Athabasca University the first university to offer FPSC-approved core curriculum online

Athabasca University (AU), Canada’s first and largest provider of distance and online university education, is the first education provider to offer FPSC-Approved Core Curriculum courses through an online degree program. The eight courses that make up the Core Curriculum educational program, which qualify students for FPSC Level 1® Certification in Financial Planning and are the first step to obtaining CFP® certification, are part of AU’s updated online Bachelor of Commerce Degree program.

Students enrolled in Athabasca’s online courses have ongoing access to a range of specialized services―including professors, a student support centre and a help desk―to offer subject-matter assistance, provide feedback and help students prepare for exams. While the learning is exclusively online, students interact with professors and other students, participate in ongoing forums, and access the library, digital reading rooms and other research resources.

“Many of our students see great value in earning the Certified Financial Planner® designation,” says Dr. Deborah Hurst, Dean of AU’s Faculty of Business. “It’s a certification that is increasingly relevant and we expect demand for CFP professionals to increase dramatically across Canada.”

“Learning at AU has always had a ‘digital first’ approach,” she says. “We’re seeing every sector of industry and society move to a similar model for developing competitive advantage. As the world becomes more connected, more autonomous, and more competitive, the combination of learning online with AU and earning the CFP designation from FPSC will ensure high demand for our students and enduring relevance for the financial advice they provide.”

Completion of an FPSC-Approved Core Curriculum program is the first step on the path to CFP certification. Students who successfully complete the Core Curriculum courses and the FPSC Level 1 Examination in Financial Planning may apply to become FPSC Level 1 Certificants in Financial Planning. Candidates who go on to successfully complete an FPSC-Approved Capstone Course and the CFP examination, as well as three years of qualifying work experience, may then apply for CFP certification.

“We’re delighted to add Athabasca University as an approved Core Curriculum provider,” says Cary List, FPSC President and CEO. “AU’s online delivery model expands the opportunities for students from across the country to pursue a degree at the same time they pursue a career as a professional financial planner, regardless of their geographical location.”

AU, based in Athabasca, Alberta, is home to approximately 14,000 business students, the majority taking classes in their spare time outside of work and other commitments. The online format lets students immediately apply what they are learning to real-world situations, enriching their education and offering flexibility to fit coursework into busy lives that already include family, community, volunteering and career building.

Learn more about Athabasca University’s Certified Financial Planner Level 1 courses. More information about the path to FPSC Level 1 certification and CFP certification can be found on the Financial Planning Standards Council website.

About the Financial Planning Standards Council

As a professional standards-setting and certification body working in the public interest, FPSC’s purpose is to drive value and instill confidence in financial planning. FPSC ensures those it certifies―Certified Financial Planner® professionals and FPSC Level 1® Certificants in Financial Planning―meet appropriate standards of competence and professionalism through rigorous requirements of education, examination, experience and ethics. With FPSC’s formal partnership with the Institut québécois de planification financière (IQPF), which is the only organization authorized to certify Financial Planners in Québec, there are more than 23,500 Financial Planners in Canada who have met, and continue to meet, FPSC’s standards. More information is available at FPSC.ca and FinancialPlanningForCanadians.ca.