RFA® RFC® Continuing Education Information
The IARFC By-Laws Requirement. It is the firm conviction of the IARFC that the ongoing pursuit of continuing education by the professional financial consultant is critical in a social and economic environment that is ever-changing. The knowledge learned in the classroom or in the pursuit of a professional designation will grow stale, and even dangerous, if it is not enhanced by a commitment to continued learning.
The IARFC recognizes that the delivery of financial analysis and service to consumers also encompasses ethical and effective marketing; the use of tools and procedures; and the efficient administration of a financial practice.
It is the responsibility of every financial consultant designee to continue their professional education and to maintain appropriate records to substantiate this significant performance.
A PDF can be downloaded here - CE Record Keeping Form
- Each RFA®/RFC® designee must complete 40 units of professional continuing education (CE) every two years.
4 hours must be related to ethics and the ethical practices of a professional financial consultant.
- 36 hours from one or more of the accepted subject topics.
The IARFC believes that in order to effectively counsel and serve clients, it is necessary for the financial consultant to aggressively maintain professional skills and knowledge.
Unit Definition. Each unit of continuing education is 50 minutes of attendance or application.
Certification. With each bi-annual renewal, the designee must assert that 40 units have been successfully completed. Certificants may request a waiver of the CE requirement, but such waiver is subject to review by the IARFC. All requests for waivers must be accompanied by documentation supporting the waiver request.
Acceptable Topics. All subjects that relate to the development and provision of financial planning and counseling services are acceptable. Eligibility is not restricted to merely technical issues, but also includes how the practitioner delivers service. This includes software, Internet research, calculations, service and office operations. All aspects of personal finance, cash flow, securities, investments, insurance, banking, budgeting, estate planning, business and advisory ethics, business administration, and the legal and psychological relationships with clients are acceptable. Topic pre-approval is not required by the IARFC, however all topics must directly relate to the professional work of a financial consultant.
Non-Acceptable Topics. Organizational meetings or specific sales management sessions offered by an insurance or investment company that review product details, placement procedures, operational supervision or performance are not acceptable.
Calendar Year Recording. Commencing with the second calendar year following receipt of the designation, and continuing bi-annually thereafter, each IARFC designee must meet the CE requirements.
Record Retention. The designee must maintain CE records for two calendar years beyond the year in question. After that, records may be discarded.
CE Audit Procedure. The IARFC will conduct random audits of designees for CE records and may do so upon challenge. During the audit, a designee will be requested to provide evidence of CE compliance that may include records, certificates, or other evidence that substantiates CE completion.
IARFC Continuing Education Approved Study Methods.
- Provider Presentations. Many investment and insurance organizations present training sessions that consist of professional content, training as to the proper application of products and how their product may be used/sold. Generally, the time allocation is 2 to 1 (education to administration) - which may be used to measure units. However, frequently the entire instruction time is devoted to financial applications rather than product delivery. Normally, the presentation subject title will indicate the content. Presenters receive the same credits as attendees.
- Professional Conferences. Any professional educational event that is accepted by another licensing organization, such as PACE, bar association, accountancy board, FINRA, and for any state insurance or securities licensing is fully acceptable. Instructors and presenters receive the same credits as attendees.
- Association Meetings. Educational components of association meetings (i.e. IARFC, NAIFA, SFSP, AICPA, FPA, AALU, MDRT) are on time allocation. IARFC live conferences will approve 2 CE units for every 50 minute session, 1 CE unit per 25 minutes.
- Internet and Computer-Based Courses. These qualify in full, subject to the published CE amount advertised by the presenter or institution.
- Academic Courses. Designees receive 10 units per semester credit, 7 per quarter credit for each course. Instructors, teachers and presenters receive the same credits as students and attendees.
- Authoring Credit. A person may receive up to 12 hours of CE credit per reporting period for the publication of articles or books authored by such person. Articles and books must deal with matters directly related to the business of financial planning and consulting. An article must be published in a generally known and recognized state or national publication. Such credit must be accompanied by proof of authorship and publication. Professional articles receive 4 units each. Book authors receive 12 units.
- Professional Self-Study. Maximum 20 units bi-annually
- Five units may be claimed for studying a business-related book, maximum 15 units.
- Academic journals 3 units each, maximum 15 units.
- Trade publications 2 units each, maximum 10 units.
- No credit for reading general magazines.
- Retention of study notes and/or tests or quizzes required