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FINRA Named CFP Board CE Partner

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The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards said Wednesday that it has named the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority one of its Quality Continuing Education (CE) partners, offering CFP professionals nearly 60 CE courses.

The courses, which are available online and in half-credit hour increments, cover topics such as anti-money laundering, communications with the public, cybersecurity and senior investor issues.

The CFP Board currently authorizes more than 77,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S. Each CFP must complete a minimum of 30 CE hours every two years as part of the requirements for renewal of certification.

The effort is part of FINRA360, a self-evaluation program that FINRA’s CEO Robert Cook announced earlier this year.

FINRA administers CE courses through two programs – the Firm Element and the Regulatory Element.

Courses available for CFP professionals will be offered through the Firm Element program, which requires broker-dealers to establish a formal training program to keep covered registered persons up to date on job- and product-related subjects.

The Regulatory Element program focuses on compliance, regulatory, ethical and sales-practice standards.

“CFP Board and FINRA have a long history of working together to protect investors and ensure compliance,” said Kevin Keller, CFP Board CEO, in a statement. “We are pleased to now have FINRA on board as a Quality CE partner, offering top-notch CE courses that are timely and informative.”

The CE Quality Partner program is part of the multiyear CE Quality Initiative that CFP Board’s Board of Directors approved, with the goal of assuring that CFP professionals have access to a variety of quality CE opportunities that are diverse in their content, format and delivery, the Board said.

The CFP Board noted that it has implemented “several phases” of the initiative, focused on improvements to CE standards identified by the Council for Education to better align the CFP Board with industry best practices.

FINRA has demonstrated “a commitment to developing continuing education programs that meet a high set of standards outlined” by the CFP Board.

“Recognizing the large number of Certified Financial Planner professionals in the securities industry — who often seek out training that also satisfies continuing education requirements — we have worked with CFP Board to make our e-learning program more useful,” said Cook, in a statement. “This initiative could lead to new offerings for FINRA-registered firms and CFP professionals, and reflects our continuous efforts to improve training, compliance tools and other services.”

— Check out CFPs Can Now Earn CE Credits Under IRS Tax Prep Programs on ThinkAdvisor.