More candidates than ever before wrote the Certified Financial Planner Examination on June 12, the Financial Planning Standards Council said Monday.

2,208 individuals wrote the CFP exam and 45.5 % passed, the FPSC says. Of those writing the examination for the first time, 50.2% passed.

The examination is one component of the CFP certification program, which also includes pre-requisite education, relevant work experience, ongoing adherence to the CFP Code of Ethics and fulfillment of annual continuing education requirements.

“The June administration had the highest number of exam candidates in the history of the CFP Examination,” says John Wickett, senior vice president, standards & certification, FPSC.

“These record numbers demonstrate that, in light of the recent economic climate, CFP certification is as important now as ever before,” he adds. “It was also the last offering of the CFP Examination before FPSC brought its new certification program into effect on July 1.”

As of July 1, a New Path to CFP Certification

Changes to the CFP certification program officially came into effect on July 1. The education component now includes a new Capstone Course and a new two-staged examination process (Financial Planning Examination Level 1 and Level 2) that replaces the single six-hour CFP Examination. Click here to view the complete Certification Guidelines. The first sitting of Financial Planning Examination Level 1 will be offered on November 6. Examination and application information is available on the FPSC website.

“The new certification program allows candidates to demonstrate their competence in incremental steps, and now includes a Capstone Course that requires each student to develop a comprehensive financial plan that meets FPSC’s standards,” Wickett says.

An interactive experience launched in conjunction with the new CFP certification process, the FPSC Online dashboard is customized to each individual. It shows progress towards certification, and indicates next steps. Candidates can also access sample examination questions, webinars, career guidance, and other relevant resources through the dashboard.