National certification and professional oversight body, FP Canada announced March 21 that it is expanding its education offering to develop the first of its kind, end-to-end certification training – now including technical education, as well – for those interested in obtaining Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Qualified Associate Financial Planner (QAFP) credentials.

Prior to the announcement, those pursuing certification could obtain their professional education from the FP Canada Institute – this professional training includes work on ethics, behavioural skills and how to have conversations with clients – but those interested in challenging the necessary exams needed to complete coursework through either a national provider of technical education certified by FP Canada, or through colleges and universities across Canada offering the technical education component.

The body of knowledge needed to effectively challenge the requisite exams is now being covered in technical curriculum offered by the FP Canada Institute, as well.

Leading the new initiative is industry veteran, Alexandra Macqueen. The recognized expert in financial planning is a CFP herself, published author of two books, personal finance educator and longstanding industry commentator. (Macqueen has worked with the likes of Moshe Milevsky and David Field in her writing, has edited technical curriculum extensively, has taught personal finance to senior undergraduates and MBA students and has worked as a client-facing advisor.)

Most recently serving as FP Canada’s director of content development for the FP Canada Institute, Macqueen will head the institute, effective April 1, as FP Canada’s newly appointed vice president of learning development and professional practice.

The new direction for the FP Canada Institute, “establishes the institute as the single source solution for unmatched technical and professional financial planning proficiency,” FP Canada states in its announcement about the expansion. They add that the decision to expand was driven by demand from both aspiring financial planners and from the broader financial services industry.

“The level of enthusiasm for this is outstanding. It’s very, very encouraging,” Macqueen told the Insurance Portal following the institute’s announcement. “I think it will be a transformative project for FP Canada.” 

She adds that a project of this magnitude is an extension of the institute’s mandate to elevate the practice of financial planning. “We’re going to elevate the practice of financial planning by delivering career ready candidates to the career starting line. That is the goal of the institute.”