Education: Bachelor's degree, in any discipline.
Specialized Education or Training: NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors must have a broad-based advanced education in financial planning. A graduate or undergraduate degree in financial planning, or one of the following credentials: CFP or ChFC meets this requirement. NOTE: As an alternative, a minimum of one college level three credit class in each of the following five areas: income tax, estate planning, retirement planning, investments, and risk management may meet this requirement.
Continuing Education Requirement: A minimum of 60 hours of approved continuing education every two years. To emphasize the need for broad-based ongoing education, at least five hours of credit must be reported in each of the six core subjects: income taxes, estate planning, retirement planning, investments, insurance and counseling and communications.
Offer of Comprehensive Financial Planning Services: Offer, or supervise others who offer, consultation in all areas of comprehensive financial planning to clients. This requirement does not imply that every client must receive comprehensive financial planning services, but only that the Member makes such services available to clients. NAPFA defines comprehensive financial planning advice to require consideration of each of the following areas for a client: income tax, cash flow, retirement planning, estate planning, investments, risk management, and any special needs planning. NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisors are required to attest to the continuing availability of comprehensive services in each annual membership renewal.
Submission of a Comprehensive Financial Plan for Peer Review: Applicants for NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor status must submit a comprehensive financial plan for peer review. The plan, which must have been prepared within the 12 months prior to submission, must address all of the following factors: income tax, cash flow, retirement planning, estate planning, investments, risk management, and any special needs planning.
Further, the plan must apply a comprehensive approach to advisory services and include: collection and assessment of all relevant data from the client, identification of client goals, identification of client financial problems, provision of recommendations, assistance in implementation of the recommendations, and the offer of periodic review.
The plan must be either the author's original work product or a plan created under the supervision of the applicant and should follow the current guidelines. It may reflect an actual client case or a fictional case - including a plan based on a NAPFA provided fact pattern.
Experience: An individual must have had at least 36 months of experience being primarily engaged in the provision of comprehensive financial planning services, which experience must have been attained within the past 60 months and must include the most recent 12 months.