Experienced individuals seeking CFP certification have a new option to pursue and can also qualify under expanded criteria, the CFP Board announced.

Two changes will come into effect by July, the industry standards organization said -- an alternative capstone course, and a broadened definition of experience requirements.

“These initiatives now recognize the quality of experience that many aspiring CFP professionals have in the industry, while retaining the high standards the certification is known for,” said Ray Ferrara, chair of CFP Board’s Board of Directors.

Candidates who meet the organizations' experience requirements and "challenge status" -- attainment of previous graduate degrees or professional certifications that are accepted in lieu of completing CFP certification coursework -- will be allowed to choose an alternative capstone. The option involves submitting a comprehensive financial plan to CFP professional reviewers for assessment.

The organization is also broadening its scope of experience that could be considered for partial or full qualifying credit for certification. "New experience positions or duties that are eligible, such as employee benefits administration, financial planning compliance, or journalism (financial planning topics) will be considered on a case by case basis," it said.

All other requirements for initial certification will remain the same, the organization noted.

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