certification.

Q.16 What does the CFPCM certification Education Program offer?
Ans- The CFPCM certification Education Program provides an individual the knowledge on the full range of financial products that are available in the Indian financial markets and makes him competent to recommend his/her client the right financial product to match their needs. The program helps the individual understand the Financial Planning process and makes him capable of explaining the process to his/her clients. The individual, after gaining the CFPCM certification, would be highly trained, technically competent and he/she would have had some significant practical experience. He/She would also be able to draft comprehensive Financial Plans of international standards for individuals. The CFPCM certification program covers the following areas:

1. Introduction to Financial Planning,
2. Risk Analysis & Insurance Planning,
3. Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits,
4. Investment Planning,
5. Tax Planning & Estate Planning, and
6. Advanced Financial Planning.

Q.17 Which are the six modules under the CFPCM certification Education Program and what is the nature of the curriculum?
Ans- The Six modules under the CFPCM Certification Education Program are -

1. Introduction to Financial Planning,
2. Risk Analysis & Insurance Planning,
3. Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits,
4. Investment Planning,
5. Tax Planning & Estate Planning, and
6. Advanced Financial Planning.

The module, Introduction to Financial Planning does not have an individual exam but is embedded in the examination of other five modules of the CFPCM Certification Program.

The Curriculum for the CFPCM certification is GLOCAL. It essentially means that it is global in outlook but has been localized as per the laws and regulations governing a particular country. The Syllabus is made by leading industry practitioners and academicians and is reviewed periodically to ensure that the curriculum is up-todate and relevant to those working in the Financial Planning industry.

Q.18 What are the modes available to facilitate completion of education?
Ans- FPSB India has authorized Education Providers to deliver the CFPCM certification Education Program to the students. Alternatively, a candidate can adopt "Self Study" mode whereby he/she can choose any courseware or study material available in the market and study by self. The CFPCM certification Education Program is delivered by authorized Education Providers through distance learning, e-learning mode, part-time and full-time Education Programs.

Q.19 In what language will the exam be conducted?
Ans- Challenge Status / Exam 5 is now available in both English and Hindi. To apply for the appropriate one, please fill the relevant option in the Examination Enrollment Form.

Q.20 How do I pursue the CFPCM certification Program?
Ans- There are 2 pathways through which an aspirant can register for the CFPCM Certification program, namely:

1. Regular Pathway through either Education Providers or "Self Study"
2. Challenge Status Pathway

Q.21 What are the minimum qualifications required to register for the CFPCM certification Program and what are the minimum requirements for being entitled to use the CFPCM marks and to be called as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM professional?
Ans- The candidate enrolling with FPSB India to pursue CFPCM certification is required to be SSC or Class 10 pass, but he/she needs to be HSC or Class 10+2 pass for the award of CFPCM certification subject to fulfilling experience criteria.

Regular Pathway:
In order to enroll for the CFPCM certification Education Program, the applicant must have at least passed his SSC (Class 10th) or equivalent. However, the applicant will be entitled to use the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM certification or CFPCM marks only after he/she has acquired a minimum qualification of HSC. Moreover, the applicant also needs to have a minimum work experience of 6 years in the financial services industry. In case the applicant is a graduate, he/she needs to have a minimum of 3 years work experience in the financial services industry. The candidate will have to give a 2 hour objective exam on each of the following subjects:

1. Risk Analysis & Insurance Planning,
2. Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits,
3. Investment Planning,
4. Tax Planning & Estate Planning, and
5. 4-hour exam on Advanced Financial Planning.

Challenge Status Pathway:
In addition to the graduation qualification, the candidate who also possesses either of the following additional qualifications/certifications viz. CA, CFA (US), ICWA, CAIIB, CS, LL B, PhD, M.Phil, PG, Licentiate/Associate/ Fellowship of Life Insurance, Actuary, FFSI & FLMI from LO MA, Civil Service Examinations by UPSC would be eligible to enrol for the CFPCM certification program through the Challenge Status Pathway. In addition, he/she must also have a minimum work experience of 3 years in case of employment with a financial services organization or a minimum of 5 years of work experience in case he/she is self employed in the financial services industry or if he/she is employed in an industry which is not related to finance but working in a department related to finance or in the finance department of the company. Only after the applicant meets these criteria he/she shall be eligible for the Challenge Status program and on successful completion of the Examination-5, he/she shall be awarded the CFPCM certification by FPSB India. The applicant is then entitled to use the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM certification CFPCM marks and he/she would be rightfully called as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM professional.

Q.22 How do I register through "Challenge Status Pathway"?
Ans- The Challenge Status Program is for professionals who already possess certain skill sets and proficiency which is expected of Financial Planners. In order to enroll for the Certification through the Challenge Status Pathway, the candidate needs to meet the education and experience criteria. A candidate applying for the Challenge Status pathway needs to appear only for a single examination (Exam 5). Nevertheless, the syllabus under the Challenge Status program is same as in the Regular Pathway.

Q.23 What are the routes and fee structure available under Challenge Status Pathway?
Ans- The fee structure appears in the following table:

  • FPSB India Rs.25,000 Registration Fees valid for 1 year, One time fees for Exam 5, Basic Study Material, Administration & Processing Fees
  • E ducation Rs.20,000 Registration Fees valid for 1 year, One Provider time fees for Exam 5, Administration & Processing Fees
  • IIBF-PGDFA Rs.20,000 Registration Fees valid for 1 year, One time fees for Exam 5, Administration & Processing Fees
  • Charter Member Rs.7,000 Registration Fees valid for 1 year, One (Extended time fees for Exam 5, Administration Special Offer) & Processing Fee.
Q.24 What are the renewal requirements of CFPCM certification?
Ans- The following are 2 requirements for renewing the CFPCM Certification:

A. Continuing Education:
The CE requirement of 15 points is effective immediately upon certification and one is required to meet this to be a CFPCM certificant. Continuing Education (CE) plays a vital role to maintain and enhance the professional competence of the CFPCM professional in a dynamic industry. FPSB India has made Continuing Education one of the key requirements for continued use of FPSB India's CFPCM marks.

B. Renewal Fee:
CFPCM Certificants pay a renewal fee currently set at Rs.5,000/- per year. To avoid the late fee, the CE requirement must be fulfilled and FPSB India must receive a duly-completed CE Reporting Form along with the Fee(s) before the renewal date.

Q.25 What is AFP Certification?
Ans- To professionalize the product-based advisory and specialized advisory services, FPSB India has established AFP certification which is targeted at existing professionals who want to upgrade their knowledge about Financial Planning without undergoing the entire CFPCM certification Program. The various certifications available under this option are:

  • AFP certification (Risk Analysis & Insurance Planning)
  • AFP certification (Retirement Planning & Employee Benefits)
  • AFP certification (Investment Planning)
  • AFP certification (Tax Planning & Estate Planning)
However, FPSB India and the industry encourages students to undertake the complete CFPCM certification Program to practise Financial Planning in its true comprehensive spirit.

Q.26 How soon can I complete CFPCM certification? What is the maximum period given to a candidate to complete the CFPCM Certification Program?
Ans- A candidate appearing for CFPCM certification examination through regular mode will require at least 3 months to complete the certification. However, a candidate appearing through Challenge Status mode can complete it within a month. An applicant is required to complete the CFPCM certification Program within a maximum period of 7 years from the date he/she registers for the CFPCM certification Education program.

Q.27 What will I be tested on?
Ans- CFPCM certification students are assessed on the following:

  • Professional advice and understanding of client's needs; the fact-finding process; and the elements of good practice.
  • Knowledge and application of protection of capital, savings and investment, and retirement related products.
  • Knowledge of Indian financial services industry regulatory framework and taxation. Syllabus is available in CFP Syllabus section.
Q.28 What do I gain for immediate recognition when I pass the exam?
Ans- Success in passing the exam opens up several opportunities for immediate recognition by your peers, customers and the financial services industry as a whole. Successful candidates will be awarded a certificate. They will be invited to apply for certification with the FPSB India. CFPCM certificants who successfully apply for certification will be able to indicate their CFPCM certification on their professional identifications, including visiting cards and letter head.

Q.29 What are the benefits of the CFPCM Certification?
Ans- Benefits of CFPCM certification include:

  • Certificants can indicate their certification status on their professional documents, including their name cards gaining recognition from peers and customers, and becom part of a prestigious group of financial services providers dedicated to excellent service with a high standard of ethics.
  • Free subscription to Financial Planning Journal - India's leading financial planning publication with news, analysis and comments on current issues.
  • Newsletter.
  • Special rates to attend seminars, forums and conferences organized by FPSB India.
Q.30 I might consider upgrading my status to that of a CFPCM certificant sometime in the future. Can I just maintain my AFP license in the meantime?
Ans- Yes. You can maintain your AFP license, but we would encourage you to continue with the program that would ultimately lead you to the prestigious CFPCM mark that is globally recognized. If for some reason you are unable to continue with the program, you have a maximum of 7 years to complete the CFPCM certification Education Program course from the date of your first module registration.

Q.31 What happens if I have not completed the CFPCM certification Education Program even after 7 years?
Ans- You will be required to re-register for the CFPCM certification Education Program course. In other words, you will need to undergo all the modules 1-6 once again.

Q.32 I have successfully cleared all the CFPCM certification exam but I only have 2 years of relevant work experience. Am I eligible for the CFPCM certification?
Ans- In your case, you will be issued a Special Certificate by FPSB India mentioning that you have successfully accomplished the CFPCM certification exams against an annual fee which is equivalent to the certification fee and following your successful completion of 3 years of work experience, you shall be awarded the CFPCM certification.

Q.33 What information do I need to provide when I apply for Practitioner Certification?

  • Application Fee of Rs. 5,000.
  • Self-declaration Form duly signed by the candidate and the Special Declaration Form signed by the HR head of the company, if he/she is employed. In case the candidate is self-employed, then the form has to be signed by a Gazetted Officer.
  • Qualification certificates (signed by the HR Head or Gazetted Officer as applicable).
  • Work-experience certificates (signed by the HR Head or Gazetted Officer as applicable).
Please note : Incomplete applications can be subject to significant delays.

Q.34 Is NJ Gurukul an Authorized Education Provider?
Ans- Yes. NJ Gurukul is an Authorized Education Provider with FPSB India.

Q.35 Does NJ Gurukul Provide Distance learning and Challenger Status Program?
Ans- No. As of now we do not provide Distance Learning and Challenge Status program, we only provide classroom training course.

Q.36 How many Hours of classroom training do you provide?
Ans- We provide 140 Hours of classroom training for 6 modules per module we provide 40 Hours of classroom training.

Q.37 What is the Fees Structure?
Ans- Training Fees for Partners- Rs 30000
Training Fees for Non- Partner- Rs 30000.

Payment Schedules Partners / Non-Partners
Rs. 15000 on enrollment along with a PDC of Rs. 15000

Training fees is excluding FPSB Registration fees which is Rs 10000 and Exam Fees which is Rs 13000/- ( 2000 per module for the 1st four modules and Rs 5000 for Final Module) paid to NSE.

Q.38 Can I Enroll module wise?
Ans- Yes, module-wise enrollment can be done. The fees for the same is:

  • Partners - Rs 7000/-
  • Non - Partners - Rs 7000/-
Q.39 What if , I refer my friends for the course do I get any benefits?
Ans- Yes & you will be eligible for some monetary reward if your referal enrolls for the course .

Q.40 Who are the Facilitators for the course?
Ans-The course is being steered by qualified CFPCM with a passion to prepare the planners. The trainers are successful professionals who are perfect for the specific modules.