Requirements for Joining

Membership Requirements

Certified Membership

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An individual is eligible to become an ACP member if he/she agrees to be bound by the ACP Canon of Ethics, Pledge to Clients, Intellectual Property Policy, and meets all of the educational and training requirements detailed below. Because ACP as an organization is committed to the practice of holistic fee-only financial planning, all ACP members must offer consultation in all areas of comprehensive financial planning to their clients. This requirement does not imply that every client receive comprehensive financial planning services, but only that such services are made available by the member to his or her clients. ACP members must meet and abide by the following qualifications in order to maintain eligibility and good standing within the organization.

Certified Member (New Member)

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  1. Have satisfactorily completed the ACP Success Program self-study training and virtual classroom.
  2. Abide by ACP Canon of Ethics.
  3. Adhere to ACP Pledge to Clients.
  4. Adhere to the ACP Policy on Trailing Commissions.
  5. Comply with all provisions of the ACP Intellectual Property Policy.
  6. Meet the definition of fee-only according to the CFP® Board of Standards, NAPFA, and the industry as a whole.
  7. Offer or supervise others who offer holistic financial planning services.
  8. Disclose to clients and on Form ADV all referral fees paid to third-parties.
  9. Receive a positive recommendation from the ACP Membership Committee based on a review of qualifications and business strategy.
  10. Make timely payment of all corporation dues and/or other fees.

Within One Year:

  1. Satisfactorily complete ACP Success Program Group Instruction (attend the entire face-to-face Group Instruction).
  2. Register as RIA or RIA Agent or equivalent with SEC or appropriate state regulatory agencies.

Within Two Years:

  1. Attend one ACP Annual Conference within first two years of membership as a certified member.

Within Three Years:

  1. Have completed requirements for the professional designation (CFP, CPA/PFS).


All ACP members are strongly encouraged to become NAPFA Registered Financial Advisors. Certified members are eligible for voting privileges.

Associate Members

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An individual is eligible to be an ACP Associate Member if he/she agrees to:

  1. Comply with all provisions of ACP Intellectual Property Policy.
  2. Adhere to the ACP Policy on Trailing Commissions.
  3. Satisfactorily complete the ACP Success Program within one year of joining ACP, which includes:
    1. Self-Study Modules and Quizzes - read all the modules in the self-study materials and pass all of the quizzes associated with each chapter.
    2. Virtual Classrooms - attend the live or watch recordings of virtual classrooms that reinforce the material learned in the self-study materials.
  4. Make timely payment of all ACP dues and/or other fees.

All ACP members are strongly encouraged to become NAPFA Registered Financial Advisors. Associate members are not eligible for voting privileges.

Additional Members in Firm

Additional advisors from a firm with a Certified ACP member (first advisor) may join ACP as an Additional Member in Firm at the following membership rates:

Second advisor – $750 per year

Third advisor $500 per year

Fourth and all additional advisors $250 per year

Additional Members in Firm may enroll in the ACP Success Program and Group Instruction for a training fee of $3,500.

Provisional Member Status for Additional Members in Firm who joined as of 11/2016

Additional Members in Firm must comply with the same requirements as a full ACP member with the exception of  completing the ACP Success Program and the Group Instruction. Although taking the ACP Success Program is highly recommended, Additional Members in Firm can opt for number 2 below. They are considered Provisional Members until they complete one of the following two requirements:

  1. Complete the formal ACP Success Program which includes reading the ACP Success Program modules, attending virtual classrooms, submitting all quizzes, completing the Bennett Case Study, and attending Group Instruction.
  2. Under the supervision and mentoring of a full ACP Member in your firm, read all modules of the ACP Success Program and submit all related quizzes to the ACP Member Attending or listening to all the virtual classrooms is highly recommended and encouraged.

Provisional Additional Members in Firm can vote in ACP elections, however may not be elected or appointed to the board. Additionally, provisional members will not be listed in “Find an Advisor” until they have completed either one (1) or two (2) above.

Student Members


Student members must be enrolled in a full-time or part-time graduate, undergraduate program with a focus in finance/financial planning, or enrolled in a accredited program to obtain their CFP® or PFS designation(s). Eligibility will be reviewed annually.