Our membership levels

In order to receive the respected CFP® designation, or the FSA™ and the RFP™ designations, an applicant must meet the four Es of the financial planning profession; Education, Examination, Experience and Ethics. Learn more about our certification standards and requirements.

The standards ensure that any individual who holds one of our designations is well prepared and highly qualified to provide consumers with sound, professional advice.

For those who are still studying or who do not meet any, or only meet some, of our certification requirements, we have introduced an affiliate membership category to accommodate these aspiring individuals.

Learn more about the benefits of attaining a professional designation.

To start your journey to attaining a designation and ultimately becoming a CFP® professional, click each step below for the full requirements and the important resources for each step.

The first step to becoming a certified member is to obtain a relevant undergraduate qualification in financial planning from one of the FPI Recognised Education Providers:

CFP® designation

In addition to obtaining the undergraduate qualification, the education requirement for CFP® certification is also to complete a Postgraduate Diploma or Bcom Honours in financial planning (NQF Level 8) or meet the criteria prescribed in the CFP® Professional Challenge Status Examination.

FSA™ designation

The education requirement to obtain the FSA™ designation is an NQF Level 6 or 7 qualification in financial planning or as per the FSB list of recognised qualifications.

RFP™ designation

Complete an NQF Level 5 qualification, such as a Certificate in Wealth Management or Higher Certificate in Financial Planning.

View a list of recognised qualifications offered by our Recognised Education Providers.

The next step is to write our Professional Competency Examinations (PCE) [previously known as the board exam]. The PCE gives candidates access to be certified professional members of the Institute.

The exams are written in February and August each year. View information on exam dates and register here.

View study support and additional resources.

View the criteria for the challenge examination

View the examination policy

Please note: If you have obtained an approved qualification from an FPI Approved Education Provider on an NQF Level 5 or NQF Level 6 after 2013, you may qualify for the RFP™ or FSA™ designations without having to write the FPI Professional Competency Examination.

In order to become a certified member of the Institute, you have to gain relevant work experience (three years for the CFP® designation, two years for the FSA™ designation and one year for the RFP™ designation) either supervised or unsupervised, working in educational, supervisory, advisory or non-client facing capacity while:

For more information on the experience requirements, you can email our certification department.

Mentoring Professionals of Tomorrow

Our mentorship programme provides a mechanism for CFP® professionals to mentor aspiring financial planners to assist them in meeting the experience requirement, in a formal Mentorship Programme, over a minimum period of one year.

Read more on our Mentorship Programme.

Ethics is a fundamental component of a financial planning professional’s life. All members have to adhere and abide by the rules and guidelines put in place. Failure to do so could result in disciplinary action. Download our Code of Ethics and Practice Standards for more information. Download our Member Regulations or download the businessdevelopment@fpi.co.za


  Exam Dates