The Institute of Advanced Financial Planners (IAFP) has launched a new mentorship program in an effort to help new financial planners establish themselves early in their careers, the association announced on Thursday.

The association, which administers the registered financial planner (RFP) designation, said the mentorship program will aim to help planners achieve the RFP designation.

“There’s a wealth of information here,” said Jeff Wachman, chairman of the IAFP’s membership committee, who announced the new program at the association’s annual symposium in Vancouver. “We just want to make sure that it gets shared.”

The program will pair RFP candidates with existing, experienced RFPs, who will act as mentors and supporters throughout the process of pursuing the professional designation. Earning the designation involves successfully creating a sample financial plan, passing the RFP Ethics & Practice Standards exam and passing the RFP Technical Competency exam, among other criteria.

In many cases, new RFPs will also continue to rely on their mentors in the years after earning their designations, for support in growing their businesses and managing their practices.

The program is part of an effort to bolster the IAFP’s membership, which currently stands at 380, and to attract younger members. The average age of an RFP is about 50, according to Wachman.

For financial planners who are planning to retire in the next few years, the program presents an opportunity for them to get to know a potential successor, says Wachman.

“The age of the RFP is growing, and they’re retiring,” he says. “What better opportunity to pair with someone who wants to come into the industry and to be a mentor to them, learn how they work, and see how you guys work together.”

As part of other efforts to revitalize the IAFP, the association is also revamping its website, which features an advanced ‘find a planner’ feature, and is launching a new marketing campaign targeting prospective RFPs.