Financial Planning Association (FPA)

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on January 25, 2024

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What Is the Financial Planning Association (FPA)?

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) is a professional organization dedicated to empowering and supporting financial planning professionals.

The FPA seeks to advance the financial planning profession by promoting the highest ethical standards, offering valuable resources to its members, and advocating for public policies that foster consumer protection and confidence.

History and Founding of the FPA

The FPA was established in 2000 as a result of the merger between the Institute of Certified Financial Planners (ICFP) and the International Association for Financial Planning (IAFP).

The organization was created to unify the financial planning profession under a single umbrella, offering a platform for collaboration, education, and advocacy.

Purpose and Mission of the Organization

The mission of the FPA is to champion the value of the financial planning process and advance the financial planning profession. The organization aims to provide its members with resources and support that help them deliver exceptional financial planning services to their clients.

Organizational Structure

Board of Directors

The FPA is governed by a board of directors, which consists of financial planning professionals and other industry leaders. The board is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the organization and ensuring that its activities align with its mission and vision.

Committees and Special Interest Groups

Various committees and special interest groups within the FPA focus on specific areas of interest, such as technology, practice management, and public policy. These groups are instrumental in driving the organization's initiatives and fostering collaboration among members.

Staff and Volunteers

The FPA's operations are supported by a dedicated staff and a network of volunteers who contribute their expertise and time to help the organization achieve its goals.


Types of Membership

The FPA offers several types of membership to accommodate the diverse needs of professionals in the financial planning industry:

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Members: Professionals who have earned the CFP designation and are actively practicing financial planning.

  • Associate Members: Individuals who have not yet attained the CFP designation but are working towards it or are engaged in the financial planning profession.

  • Student Members: Full-time students enrolled in a financial planning-related program.

  • Academic Members: Educators who teach financial planning courses at colleges or universities.

  • Affiliate Members: Professionals from related industries who have an interest in financial planning.

Types of Financial Planning Association (FPA) Membership

Membership Benefits

FPA members enjoy a range of benefits designed to help them excel in their careers:

  • Networking Opportunities: Members can connect with peers through local chapter events, online forums, and the annual FPA conference.

  • Educational Resources: Access to webinars, online courses, and the Journal of Financial Planning provides members with up-to-date information on industry trends and best practices.

  • Career Development Support: The FPA offers career resources and tools, such as job listings and mentorship programs, to help members succeed in their professional journeys.

  • Access to Industry Research: Members have access to research and insights on various aspects of financial planning, enabling them to make informed decisions and better serve their clients.

  • Advocacy and Public Policy Engagement: The FPA works to protect the interests of financial planning professionals and their clients by engaging with policymakers and advocating for industry-friendly legislation.

Education and Professional Development

Continuing Education Opportunities

The FPA offers a variety of continuing education opportunities to help members stay current on industry developments and maintain their professional certifications:

  • Webinars and Online Courses: Members can access live and on-demand webinars and courses covering a wide range of financial planning topics.

  • Conferences and Workshops: The FPA organizes conferences and workshops that provide in-depth training and networking opportunities for members.

  • Journal of Financial Planning: This monthly publication features peer-reviewed articles, research, and practical guidance to help financial planners stay informed and improve their practices.

Certification Support

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Exam Preparation: The FPA offers resources and support to help members prepare for the CFP exam and achieve this prestigious designation.

  • Ethics Training and Resources: As part of its commitment to upholding high ethical standards, the FPA provides members with ethics-related training and resources to ensure they adhere to the profession's best practices.

Mentorship and Peer-To-Peer Learning Programs

The FPA facilitates mentorship and peer-to-peer learning opportunities, enabling members to learn from one another and grow professionally.

These programs help both new and experienced financial planners develop their skills, expand their knowledge, and build valuable connections within the industry.

Advocacy and Public Policy

FPA's Role in Shaping Industry Standards

The FPA plays a crucial role in shaping industry standards by advocating for regulations and policies that protect consumers and support the financial planning profession.

The organization works closely with regulators, policymakers, and other industry groups to promote ethical practices and maintain the integrity of the profession.

Collaboration With Other Financial Industry Organizations

To amplify its impact, the FPA collaborates with other financial industry organizations, such as the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

These partnerships help the FPA advance its mission and contribute to the overall betterment of the financial planning industry.

Public Policy Initiatives and Lobbying Efforts

The FPA engages in public policy initiatives and lobbying efforts to advocate for legislation and regulations that benefit financial planning professionals and their clients.

These efforts include supporting policies that promote financial literacy, consumer protection, and professional standards within the industry.

Events and Conferences

Annual FPA Conference

The annual FPA conference is a premier event for financial planning professionals, featuring expert speakers, educational sessions, and networking opportunities. Attendees can gain valuable insights, learn about industry trends, and connect with like-minded professionals from across the globe.

Regional and Local Chapter Events

FPA regional and local chapter events offer members the chance to network with peers, attend educational sessions, and stay informed about industry developments at the local level.

These events help foster a strong sense of community and collaboration among financial planning professionals.

Webinars and Virtual Gatherings

In addition to in-person events, the FPA organizes webinars and virtual gatherings that allow members to participate in educational and networking opportunities from the comfort of their homes or offices.

These online events make it easy for members to stay connected and engaged with the organization and their peers.

FPA's Impact on the Financial Planning Profession

Promotion of Ethical Standards and Best Practices

The FPA is dedicated to promoting ethical standards and best practices within the financial planning profession.

By providing resources, training, and advocacy, the organization helps ensure that financial planners deliver high-quality services to their clients and maintain the trust and confidence of the public.

Advancement of Diversity and Inclusion in the Industry

The FPA is committed to fostering diversity and inclusion within the financial planning profession.

Through targeted initiatives and programs, the organization seeks to attract and retain professionals from diverse backgrounds and perspectives, ultimately enriching the industry and better serving the diverse needs of clients.

Consumer Education and Outreach

The FPA plays an essential role in educating consumers about the value of financial planning and the importance of working with qualified professionals.

Through various outreach initiatives, the organization helps raise public awareness and understanding of financial planning, empowering consumers to make informed decisions about their financial well-being.


Summary of the FPA's Role in the Financial Planning Industry

The Financial Planning Association (FPA) serves a vital role in the financial planning industry by providing its members with valuable resources, educational opportunities, and professional development support.

The organization's commitment to upholding ethical standards and promoting best practices helps ensure that financial planners are equipped to provide exceptional services to their clients.

Future Goals and Direction of the Organization

As the financial planning profession continues to evolve, the FPA remains dedicated to championing the value of the financial planning process and supporting its members.

By staying at the forefront of industry trends, advocating for public policies that benefit the profession, and fostering diversity and inclusion, the FPA will continue to be a driving force in the advancement of the financial planning profession for years to come.

Financial Planning Association (FPA) FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

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