Effective immediately, requirements for the RFA® and the RFC® designations have been updated. These changes involve the areas of experience and the amount of continuing education mandatory to maintain the Association designations.
For the Registered Financial Consultant (RFC®), the experience requirement has been modified to 3 years of experience in the field of financial planning or financial services. This is an adjustment from the 4 year requirement.
For the Registered Financial Associate (RFA®), offered to recent graduates of an approved academic curriculum in financial services or new financial professionals, they can join with less than 3 years of experience in the financial services industry working their way to an RFC®.
For both the RFCs and the RFAs, all must agree to devote a minimum of 40 hours every 2 years to professional continuing education in the field of personal finance and professional practice management. This is a change from the 40 hours per year requirement. Four hours every 2 years are still devoted to ethics. For more details about CE, visit the RFA®/RFC® Continuing Education Information on the IARFC website.
These changes reflect a determined intent to review and revise policies that have been inherent to the Association for many decades – thus making them relevant to industry norms going forward.
“These updates are a reflection of the industry standards,” explained Chairman and CEO, H. Stephen Bailey, MRFC. “The IARFC will continue to evaluate policies to find a comfortable balance between promoting our financial consultants and serving the needs of the consumer. An example of that balance was the formation of our Ethics Approved Program in 2016 that added an extra layer of “protection” for the consumer while promoting the ethical behavior of our members.”
As for now, according to Bailey, the requirements for the MRFC designation still remains the same, 4 years as a full time practitioner and 40 hours annually of CE.
Chairman Bailey reminds members, “If you need continuing education credits, there are ample opportunities during our 2018 IARFC Biltmore Conference. Included in the Agenda is an Ethics Program conducted by Barry Dayley, MRFC that will apply towards the ethics requirement. I encourage you to sign up and attend.”