April 5, 2023

The QAFP designation, or Qualified Associate Financial Planner, is a highly valued certification in the financial industry in Canada. It is offered by the Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC), a non-profit organization that sets standards for financial planning across Canada. If you are interested in becoming a QAFP in Canada, there are several steps you need to take to achieve this goal. In this article, we will outline these steps and guide you on becoming a QAFP in Canada.

Meet the Education Requirements

To become a QAFP in Canada, you need to have completed at least a post-secondary diploma or degree. Your education should be in a relevant field such as finance, accounting, or economics. You can also complete a financial planning program that is approved by the FPSC. The FPSC has a list of approved programs on their website, and completing one of these programs will ensure that you have met the education requirements for the QAFP designation.

Gain Relevant Work Experience

Once you have completed your education, you need to gain relevant work experience in financial planning. You need to have at least one year of relevant work experience, including financial planning, tax planning, investment planning, retirement planning, and risk management. The FPSC has a list of approved work experience on their website, and you can check if your work experience meets the requirements.

Pass the QAFP Exam

The comprehensive QAFP exam assesses your financial planning knowledge and includes multiple-choice questions and case studies that simulate real-life financial planning scenarios. It covers various topics, including taxation, investment, retirement, risk management, and estate planning. Administered by the FPSC, the exam is offered multiple times a year at various locations across Canada.

To prepare for the QAFP exam, you can enroll in a QAFP exam preparation course offered by various educational institutions. The course will help you understand the exam format and prepare you for the topics covered in the exam. You can also purchase study materials from the FPSC or other financial planning organizations. More info here.

Adhere to the FPSC Code of Ethics

To become a QAFP, you need to adhere to the FPSC Code of Ethics. The code outlines the ethical standards that financial planners must follow to maintain the integrity of the profession. The code includes standards for client confidentiality, conflict of interest, and professional conduct. As a QAFP, you are expected to adhere to these standards in your professional practice.

Maintain Your QAFP Designation

Once you have obtained your QAFP designation, you need to maintain it by completing continuing education requirements. To maintain your designation, the FPSC requires you to complete at least 12 hours of continuing education every year. Continuing education can be in the form of courses, seminars, or workshops that are relevant to financial planning. You can also take approved online CE courses to fulfill your annual requirements. In addition, the FPSC also requires you to renew your QAFP designation every year by paying an annual fee.


Becoming a QAFP in Canada requires a certain level of education, work experience, and passing the QAFP exam. The QAFP designation is a valuable certification in the financial industry in Canada and can help you advance your career in financial planning. To become a QAFP, you need to meet the education and work experience requirements, pass the QAFP exam, adhere to the FPSC Code of Ethics, and maintain your designation by completing continuing education requirements. With hard work and dedication, you can achieve the QAFP designation and take your career in financial planning to the next level.

Jacques Wong is the CEO and Director of Education at PNC Learning. An award-winning licensed insurance broker with over 15 years of experience in both education and the insurance industry, Jacques is recognized for his expertise and effective communication strategies. He achieved the highest provincial scores on his CAIB* 3 and CAIB* 4 exams and contributes to leading insurance publications. Jacques is dedicated to making insurance knowledge accessible for everyone through his unique approach and online content.

Jacques Wong

 Jacques wong


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