What is the PFA?

The Professional Financial Advisor (PFA™) designation was created to meet the everyday demands of the professional advisor. With practice-based training in a real-world environment, the PFA focuses on practice development, technical knowledge and compliance & ethics to help newer advisors get a successful head start while also empowering existing advisors to fine-tune the primary building blocks of their business.

The PFA designation is conferred in Canada exclusively by The Institute for Advanced Financial Education.

The Professional Financial Advisor (PFA™) is an approved designation for use of the title Financial Advisor in Ontario.

CE Requirements

A minimum of 20 continuing education (CE) credits must be completed in each calendar year, one of which must be from a recognized Ethics program. Any deficiency in one year must be made up by the end of the next calendar year in addition to the requirement for the current year.

Within these 20 credits, a minimum of 10 CE credits must be accredited by The Institute; a maximum of 10 CE credits can be approved by The Institute.

PFA Designation Fee

The PFA designation fee for 2024 is $299 plus applicable taxes.

PFA Designation Renewal

The PFA designation must be renewed annually with The Institute. Ongoing maintenance requirements include payment of an annual designation licensing fee, completion of an annual continuing education (CE) requirement, and adherence to the Code of Professional Conduct. PFA designation holders who fail to renew their PFA designation or fail to meet ongoing requirements on an annual basis will lose their rights to publicly promote themselves as having the PFA and will have the designation revoked.

The renewal term for the PFA designation ends December 31 of each renewal cycle. PFA designation holders failing to renew their PFA by January 31 of the renewing year will lose their rights to publicly promote themselves as having the PFA and will have their designation revoked.

All designation licensing fees must be submitted to The Institute with the appropriate renewal form by no later than January 31 of the renewal year.

The annual licensing fee for the PFA designation for 2024 is $299 plus applicable taxes

*Please note: If you obtained your PFA designation in 2023, you are not required to start earning continuing education credits until 2024. Institute designation holders are exempt from CE requirements in the calendar year in which they obtained their designation.

PFA Designation Reinstatement Policy

Designation holders who fail to renew their PFA designation by January 31 of the licensing year will have forfeited their rights to continue to use the designation mark and will be considered a lapsed designation holder, or not in good standing. For lapsed designation holders applying for reinstatement, continuing education must be completed during the period of a lapsed designation and proof of completed CE must be provided before reinstatement can occur.

Where a designation holder has been terminated or suspended as a result of disciplinary action, the individual’s designation and authorization to hold themselves out as having an Institute designation will be reinstated at the discretion of the Board of Trustees once the term of the suspension or termination has passed.