Resource Center: Professional Development

Guide to Maintaining Your Certification

Welcome to the profession of personal finance. As a newly certified individual, you’ll find that emerging knowledge and best practices are constantly evolving. As a professional, it will be critical to remain informed about changes in the field.

To ensure the integrity of all professionals in our field, renewal of certification is required once every two years, beginning one year after your certification has been issued.

Your responsibility as a renewing certificant will be to:
  • Demonstrate reinforcement and expansion of a full spectrum of personal finance and counseling knowledge and skills
  • Participate in ongoing professional development activities and lifelong learning
  • Engage in continuing education and professional activities that expand learning opportunities and promote competency
  • Record your achievements as they are experienced

Annual Certification Fees


Annual fees are due each year on January 3. You have the option of a two-year pre-payment that locks in the current rate (maximum two-year payment only). Professionals who are dual certified pay one annual certification fee (whichever is the greater of the two).

Certification Fees Required Each Year

AFC

$50

CHC

$65

ACC

$35

FFC

$35

APFC

$50

Late Fees: A grace period is available until January 31. Late fees will be incurred for each month that an annual fee is not paid. After six months of non-payment, your certification will be revoked.

Certification Reporting Requirements


The certification reporting period is two full calendar years, specifically one even year and one odd year. Certification may be obtained at different times during a reporting period.

CEUs Required Every 2 Years

AFC

30

CHC

45

ACC

15

FFC

15

APFC

30

AFCC

30

Your Inaugural Reporting Period (even year + odd year)Subsequent Reporting Periods
If you become certified during the first half of the reporting period or "the even year"
Then one-half of your designation's CEUs will be due for your inaugural reporting period
Full CEUs required
If you become certified during the second half of the reporting period or "the odd year"
Then no CEUs will be due for your inaugural reporting period
Full CEUs required

Note: If you fail to maintain your AFC credential by reporting the required CEUs during the two-year reporting period, your status will be listed as “lapsed” for a maximum period of six months with an approved extension application. You must pay extension fees and obtain the required number of CEUs in order to reinstate your AFC credential within the extension period. If you do not comply with the reinstatement requirements within the maximum period of six months, the council will revoke the AFC credential.

Earning Additional Post-Certification Credentials (Transition)


There are specific CEU requirements for AFCPE certified professionals adding AFCPE certifications.

Your Inaugural Reporting Period (even year + odd year)Subsequent Reporting Periods
If you are an AFC earning your CHC
If you transition during the first half of the reporting period or "the even year"
All AFC CEUs (30) + 7.5 additional CEUs to fulfill CHC requirements
45 CEUs required for CHC
If you transition during the second half of the reporting period or "the odd year"
Only AFC CEUs (30)  will be required until the following reporting period
45 CEUs required for CHC
If you are an ACC earning your AFC
If you transition during the first half of the reporting period or "the even year"
All AFC CEUs (15) + 7.5 additional CEUs to fulfill AFC requirements
30 CEUs required for AFC
If you transition during the second half of the reporting period or "the odd year"
Only AFC CEUs (15)  will be required until the following reporting period
30 CEUs required for AFC
If you are an ACC, AFC or CHC earning your FFC
The total number of CEUs required remains the same as for your previous certification
Now 5 of your total CEUs must be financially coaching related
5 CEUs of your requirement must relate to financial coaching
If you are an ACC, AFC or CHC earning your APFC
The total number of CEUs required remains the same as for your previous certification
Now 10 of your total CEUs must be financially coaching related
10 CEUs of your requirement must relate to financial coaching

Accepted CEU Activity Types and Requirements


Programs must pertain to personal finance subject matter, must enhance your ability and expertise, and must meet the requirements of your certification.

Examples of Accepted Subject Matter

Behavioral Training
Budgeting
Counseling Theory
Credit
Education Theory and Skill Development
Estate Planning / Retirement
Financial Coaching
Financial Practice and Business Management
Insurance
Housing
Retirement
Tax
CEU Type*Activity*CEU Credits Allowed

AFCPE® Annual Symposium and Pre-Conference

  • Attendee
  • Presenter
  • Live Stream or recording
  • 15 CEUs/year
  • 5 CEUs/year
  • Based on available programming

Non-AFCPE® conferences or local professional financial training

Attendee20 CEUs/reporting period

On-the-Job Training

Personal finance workplace training that enhances knowledge or skills as an AFCPE® Certificant (policy and field updates on topics such as credit, debt, retirement, etc.)

Training regarding an organization’s operations, policies and procedures do not apply.

Based on contact hours: 5 CEUs/year or 10 CEUs/reporting period — first time only

Webinars

Participate in web-based financial trainings with instructor15 CEUs/reporting period (approval calculated based on hours and content)

Research and Publishing

  • Publish article for AFCPE blog on related financial counseling topic
    Submission Guidelines
    Editor Contact: rdeleon@afcpe.org
  • Publish a newsletter article or book review in AFCPE newsletter
    Submission Guidelines
    Editor Contact: ladjill@me.com
  • Publish journal articles for personal finance, financial counseling or education
    Submission Guidelines
    Editor Contact: jfcp.editor@gmail.com
  • 3 CEUs/article
    (6 CEUs/reporting period)
  • 3 CEUs/article
    (6 CEUs/reporting period)
  • 6 CEUs/article
    (12 CEUs/reporting period)

AFCPE® Member Opportunities

  • AFCPE® Journal Reviewer
  • Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning (JFCP) Quiz
  • AFCPE® Reviewer (symposium submission, awards, military spouse fellowship applications, scholarships)
  • 3 CEUs/year
    (6 CEUs/reporting period)
  • 2 CEUs/quiz
    (8 CEUs/reporting period)
  • 2 CEUs/review
    (8 CEUs/reporting period)

Education

  • College-level personal finance, financial counseling or education course (attending)
  • Self-guided training programs with established coursework that includes a measurable evaluation of comprehension and continued learning
  • 10 CEUs/course
    (20 CEUs/reporting period)
  • 5 CEUs with confirmation of successful completion
    (10 CEUs/reporting period)

Instruction

  • Lead an AFCPE® webinar session on a financial topic (develop and present)
  • Develop new financial education curriculum
  • Teach a new personal finance or financial counseling course or workshop (not within job description)
  • 15 CEUs/reporting period
  • 15 CEUs/reporting period
  • 15 CEUs/reporting period

Ethics

Ethics or practice standards training10 CEUs/reporting period

Professional Designations

  • AFCPE® certifications
  • Outside professional designations
  • ACCtm to AFC®
    5 CEUs in year of completion

    AFC® to CHC®
    5 CEUs in year of completion

    FFC®
    5 CEUs in year of completion

    APFC™
    10 CEUs in year of completion

  • AFCPE® certification to CFP® ChFC, CPA, CFA - 10 CEUs in year of completion

*Rigor is determined by the breadth and depth of the program material, to ensure its enhancement to the counselor's financial knowledge and skills.

Approval Process and Forms


All forms are available at myAFCPE. CEU approval forms are not required until after your certification is completed and official. You may submit your approval forms before or after the requested program; however, approvals do require proof of participation for CEU credit. Please use separate approval forms for each program.

Individual Approval Process

  • Request CEUs using the Individual CEU form at myAFCPE.
  • AFCPE will review and accept or deny your request via email within seven days. You are responsible for retaining documentation of the request and the response for your records.
  • If you receive pre-approval, you must then submit verification of your participation.
  • All CEU approval requests must be submitted within six months of program completion.

Note: If you are attending a conference that is not pre-approved, please submit a conference agenda and a list of all the sessions you will attend.

Group Approval Process

  • If several AFCPE certified individuals are planning to attend an event together, a representative of the group may submit the Group CEU form and a detailed program agenda at myAFCPE.
  • AFCPE will review the request, assign a number of CEU credits, and forward a CEU confirmation email to ceu@afcpe.org.
  • Following the conference or workshop (or prior to it), each individual certificant must submit an Individual CEU form.
  • You must also submit proof of participation (code phrase, a certificate, test score, submissions, confirmation of completion from host, or other confirmations of participation).

Professional Program Development Listings

For an additional fee, you may request to have your training listed in AFCPE’s Professional Development programming calendar and receive promotion through social media and email blasts. Apply via the Group CEU Form located at myAFCPE.

CEU Questions?

We can help. Submit questions to ceu@afcpe.org.

Reporting and Evaluation Process

Quarterly reports are sent via email to each certified professional for the current reporting period. The report includes a summary of your CEU records.

Audits

The AFCPE office may randomly select CEU reports for audit each reporting period.

An audited certificant will be asked to submit proof of attendance and, if pre-approval was requested and granted, the CEU approval form or notice provided by the AFCPE office.

Certificants are required to keep proper records and documentation.  

Certification Reinstatement

As outlined above, if annual fees and CEU requirements are not met, and an extension request has not been submitted and approved, the credential will be revoked and re-certification will be required.

Trademark User Guidelines


AFCPE®’s certification marks represent the highest standards of excellence in the field of financial counseling and are valuable assets of AFCPE. Professionals authorized by AFCPE to use its certification marks benefit from both our long history of high ethical and educational standards and the public recognition of AFCPE’s certification marks as symbols of professional accomplishment. Please help uphold the value of the trademarks by adhering to strict use and reproduction guidelines.

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