Next Generation Certification Standards


FPI introduces the Next Generation Certification Standards

FPI is excited to introduce the Next Generation Certification Standards for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) designation. The assessment process to become a CFP® professional member of FPI will be amended from 1 January 2025 to align closely with the current international requirements for CFP® certification.

Why are we changing:

When determining competencies of financial planner candidates FPI assesses both their knowledge and if they possess the required skills and abilities.

In line with international trends, FPI is adapting the assessment processes for CFP® to include a practical component in the form of a Capstone[1] course and a financial plan assessment. The entire assessment process, across the four E’s required for certification (Education, Examination, Experience and Ethics) is being streamlined. This will ensure that a new CFP® professional is tested in a practical manner across the knowledge, skills and abilities components of financial planning, which includes the drafting of a financial plan.

What is changing:

The CFP® professional competency examination in its current format will be discontinued at the end of 2024. From 2025 candidates on the two different pathways to CFP® certification will be required to complete the following steps successfully:


CFP® Pathway:

[1] A Capstone course is a project that serves as the culminating and integrative praxis experience of an educational programme.  It is the final culmination of a learning experience, in this case the combination of the knowledge, skills and abilities a candidate has to master during their studies.



CFP® RPL[1] Pathway: 


[1] Recognition of Prior Learning


How does it affect candidates on our CFP® pathway?

If you obtained your recognised underlying qualification during or before 2023, you will be encouraged to successfully complete the FPI Professional Competency Examination (PCE) in its current format before the end of 2024.  Should you not attempt the PCE, or not be successful in passing the PCE in this timeframe, you will have to complete the three components of the CFP® RPL pathway examination requirement from 2025 onwards (Multiple Choice Examination, Capstone Course, Financial Plan).

FPI encourages all qualifying candidates to complete this examination and apply for CFP® membership as soon as possible. The next examination opportunity is on 21 and 22 September 2023 and there will be four examination opportunities available in 2024.  Keep an eye on our website for the details of these examinations.


Frequently Asked Questions:

How will FPI ensure that the standard of new entrants to the CFP® designation is upheld?

Although the process and method of assessment is changing, it is still based on the global international standards and requirements for CFP® professionals.  Education requirements are still set at an NQF level 8, and the Capstone Course will allow candidates to apply the knowledge in practice.  The financial plan assessment will test whether candidates have mastered the skills and abilities to apply this knowledge at the level expected of a CFP® professional.

Does this mean that I must write an extra examination to become a CFP® professional?

The above should not be seen as an additional examination but rather a different format of assessment in that the candidates will from 2025 onwards not write “another” exam, but rather submit a portfolio of evidence (financial plan) after completing the CAPSTONE course.  The exam written at the universities, from 2025 onwards, will be the standard setting examination that tests for minimum competence across all FPI Recognised Educational Providers.  Only candidates who obtained their qualification before or during 2023 who do not attempt, or pass the PCE by end 2024 will be required to also pass the Multiple Choice Examination to gain access to the Capstone course.

Will the costs for completing the CAPSTONE course and submitting a Financial Plan be significantly different to the current PCE examination fees?

No.  FPI will ensure that the cost for candidates for completion of the Capstone Course, as well as the financial plan assessment is similar to the registration cost of the PCE in its current form.

What will the format of the Capstone Course be?

The Capstone Course will be an online course with an 8-10 week timeline to completion.  It will run throughout the year.  It will include live sessions, pre-recorded material, reading material, various types of assessments, etc. It will be aimed at assisting candidates to apply the knowledge obtained in the education requirement to the everyday practice of financial planning.

How will the financial plan assessment work?

After completion of the capstone course, a candidate will be provided with a case study.  This candidate will have a prescribed timeframe to develop and submit a financial plan to FPI that meets the requirements for a financial plan as prescribed.  Once submitted, this financial plan will follow an assessment process by FPI to determine whether the candidate has met the competency requirement for this assessment component.

What are the dates for the examinations and how do I register?

Visit our website for more information. Alternatively, email us on

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Contact Information

Financial Planning Institute of Southern Africa

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