Find answers to your questions about the Institute, financial planning, and the role of a financial planner (F.Pl.).

The profession

The F.Pl. designation refers to financial planners.

In Quebec, anyone who calls themself an F.Pl. must hold a diploma issued by the Institute and a certificate issued by the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), or be authorized to use the designation by a professional order that has signed an agreement with the AMF (the Quebec CPA Order or the Ordre des Adm.A.).

A financial planner’s role is to help you determine your financial and personal goals, then develop strategies and an action plan to reach them.

F.Pl.’s have expertise in seven areas of financial planning and can assess six situations related to your life.

F.Pl.’s are employed by most financial institutions. Contact yours for more information!

Many F.Pl.’s are also either self-employed or employed by a private firm. Browse our F.Pl. directory or ask your friends and family for recommendations!

Here are a few useful questions to ask:

  • What are your educational and professional qualifications?
  • Do you have a particular area of expertise?
  • How are you paid?
  • What services do you offer?
  • How often will you review my file?
  • Can you give me an example of what my financial plan will look like?
  • What role will I play in setting up my financial plan?
  • Will I need to sign a professional services agreement?

The French equivalent is Pl. Fin., which stands for Planificateur financier ou planificatrice financière. Unlike in the English abbreviation, there is a space after the first period.

It depends! F.Pl.’s can be paid through an annual salary, commissions, fees, or a combination of the three.

What’s more, while some F.Pl.’s work solely in the realm of financial planning, many others hold additional certifications in areas such as financial security. As in many other fields, salaries also vary greatly based on years of experience.

That said, in our most recent survey of financial planners, 70% of those polled reported earning over $80,000 a year.

Becoming an F.Pl.

The Institute's Professional Training Course

You must complete the Institute's Professional Training Course and pass the Institutes' exam to obtain the F.Pl. designation.

In addition, before taking the course, you must fulfill either of the following criteria:


  • You possess an equivalent combination of university education, professional qualifications, and work experience.

Answer a few questions to see what path you could take to become an F.Pl.

No. In Quebec, you must hold a diploma issued by the Institute to be able to call yourself an F.Pl. It’s the law!

The Institute's Professional Training Course (PT Course) is given twice a year. To apply, you must fill out and submit the application form. Depending on your background, you’ll also need to provide us with either of the following:

  • The final transcript for your bachelor’s degree with a concentration in financial planning or financial services.


  • The final transcripts for your certificate in financial planning and two other certificates in administration, economics, law, actuarial science, or any other related field recognized by the Institute.

Please email all relevant documents to info@institutpf.org.

If your application is accepted, you will receive an email inviting you to register for the course when it becomes available (approximately one month before the start date).

You must choose the dates when you register.

The online training sessions and virtual classes take around 63 hours to complete. The amount of time you will need to complete the other components will depend on your learning style and how comfortable you are with case studies.

If you fail the exam, you may file an application for review with critical analysis. A fee of $275 plus tax will apply.

If you wish to rewrite the exam, you must repeat the Institute's Professional Training Course and pay the enrollment fee again. You cannot simply retake the exam.

There is no limit to the number of times you may take the exam.

The next step is obtaining your representative’s certificate in financial planning from the Autorité des marchés financiers.

Academic equivalency

Unfortunately, no. Qualifying work experience must be completed within the five years preceding your application. You must have a minimum of two to three years of professional experience in Canada in at least one of the seven areas of personal financial planning.

We do not evaluate foreign diplomas ourselves. Consequently, we cannot review your file without first obtaining the Ministère’s assessment. However, you may request that we provide you with a letter indicating that we require the Ministère’s response in order to assess your application. Note that this does not guarantee the Ministère will process your request more quickly.

Unfortunately, we only recognize work experience obtained in Canada.

You can provide letters from two different supervisors at the same employer.

You can provide two letters from clients detailing the nature of your work for them and how long you have worked for them.

No, your membership must be active when you apply for academic equivalency.

If we have not confirmed receipt of your application, please email us at info@iqpf.org.

If we have confirmed receipt of your application and it has been at least six weeks since you paid your course and application processing fees, please email us at formationprofessionnelle@iqpf.org.

We will contact you by email to let you know what information is missing from your file and what you need to provide in order for the evaluation of your application to proceed.

To pass the exam, you need to score a minimum of 70% in each of the seven areas of financial planning. If you do not achieve a passing grade in one or more of the tested areas, you will need to complete the corresponding module(s) of the Executive Program or enrol in approved university courses in one of the recognized financial planning certificates before you can go any further. If you choose the second option, note that you will not be exempted from taking the courses you have already passed as part of the financial planning certificate.


There is currently no time limit for completing either individual modules or the entire Executive Program. However, if your file has been inactive for longer than two years, you will need to pay a reactivation fee of $316.18 (taxes included).

No. You can only take one module at a time, in the order indicated. You must take and pass an online exam at the end of each module.

All paths suggested will be good options. Simply choose the one that best fits your personal situation and preferences.

For example, if you prefer studying at a university campus with other students, choose the university course if that option is offered to you. If you prefer studying on your own, at your own pace, choose the Institute’s Executive Program. It’s completely up to you.

If one of your options is to take the Institute's equivalency exam, know that it entails fully independent study. If you prefer more educational support, this may not be the right option for you.

You also need to consider how much time and money you want to invest, as every option is different.

Each is a three-hour closed-book exam consisting of 50 questions.

You receive the results as soon as you finish the exam.


You are allowed one attempt at each module in the exam. If you fail a module, you will be required to pay a retake fee of $210 plus taxes to reschedule your exam.

Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) representative’s certificate

The AMF charges a fee for the issuance and renewal of your certificate of practice in financial planning. You must pay these fees before you can practise in the field. Contact the AMF for any questions you have regarding the representative’s certificate.

Yes. You must apply for the financial planning representative’s certificate within six years of passing the Institute's examination.

If it has been more than six years since you passed the Institute's exam, you will have to take it again, except in the following cases:

  • You have maintained your AMF certification in financial planning for at least two of the last six years and have completed the required number of professional development units.


  • You have accumulated the equivalent of 40 professional development units within any given reference period in the last six years as specified in the Regulation respecting the compulsory professional development of financial planners.


You have been authorized to use the designation of financial planner in accordance with an agreement between your professional order and the AMF for at least two of the last six years.

Professional development

IPFP stands for “Integrated personal financial planning.” It is one of the three categories of professional development.

SFPAs are training activities in one or more of the financial planning areas. They comprise one of the three categories of professional development.

SCs are training activities in subjects pertaining to compliance with standards, ethics, and business conduct. They comprise one of the three categories of professional development. SC-FPs are standards, ethics, and business conduct training activities related directly to financial planning.

The 2023–2025 professional development cycle (cycle 013) runs from December 1, 2023, to November 30, 2025.

You must accumulate 40 professional development units (PDUs) per two-year cycle. To find out more, check out the section on professional development requirements and regulations.

  1. F.Pl.’s who have received or will receive their AMF certification during the current cycle (December 1, 2023, to November 30, 2025) and who would like to know how many PDUs they need based on the date they obtained their F.Pl. designation should contact Safya Tibeche by email or by phone at 514-767-4040 or 1-800-640-4050, ext. 239.