In a major policy shift, the CFP Board plans to grant continuing education (CE) credit for technology programs. The CFP Board has not historically granted CE for programs on computer hardware and software. This policy was based upon the fact that their list of Principal Knowledge topics does not include technology hardware and software. Given the fact that an advisor cannot competently serve a client today without technology, the CFP Board’s previous stance of technology education has become increasingly difficult to defend. The new Code and Standards have opened the door for the CFP Board to change their policy.
The Principle Knowledge topics do include ethical and practice standards. The CFP Board’s new Code and Standards addresses technology in the practice of financial planning. So, as a result of the new Standards, examples of technology that are now being accepted for CE include:
Some topics that will not be considered for CE Credit include:
Some topics that are allowed under the new guidelines, for example cybersecurity, can still be declined credit if they are primarily of a practice management nature, and not client focused. Here are examples of topics that would be denied credit:
Here at T3, we would like to extend our sincere thanks to Susan John, the Chair of the CFP Board. We are aware that she was instrumental in finally according the topic of technology the status it has long deserved. There are a number of others who I am sure were instrumental in achieving this policy change. We thank all of you.
While the granting of CE credit is a welcome first step in updating the CFP Board’s policies concerning technology, there is still work to be done. We would argue that the Principal Knowledge Topics list needs to be expanded. The CFP Board will have an opportunity to do so in 2020 when their next practice analysis takes place. The role of technology in the university CFP programs needs to be expanded as well. It is understandable that these changes will take a bit longer to achieve, but we are gratified to see that there is some real momentum to better align the body of knowledge that the CFP Board recognizes with what is actually going on in the real world. As someone who has been advocating for 20 years for this change in policy, it is very gratifying to see it finally come to fruition.