Because there are no consistent licensing requirements for the various persons who call themselves "financial planners", the public has a critical need for a method of distinguishing the qualified and dedicated financial consultant.
The Registered Financial Consultant (RFC®) is a professional designation awarded by the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants (IARFC®) to those financial consultants who can meet the high standards of education, experience and integrity that are required of all its members.
The IARFC® is a non-profit professional credentialing organization formed with the primary purpose of providing the public with convenient access to a pool of well-qualified financial consultants.
The IARFC® is the only financial planning professional association that requires its members to meet the following seven stringent requirements:
1. ExperienceApplicants must have a minimum of four years experience as a full-time practitioner in the field of financial planning.
2. EducationApplicant must have earned a baccalaureate or graduate degree in financial planning or completed an IARFC® approved curriculum at an accredited college or university.
3. ExaminationThe comprehensive RFC® examination covers a wide range of subject matter; Principles of Personal Finance, Debt and Cash Flow Management, Employee and Government Benefits, Annuities, Securities, Investments and Asset Allocation, Life, Health and Casualty Insurance, Education and Special Needs Funding, Estate Planning, Survivor Income Needs Analysis, and Retirement Income.
4. LicensingApplicants must have met the licensing requirements for securities and life and health insurance; or an applicant who is a fee-only planner and is not licensed must submit information on the applicant’s Registered Investment Advisor affiliation.
5. Business IntegrityApplicant must have a sound record of business integrity with no suspensions or revocation of any professional licenses.
6. EthicsApplicant must subscribe and adhere to the RFC® Code of Ethics.
7. Continuing EducationAll members must agree to devote a minimum of 40-hours per year of continuing education in the field of personal finance and professional practice management.