Coaches will be asked to meet the rigorous requirements set for by the certification process. The certification process is designed to ensure all certified coaches have demonstrated they have the financial knowledge, coaching skills, and business acumen necessary to be a Certified Professional Financial Coach™.
The process consists of six modules. Applicants must complete and pass all modules to earn certification.
Completing the Financial Coach Academy - the certification's education requirement - is a prerequisite to earning certification. You can apply for certification after you have completed the Academy or in conjunction as you complete the course. It is recommended you complete at least 75% of the Academy before starting the certification process.
Once you have been approved to take the certification, you have 12 months to complete all six modules:
Modules can be completed in any order. Upon submission, allow up to two weeks for grading each module.
Module Information and Grading Critera
Module Completion & Submission
Modules can be completed in any order. Upon submission of each module, please allow up to 2 weeks for grading. Once your material has been graded, you will receive a score sheet and be notified if you have passed or failed that module. You will get one free retake per module except for the multiple-choice examination which will incur a $99 retake fee. Subsequent retakes for all modules will incur a $99 retake fee.
The purpose of the short essay is to ensure you understand and apply the three pillars of financial coaching to your business. Each question will ensure that your business processes and systems are in place and that you show proficiency in financial skills and coaching skills.
Your business practices and systems must also provide clear messaging, smooth transitions from prospect to client, and an overall exceptional client journey from start to finish. This module’s main goal is for you to understand that as a Certified Professional Financial Coach™, you will be held to the highest standard of financial knowledge and coaching abilities.
- Completeness (5 points): Does your response directly answer each part of the assignment question(s)?
- Knowledge (10 points): Does your response clearly show you have actively participated in and understand the lesson content by correctly defining key terms, key ideas and practices, and summarizing concepts? Have you made inferences based on this knowledge to application in your financial coaching business?
- Analysis (5 points): Have you clearly stated analysis and give examples to back them up? Does your response provide analysis to the larger concepts of the lesson?
- Writing Skills (5 points): Do you write clearly, with minimal errors in grammar and spelling? Did you use the APA Method of Citation where needed?
You will be required to provide two case studies of clients you have coached for at least 3 months. You will talk about your process from the moment your client first came in contact with you until the end of their first 90 days of coaching. Case studies should highlight a client when they first started working with you, what coaching and strategies you used, and why and their outcomes gave them results.
Applicants are graded on the following five criteria:
- Identification of Main Issues/Problems: Identifies and demonstrates a sophisticated understanding of the main issues/problems in the case study.
- Analysis and Evaluation of Issues/Problems: Presents an insightful and thorough analysis of all identified issues/problems; includes all necessary calculations.
- Recommendations on Effective Solutions/Strategies: Supports diagnosis and opinions with strong arguments and well-documented evidence; presents a balanced and critical view; interpretation is both reasonable and objective.
- Links to Course (FCA) Readings and Additional Research: Makes appropriate and powerful connections between identified issues/ problems and the strategic concepts studied in the course readings and lectures; supplements case study with relevant and thoughtful research and documents all sources of information.
- Writing Mechanics and Formatting Guidelines: Demonstrates clarity, conciseness, and correctness; formatting is appropriate and writing is free of grammar and spelling errors.
Supplemental Business Materials
The goal of the supplemental materials module is to confirm that you have effective and visually pleasing business documents and marketing materials necessary to hold you to the high standards of being a Certified Professional Financial Coach™. Your professional marketing materials and client worksheets and handouts need to be visually pleasing, informative, and logical, as well as communicate your message effectively. These required materials do not need to be created by a professional designer.
The following materials will be submitted for review and grading.
- Social media
- Scheduling page
- Intake questionnaire
- Discovery session budget spreadsheet/ questionnaire
- Marketing flyer for an ideal referral partner
- Marketing flyer for your financial coaching services directed at ideal client
- Business card front and back
- Two examples of client exercises, handouts, worksheets or other supplemental materials given to clients
Coaches will be graded in the following three categories:
- Concept, idea, visualization: Shows coherency of the concept with a high degree of freshness, originality, and sophistication. The idea is well-stated with visual elements and cues.
- Composition, content & design: Shows strong internal integrity of the visual elements with cohesive branding identification, brand colors, font, logo, etc. Nothing needs to be added or removed – framing is superb. Content, copy, and messaging are logical, professional, and effective with no grammatical or factual errors.
- Technical: Shows mastery in the use of editing software and techniques to attain the assignment parameters.
Client Testimonials, Proof of Clients
You will be required to submit proof of 10 coaching clients and testimonials from three clients you have worked with for a minimum of 3 months. Testimonial clients may be the same clients submitted with your “proof of coaching 10 clients” form.
Client testimonials are unbiased comments and feedback based on a client’s experience and result from working with you. It provides proof of your efficacy, strategies, skills, and systems as a coach. It also relates credibility and proof of expertise necessary to maintain certification.
Coaches will be graded using the following five criteria:
- Client gave a positive testimonial
- Client has worked with the candidate for at least 3 months
- Client feels the candidate has helped them reach their financial goals
- Client feels they had an exceptional client experience
- Client would recommend the candidate to friends and family
Proof of Coaching Clients
You will be asked to complete an online form verifying you have worked with 10 clients, of which no more than three can be unpaid. The proof of coaching clients form will be graded as PASS/ FAIL.
Your "Why" Video
You will be required to submit a video of you telling your Why Story. Your Why story is the reason you got into this business or wanted to be a financial coach to begin with. This module requires you to craft and tell the story so people want to hear it. It must be communicated effectively, succinctly, passionately and professionally. This requirement is about understanding how this purpose-driven story connects to an ideal individual who you can help.
Why videos will be graded on the following three criteria:
- Organization: Information is presented in a logical sequence, and the time limit is not exceeded.
- Story and Content
- Presentation: Displays confidence, talks passionately, clear audio quality, makes eye contact, etc.
Multiple Choice Exam
This multiple-choice examination’s main goal is to measure your ability to recall specific content and concepts taught in Financial Coach Academy as it applies to the Three Pillars of Financial Coaching: business acumen, financial concepts and coaching skills. It consists of 100 multiple-choice and true/ false questions covering material presented in the Financial Coach Academy.
Once all the requirements have been submitted, graded, and passed, you will receive an email confirming you have fulfilled all of the requirements and are able to use the designation of Certified Professional Financial Coach™ and all of the privileges associated with it. You will receive a certificate in the mail and digital copies of the designation logo for use on marketing materials.
Eligibility Appeals & Denial
A candidate whose eligibility has been denied may appeal the decision. Appeals regarding examination eligibility must be submitted in writing to the Certification Director via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or via mail to Certified Professional Financial Coach Eligibility, 333 E. Cullumber Ave., Gilbert, AZ 85234.
The appeal must be submitted in writing within 30 calendar days of the decision or notification. The submission must include: 1) The nature of the request and the specific facts and circumstances supporting the request, and 2) all reasons why the action or decision should be changed or modified, and 3) accurate copies of any relevant supporting documents. A decision will be made within 15 business days.
If the issue cannot be resolved by the Certification Director, he will refer the appeal to the Certification Council. The appeal will also be referred to the Council if the candidate does not accept a determination by the Certification Director. The Council will review the appeal within 30 days and will make a determination within 60 days. The decision of the Council is final.