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Why CFP Certification Has Not Been a Success in India?

BY: Vivek SHARMA | Category: Finance | Submitted: 2010-12-12 08:11:55
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Article Summary: "The article traces the reasons for CFP certification not being successful in India. CFP or Certified Financial Planner is a certification awarded by Financial Planning Standard Board, India. .."

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CFP or Certified Financial Planner is a certification awarded by Financial Planning Standard Board, India. This certification can be done through two routes: 1) Regular route and 2) Challenge Status. To complete certification through regular route, you need to be 10th pass with 6 years or pre or post qualification experience. As a graduate, you need to have three years of pre or post qualification experience to get certification through regular route. You need to pass the following examinations as a step towards completing CFP certification:

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)

Additionally you are also required to pass Advanced Financial Planning Module (Exam 5). Once you have passed these examinations, you are ready for CFP certification. There are some formalities to be completed and once the same is done, you get CFP certification.( For details visit

For challenge status, a candidate must be a CA / Intermediate level, CFA (US), ICWA, CAIIB, CS, LLB, PhD, M.Phil, PG, Licentiate/Associate/ Fellowship of Life Insurance, Actuary, FFSI and FLMI from LOMA or Civil Service Examinations by UPSC. You need to have 3 years of experience in financial services industry &; 5 years in non-financial services industry to enroll for challenge status. You will be required to appear for only Advanced Financial Planning Module (Exam 5) and if you pass this examination, you are eligible for CFP certification subject to completion of some formalities.

CFP certification is not approved by any of the bodies like UGC, AICTE, DDE etc. CFPCM, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERCM, and are certification marks owned outside the U.S by Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd. Financial Planning Standards Board India is the marks licensing authority for the CFPCM Marks in India, through agreement with FPSB Ltd.

Since CFP is not approved course in India, even you complete the program the possibility of being employed by companies is very remote. Most of the CFP certificate holders get only an opportunity to work for marketing assignments. CFP certification does not allow you to carry out distribution of any financial products. To distribute insurance, you need approval of IRDA and to distribute mutual funds, you must be certified by SEBI. Hence CFP certification does not provide you any authority to carry out either consultancy or distribution. You can become a financial planner but that would be more because of your individual skills and networking. In India, you have qualifications like CA and MBA which give you an edge even in financial planning.

CFP course is good for knowledge but has very limited potential for employment. This is one of the prime reasons that CFP program has not been very successful in India. There are only around twelve hundred CFP certificate holders in India. It will require lot of effort on part of FPSB,India to make this program acceptable in India at mass level.

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