1. Is an individual awarded certification after attending your seminar or completing the self-study program?
No, CRFA Board of Certification authorized a job analysis survey and from the survey Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) assisted with developing a comprehensive test. The test measures the level of professional skills and knowledge of the applicant. Certification is awarded based on the applicant earning a scaled score of 70 or greater. The 100 questions are comprised of questions from the following six domains identified in our job analysis:
(1) Tax Issues for Retirees – 20
(2) Investment Concepts in Retirement – 22
(3) General Retirement Principles – 18
(4) Government Programs/Social Security – 13
(5) Estate Planning – 17
(6) CRFA Ethical Standards – 10
2. Is your training program required to become a Certified Retirement Financial Advisor™(CRFA)?
No, the training program is offered by The Retirement Academy, a division of the Society of Certified Retirement Financial Advisors, to provide an opportunity for advisors to gain skills and knowledge concerning retirement issues, to earn CRFA CE (and in some cases CE that is approved by various state agencies and professional organizations) required to recertify each year, or to enhance the skills and knowledge of retirement issues.
An applicant may prepare for the exam utilizing any training material that will prepare the applicant for the exam. We recommend advisors check our syllabus to determine the subjects that SCRFA considers important and examine the latest job analysis survey to determine the skills that our survey identified as necessary for retirement-focused advisors.
3. Is there a certificate issued for attending the CRFA seminar or completing the program?
Yes, those attending the seminar (live or online) or completing the material receive a completion certificate and continuing education units that are reported to the appropriate state insurance department where we have been approved as a CE Provider. If The Academy does not offer CE for the applicant’s state, and three or more candidates are from the state in question, then The Academy will explore the option of submitting a Provider application to that state.
4. Who may take the CRFA exam?
The Applicant Handbook may be found on our website. The “CRFA Certification” tab is listed under Advisors on the home page. The test is open to the public and anyone who meets our requirements may sit for the exam. The application identifies the preferred requirement of a minimum of three (3) years of experience as a financial advisor. However, an applicant who lacks experience may apply based on education experience gained at a university, college or financial training course (example, CFP).
5. How is the test administered?
Assessment Systems is the CRFA Proctor. An approved applicant will be registered with Assessment Systems by CRFA. The applicant will receive an e-mail from the proctor with instructions on how to register for the exam. The window for the exam is one (1) year. An applicant follows the instructions in the e-mail to establish the date, location, and time. The closed book test is taken on a computer in a controlled environment. For the applicant to be successful, the applicant must earn a scaled score of 70 or greater. Once the evaluation of our new test has been completed, the applicant will receive a pass or fail letter at the testing location.
6. What items are included in the exam database?
CRFA recommends an applicant examine our syllabus for the live seminar as well as the job analysis to identify the domains and number of questions from each domain. The test questions are multiple choice and require the applicant to select the best answer from four (4) responses. An applicant must be competent to pass the exam, as an applicant will not be successful if they only possess a basic knowledge of the subject matter.
7. What percentage of test applicants are successful and achieve a scaled score 70 or greater?
Approximately 72 percent of the test applicants are successful on the first exam. The Test Application provides the process to retake the exam and 90 percent of the applicants are successful when they retake the exam.
USING THE CRFA MARK
1. The CRFA mark can be used with TM (trademark) in small superscript (CRFA™) or the registered symbol ® can be used at the end of the CRFA® mark. However, there was a challenge from another organization to the registered mark, and a court ruled that if the ® symbol is used, somewhere on the page Certified Retirement Financial Advisor must appear (preferred by CRFA whether using the trademark or registered mark symbol).
2. The mark may only be used by members in good standing. To be in good standing, a member must pay annual dues and have earned fifteen (15) hours of continuing education. Four (4) hours of the CE will be Ethics.
3. Neither CRFA or SCRFA sell brochures, stationery, etc. However, members in good standing are provided with the name and contact information of an independent printer on the Certificate Login page of the website. Members in good standing are encouraged to contact this firm to secure any logo items. Neither CRFA nor SCRFA receive compensation from the sale of any of the products.