Education Program for the CLU Designation

The education program for the CLU is broken up into two separate parts. The first part consists of the Advocis Financial Planning Fundamentals Program for CLU® Certification. This program consists of 12 individual modules designed to provide a base of financial knowledge that is needed to proceed on to the more in depth CLU designation specific courses.

You may apply for “Recognition of External Designations” to be exempt from completion requirements for the Advocis Financial Planning Fundamentals Program for CLU® Certification if you hold one of the following professional qualifications in good standing: CFP, QAFP, F.Pl. (Pl.Fin), CFA, CPA (or equivalent). Click for details.

The second part of the education program for the CLU is the three CLU Designation Courses. The three CLU courses focus on the areas of advanced concepts in tax & law for personal planning, tax and legal principles for businesses and their owners, and advanced estate planning.

  • Financial Planning Profession & Financial Services Industry Regulation – 911
  • Financial Analysis – 912
  • Credit and Debt – 913
  • Registered Retirement Plans – 914
  • Government Benefit Plans – 915
  • Registered Education and Disability Plans – 916
  • Economics – 917
  • Investments – 918
  • Taxation – 919
  • Law – 920
  • Insurance – 921
  • Human Behaviour – 922
  • Advanced Concepts in Tax & Law for Personal Planning – 255
  • Tax & Legal Principles for Business and their Owners – 256
  • Advanced Estate Planning – 257

Course Descriptions:

Financial Planning Profession & Financial Services Industry Regulation – 911

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess knowledge that will instill and maintain the trust of Canadians, including the knowledge required to articulate their professional responsibilities as financial planning professionals; identify and explain the role of relevant regulatory and oversight bodies in securities and insurance; and explain the framework and regulations that are in place to protect Canadians from such threats as the insolvency of a financial institution, unwanted communications and financial abuse and scams.

Financial Analysis – 912

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess the knowledge that will allow them to clearly document, analyze, project and present financial information related to an individual’s goals, needs and priorities. Such knowledge will aid professionals to explain the time value of money; make financial projections to determine the achievability of goals; and evaluate how an individual’s current and projected cash flow—including that from their business—may impact their ability to meet their goals.

Credit and Debt – 913

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess the knowledge that will allow them to assess an individual’s credit worthiness and determine suitable credit facilities. They should also be able to determine optimal debt repayment strategies, including the impact that changes to strategies may have on the individual’s debt level, amortization, cash flow and ability to achieve their goals. In addition, they should be able to identify appropriate options and professionals who can help delinquent and insolvent debtors.

Registered Retirement Plans – 914

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess knowledge of the mechanics of registered retirement savings and income plans so that they may evaluate and recommend tax-efficient wealth accumulation and decumulation strategies that will aid individuals in reaching their retirement goals.

Government Benefit Plans – 915

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess detailed knowledge related to the eligibility for, benefits available, and factors to consider in evaluating decisions to apply for and commence benefits available to individuals through Canada’s government benefit programs (including the Canada Pension Plan, Old Age Security, Employment Insurance and the Canada Child Benefit). A high-level understanding of workers’ compensation and income assistance programs complements such knowledge and ensures that professionals are capable of competently advising individuals when they experience life events such as the birth of a child, unemployment, illness, disability and retirement.

Registered Education and Disability Plans – 916

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess expert knowledge of the intricacies of Registered Education Savings Plans (RESP) and Registered Disability Savings Plans (RDSP) so that they may evaluate and recommend optimal strategies to achieve education-related goals and goals for individuals with a disability.

Economics – 917

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess a working knowledge of the Canadian economy, including identifying and explaining the indicators that may signal the past, current or future phase of the economic cycle. All professionals are expected to be able to use the foundational knowledge of demand and supply to trace the expected (or explain the past) impact of world events and fiscal and monetary policy on economic variables, including an individual’s investment values.

Investments – 918

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess knowledge to allow them to create an appropriate asset allocation for an individual given their investment objectives and constraints (including return expectations and willingness, capacity and need for risk) and evaluate investments that are suitable for the individual. Their knowledge will also enable them to interpret the return and risk of an individual’s investment portfolio, as well as help an individual make sense of their investment statements, including the impact that changing investment values may have on achieving their goals.

Taxation – 919

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess knowledge to allow them to complete and interpret an individual’s basic personal tax return, including identifying and explaining the income tax assessment rules for individuals, explaining the tax implications of how different types of income received by individuals may be taxed, and identifying the tax deductions and credits for which an individual may be eligible. They should further be able to identify and estimate the benefit of engaging in foundational income splitting strategies.

Law – 920

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess knowledge related to Wills and Powers of Attorney that will ensure they can evaluate if such documents align with the individual’s wishes, and where appropriate, advise the individual to seek professional legal advice to update those documents. Their knowledge will also allow them to explain the implications associated with sole and joint ownership of personal property (both while the owners are living and upon their deaths) and the characteristics, advantages and disadvantages of business ownership structures.

Insurance – 921

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess general knowledge of property and casualty insurance products, government and private health care insurance plans and creditor insurance. Their knowledge includes estimating the life and disability insurance needs for an individual, as well as understanding the importance of the common contractual terms contained within life and disability insurance policies. Their expected knowledge will allow them to differentiate between term and permanent insurance and explain the purpose of critical illness and long-term care insurance.

Human Behaviour – 922

Financial Services professionals are expected to possess knowledge related to how the brain works and makes decisions, including the values, heuristics, emotions and disorders related to money that an individual brings to the decision-making process. Professionals should understand the stages of individual change and what may motivate or inhibit an individual in making change. They should also understand how their actions and communications may garner or hinder trust.

Advanced Concepts in Tax & Law For Personal Planning – 255

This course focuses on wealth transfer and estate planning strategies for individuals and families. Descriptions of law and tax structures lead to discussions on applicable financial planning approaches for individuals and families. Learning objectives include: The use of life insurance and living benefits to manage personal risks and wealth preservation, the creation of trusts and other instruments to ensure the orderly transfer of individual wealth, the examination of the special tax reporting obligations facing individuals who enter or leave Canada, and the examination of client objectives and responsibilities at death including tax and legal obligations and how they can be reconciled to the wealth transfer and estate planning intentions of the testator.

Tax and Legal Principles for Businesses and their Owners – 256

This course focuses on wealth transfer and estate planning strategies for businesses and business owners. Learning objectives include: A description of the legal and tax implications of certain business structures, specifically sole proprietorships, partnerships and corporations with particular attention to tax planning strategies and the issues to be addressed at the sale or transfer of the business or at the death of a principal, a special focus on the tax complexities present in the operation of a corporation, the approaches to identify, apply, and synthesize appropriate income tax techniques used to restructure a corporation, and the consideration of planning strategies for the orderly and tax-efficient of business wealth at retirement or upon death.

Advanced Estate Planning – 257

This course is the culmination of all the courses in the CLU program. The course is designed to help financial advisors hone their skills in working with the client to develop a comprehensive estate plan that addresses all of the client’s objectives and obligations. Learning objectives include: To analyze the client’s financial status and overall estate planning objectives, to explain the advantages and disadvantages of different estate planning strategies and contrast them with one another, to consider planning strategies involving the use of inter vivos and testamentary trusts, and to assess the need for life insurance in order to support the estate plan and recommend alternative insurance strategies.