Professional Financial Advisor Program – Frequently Asked Questions

Professional Financial Advisor Program – Frequently Asked Questions


Who is the PFA for?

The Professional Financial Advisor program is designed for newer advisors as well as those who are established practitioners. Designed to meet the everyday demands of an advisor’s practice, the program is focused on the disciplines of financial planning, practice development, compliance & regulatory topics, ethics and professional standards.

What does the program structure look like?

The PFA is an integrated, 4-course program that will engage candidates in actively strengthening practice development skills; deepening technical financial planning and regulatory knowledge; incorporating ethical practices into a sustainable financial advisory business; as well as developing sales, business and marketing skills. Candidates will be assessed via a series of exams and a final comprehensive exam.

Are the courses delivered via classroom or online?

All courses, including assessments, are delivered online.

Are there course equivalencies?

Individuals who complete any of the Advocis Financial Planning Program modules qualify for exemptions from the corresponding FP module(s) within the PFA program courses.

How does the PFA differ from the CLU®, CFP® or CHS™?

This designation is unique and distinct from the CLU®, CFP® and CHS™. It is designed to bridge technical financial planning knowledge, regulatory responsibilities and ethics to real-world practice.

Are there prerequisites to the PFA designation program?

There are no required prerequisites.

Is there a deadline to complete all four PFA courses?

Yes. Each course has a six-month term. The exception is if a course extension has been purchased. This will be added on to the course term. For more details, please see our extension policy

Will I be able to cancel my registration?

Yes. Please click here for cancellation policy.

What are my options if I do not successfully complete my course within the course term?

If you have not finished all of the assessments within the course term, you can apply for an extension. For more details, please visit our Policies page.

Can I complete the four PFA courses in any order?

You must complete each course in the prescribed order.

Will I receive any CE credits after completing the PFA courses?

Yes. CE credits will be issued via your CE Tracker upon successful completion of each PFA course. Please refer to each course description for CE credit details.

When will I receive my PFA designation?

Once you have completed the PFA Designation Program and Final Comprehensive Exam, you will be provided with the PFA Designation Holder’s Agreement which you must complete, sign and return. Once the agreement has been processed and approved, you will be notified when you can begin using the designation.

What are the CE requirements for maintaining my PFA designation?

The PFA designation is conferred in Canada exclusively by The Institute for Advanced Financial Education. Click here for CE requirements.

Final Comprehensive Exam

Do I have to register to write the Final Comprehensive Exam?

Yes. Once you have completed all four PFA courses, you have to purchase and register to write the Final Comprehensive Exam.

When do I have to take the Final Comprehensive Exam?

The Final Comprehensive Exam is scheduled four times a year (February, May, August and November). You are required to select the exam that is scheduled closest to your successful completion of Course 4: Fine Tuning your Practice and The Value of Advice.

What if I am not successful in passing the Final Comprehensive Exam?

Please click here for Final Comprehensive Exam Rewrite policy.