"This Financial Planning program provides the student with the opportunity to obtain the Certified Financial Planners or CFP designation. It's an internationally recognized designation," says Harvey Willows, a professor in the program offered at Centennial College. "What is unique about this program is it is intended for people who have previous education in, ideally, financial services or, if not, have taken the Social Securities course, or for people who have worked in the financial services industry and are ready for advancement." Meanwhile, student Fatty Lutfi provides what he sees as the Financial Planning program's biggest benefit. "What I liked most about my program is that it gears you towards becoming a financial planner," he says. “This is important because when you get into the industry, it's very hard to actually do this on your own. So what Centennial College does is it preps, guides and teaches you how to develop those natural skills that you should have in your financial industry."
These testimonials offer insight into the important aspects of the Financial Planning program, but let's take a closer look. First, to apply, interested parties must submit an official transcript demonstrating proof of successful completion of a post-secondary advanced diploma or degree program. Applicants may also be required to complete an interview process and have their resume reviewed. English and math skills assessments may also be required.
Among the topics covered during the Financial Planning certification undertaking, are: ethics and stakeholder management, crafting and executing strategy, CSC preparation, certified financial planner preparation, corporate credit management, financial management, marketing, retirement financial planning, estate planning and risk management, tax planning, and accounting for managerial decision making.
In addition, the Financial Planning program allows students to gain a range of accreditations aside from their financial planning certificate. First, students obtain educational requirements to challenge the CFP exam and to be fully licensed with IDA/ MFDA. Accreditations gained as a result of successful completion of courses and industry exams include: Canadian Securities Course, Conduct and Practices Handbook Course, and Wealth Management Essentials. Meanwhile, designations and licenses that can be obtained as a result of completing preparatory courses and successfully writing the industry exams include: Certified Financial Planner and Life Licensing Qualification Program. Registration in this incurs cost in addition to tuition.
Upon graduation from the financial planning program students have the ability to: integrate ethical decision-making processes into all aspects of the financial planning profession; successfully adhere to recognized financial planning principles and industry standards; prepare accurate and relevant financial plans, manually and electronically; compare, contrast and select financial products and services, investment planning and counselling services for clients, while adhering to industry standards; effectively market financial products through the development of an inventory of prospective clients, follow up with individual sales strategies in pursuit of new and renewal business; recognize potential tax and legal implications within a financial planning situation; and more. In addition, after obtaining the appropriate certificates students find employment in places such as banks, credit unions, financial planning companies, life insurance companies, mutual fund companies and investment dealers.