PFS update: PFS designation and MEP system.
Under the MEP system, candidates for the PFS are evaluated on a point system, with a total of 100 points required to attain the PFS credential.
The system covers three areas:
* Business experience. This can include experience in some or all of six financial planning disciplines: personal financial planning (PFP) process, personal income tax planning, risk management planning, investment planning, retirement planning and estate planning. It also has been broadened to include the teaching of college-level PFP courses.
* Lifelong learning. This embraces both traditional (standard CPE courses) and nontraditional (self-directed reading and research) methods. Lifelong learning also includes conference presentations and professional writing credits. Advanced degrees, such as a J.D. or an MBA, are considered, as is participation on the committees of nationally recognized PFP associations.
* Examination. All candidates are required to pass an examination. In addition to the Comprehensive PFS Exam, several other certification exams, as well as the NASD Series 65, Series 66 and Series 7 exams, are also eligible for points toward accreditation. However, some of these additional exams will require the applicant to obtain a greater number of points in business experience and lifelong learning.
More information regarding the new point system is at pfs.aicpa.org, including a downloadable PFS Candidates Handbook.
Sarah Phelan, J.D. Technical Manager AICPA Jersey City, NJ