November 2, 2023

Last Updated on November 2, 2023 by Jacques Wong, B.Sc.

In Canada, financial planning has gained increasing significance, prompting many individuals to pursue financial planning designations to enhance their career prospects. Two of the most prevalent designations in the country are the QAFP and the CFP. Although they may appear to be similar at first glance, several key differences set them apart.

Educational Requirements for QAFP vs CFP

One of the primary distinctions between the QAFP and the CFP pertains to the level of education required to obtain these designations. To achieve the QAFP designation, candidates are required to hold a minimum of a high school diploma, along with a two-year college diploma. They will also need to complete the QAFP education program successfully. This program is designed to impart a comprehensive understanding in a multitude of areas. This includes financial planning principles, encompassing areas such as financial planning fundamentals, taxation, retirement planning, and estate planning. In contrast, those aspiring to attain the CFP designation must possess a three-year bachelor’s degree, complete the CFP education program, and have at least three years of relevant work experience. If a bachelor’s degree is not held, a minimum of ten years of relevant work experience is required.

Qafp vs cfp ce Requirements

Apart from educational disparities and costs, the QAFP and CFP also maintain different criteria for ongoing professional development. QAFPs must complete 12 hours of continuing education annually, while CFPs must fulfill the obligation of 25 hours of continuing education every two years. This variance in continuing education requirements can be instrumental for those who place a strong emphasis on staying informed and continually updating their knowledge in the ever-evolving field of financial planning.

Career Paths for QAFP vs CFP

In terms of career opportunities, both the QAFP and the CFP can lead to fulfilling and rewarding careers in the field of financial planning. However, it is widely acknowledged that the CFP designation holds a prestigious position within the financial planning industry. CFPs will likely encounter a broader range of opportunities and potential career growth. This is a significant consideration for those aiming to advance their careers and attain heightened recognition within the financial planning sector.


The choice between the QAFP and the CFP is a decision guided by individual career objectives and aspirations. Some individuals may gravitate towards the QAFP designation due to its affordability and more focused scope of practice. In contrast, others may be drawn to the CFP designation, driven by its prestige, comprehensive scope of practice, and the potential for diverse career opportunities. Regardless of the chosen designation, both require unwavering dedication, hard work, and a commitment to ongoing professional development to uphold the highest standards of excellence within the financial planning industry. Ultimately, the selection hinges on personal preferences and career objectives, both of which play a significant role in determining the most suitable designation.

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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