Professional certification in financial services (Ofer Abarbanel online library)

Within the finance industry, professional designations have served as external validation of expertise for decades,[1] and the literature supports the importance of these professional designations within the larger finance community. As the field of finance has increased in complexity in recent years, the number of available designations has also increased. Correspondingly, some will have more recognition than others.[1][2]

Following is a partial list of professional certifications in financial services; see Category:Professional certification in finance for all articles. Note that in the US, many state securities and insurance regulators do not allow financial professionals to use a designation —in particular a “senior” designation — unless it has been accredited by either the American National Standards Institute or the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. [3]

Accredited Financial Analyst

The Accredited Financial Analyst (AFA) designation is a certification mark for financial analysts conferred by the GAFM Board of Standards. To receive authorization to use the designation, the candidate must meet education, examination, experience and ethics requirements, and pay an ongoing certification fee. The GAFM AFA program is a TUV Accredited and ISO certified 9001 and ISO certified 29990 training program. [4]

Certified Financial Planner

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation is a certification mark for financial planners conferred by the CFP Board of Standards. To receive authorization to use the designation, the candidate must meet education, examination, experience and ethics requirements, and pay an ongoing certification fee.

Certified Investment Professional

The Certified Investment Professional (CIP) designation is a financial certification for professionals in securities operations and financial services; it is conferred by the Foundation CIP. To receive authorization to use the designation, the candidate must complete the CIP Program, meet education, examination, defend and present a thesis, and pay an ongoing permanent education fee.

Certified Treasury Professional

Main article: Certified Treasury Professional

The Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) designation is a certification for treasurers, cash managers, treasury managers, and other treasury-related professionals administered by the Bethesda, Maryland-based Association for Financial Professionals (AFP). The CTP was formerly known as the Certified Cash Manager or CCM designation but was renamed due to treasury’s increasing role in managing the entire balance sheet and implementing the strategic direction prescribed by Chief Financial Officers. The CTP certification is held by over 20,000 finance professionals and is considered the certification in the treasury management profession.

Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst

The Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst (CAIA) designation is a financial certification for investment professionals conferred by the Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst. Candidates must complete two examinations in succession and pay an ongoing certification fee to retain rights to use the financial designation.

Chartered Financial Analyst

Th Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a post-graduate professional qualification offered internationally by the American-based CFA Institute. The program covers a considerably wide range of topics relating to advanced investment management and security analysis – thus economics, financial analysis, corporate finance, alternative investments and portfolio management – and provides a generalist knowledge of other areas of finance. Candidates must complete three examinations in succession and pay an ongoing certification fee to retain rights to use the financial designation.

Certificate in Quantitative Finance

The Certificate in Quantitative Finance (CQF) is an online part-time financial engineering program. It can be completed as a single six month program or split into two three-month levels. It is designed for in-depth training for individuals in derivatives, IT, quantitative trading, insurance, model validation or risk management. The program’s focus is on the practical implementation of techniques (“real-world quantitative finance”); it thus incorporates an element of questioning and analyzing models and methods. It was founded by Paul Wilmott.

Certified International Investment Analyst

Certified International Investment Analyst CIIA is an internationally recognised advanced professional qualification for individuals working in the finance and investment industry.

Chartered Financial Analyst

Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is a professional designation offered by the CFA Institute (formerly known as AIMR) to financial analysts who complete a series of three examinations and work for at least four years in the investment decision making process. CFA charterholders are also obliged to adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and Standards governing their professional conduct.

Corporate Finance Foundations

Corporate Finance Foundations (CFF) is a professional designation for employees in corporate finance in various divisions (Financial analysis, ECM, DCM, M&A, LBO, Private Equity, Project finance, etc.), delivered by First Finance Institute. Its program covers the essentials of Financial Analysis (cash flow and earnings analysis, investments, etc).

Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner

The Fellow Chartered Financial Practitioner (FChFP) designation is a financial planning designation issued by the Asia Pacific Financial Services Association (APFinSA). The designation was developed by the National Association of Malaysian Life Insurance and Financial Adviors (NAMLIFA) in 1996 and later on adopted by APFinSA (of which NAMLIFA is a member) in 2001 as the flagship designation for its 11 member associations.

Financial Risk Manager

The Financial Risk Manager (FRM) is an international professional certification in risk management offered by GARP (The Global Association of Risk Professionals). [5] [6] [7] The coverage is over two papers: [8][9]

  • Part I; the tools used to assess financial risk: Foundations of Risk Management, Quantitative Analysis, Financial Markets and Products, Valuation and Risk Models.
  • Part II; application: Market Risk Measurement and Management, Credit Risk Measurement and Management, Operational- and Integrated Risk Management, Risk Management and Investment Management, Current Issues in Financial Markets.

Certificants are in more than 190 countries and territories worldwide,[9] and have taken an average of two years to earn their Certification. [10] The curriculum is updated annually by risk professionals employed internationally at major institutions, including regulators.[undue weight? – discuss][9] Given this coverage FRMs are employed both at major banks (Bank of America, Bank of China, ICBC…) and at corporates (Goldman Sachs, KPMG, Deloitte, PIMCO, JP Morgan, BlackRock..). [6][11] [12] [13] [14][15]

Master Financial Planner

The Master Financial Planner (MFP) designation is a certification mark for college educated wealth planners conferred by the GAFM Board of Standards. To receive authorization to use the designation, the candidate must meet education, AACSB or ACBSP accredited college examinations, experience and ethics requirements, and pay an ongoing good standing fee.[16] Since 2003, this designation has required an ACBSP nationally accredited exams, courses and a degree. The ACBSP path to achieve the MFP Master Financial Planner certification requires accredited education that is recognized by the CHEA and US Government unless you take an accredited course. The Global Academy of Finance and Management is TUV Accredited and ISO Certified 9001 and ISO Certified 29990 for Training.

Master Financial Controller

The Master Financial Controller (MFC) designation is a certification mark for financial professionals engaged at the senior level of corporate finance, such as in the role of a CFO, Financial Controller or Financial Director for industry. The qualification is conferred by the GAFM Certification Board. Candidates must sit an executive conversion program, have at least 7 years working experience and pass a rigorous exam to qualify.[16]

Professional Risk Manager

The Professional Risk Manager (PRM), offered by PRMIA, emphasizes the skills and knowledge required within the risk management profession, and financial risk management more particularly; it additionally requires a commitment to professional ethics. Its coverage, structure and recognition are similar to the FRM.[2][1]

Registered Financial Planner

Registered Financial Planner (RFP) refers to one of several separate designations in financial planning; there is currently no connection between these.

  • In Canada, the R.F.P. designation is conferred by the Institute of Advanced Financial Planners. To become an R.F.P. in Canada, candidates must pass exams, submit a sample comprehensive financial plan and meet education and experience requirements.
  • In Malaysia, the Registered Financial Planner (RFP) designation is conferred by the Malaysian Financial Planning Council (MFPC). It is one of the recognised qualification by the Securities Commission and Bank Negara Malaysia for those wishing to apply for a financial planner or financial adviser licence. See Financial Planners in Malaysia.
  • In the United States, the RFP designation is offered by the Registered Financial Planners Institute.
  • In Hong Kong, the Society of Registered Financial Planners offers the HKRFP, valid in Hong Kong and China.

Chartered Development Finance Analyst

A chartered development finance analyst (CDFA) is a specialist in development finance theory and practice that has been professionally accredited by the Chartered Institute of Development Finance; the professional association which engages with academic institutions, development finance institutions, and support agencies to support and maintain ethical conduct and professionalism in the development finance discipline globally. It is the highest professional qualification for development finance practitioners.

Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst

A Financial Modeling & Valuation Analyst (FMVA) has completed all the courses and requirements set by the Corporate Finance Institute to obtain the designation. The program focuses heavily on applications of corporate finance that include financial modeling, valuation, analysis, Excel, presentations, and other topics.


  1. ^ Jump up to:ab c Ernest N. Biktimirov (2012). Global Alphabet Soup: Internationally Recognized Professional Designations in Finance, Journal of Financial Education 38 (3/4), Fall/Winter 2012, 18-32
  2. ^ Jump up to:ab The Rise of the Chief Risk Officer, Institutional Investor (March 2017).
  3. ^accredited-designations, FINRA.
  4. ^“The GAFM Global Academy of Finance and Management”. Retrieved 2016-05-17.
  5. ^SEC(Securities and Exchange Commission),
  6. ^ Jump up to:ab The Global Association of Risk Professionals,!/frm/
  7. ^Linkedin,
  8. ^GARP Buy Side Risk Managers Forum –Risk Principles for Asset Managers(2015.6.11)
  9. ^ Jump up to:ab c Official Candidate Guide,
  10. ^GARP Frequently-Asked-Questions -EXAM regulations-,!/frm/frequently-asked-questions
  11. ^Wallstreetmojo official FRM salary,
  12. ^Chen, Liyan. “2015 Global 2000: The World’s Largest Banks”, Forbes Magazine.
  13. ^The Benefits of Professional Certification, William May William May Senior Vice President,
  14. ^iactglobal(2010. 5.)
  15. ^2012 Financial RiskManager Roadshow,
  16. ^ Jump up to:abAAFM Board of Standards


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