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What do those designations mean?

AIF® Accredited Investment Fiduciary 

The AIF designation signifies specialized knowledge of fiduciary responsibility and the ability to implement policies and procedures that meet a defined standard of care. The designation is the culmination of a rigorous training program, which includes a comprehensive, closed-book final examination under the supervision of a proctor, and agreement to abide by the Center’s Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards.  On an ongoing basis, completion of continuing education and adherence to the Code of Ethics and Conduct Standards are required to maintain the AIF designation.

CAP®  Chartered Advisor in Philanthropy

The Chartered Advisory in Philanthropy® designation is granted by the Richard D. Irwin School of The American College, also known as The American College of Financial Services®. The designation is recommended only for experienced advisors who already hold credentials such as Chartered Life Underwriters®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS™ Professionals, Masters of Science in Financial Services, and CPAs. It is intended for financial planners who want to “help clients articulate and advance their highest aspirations for self, family, and society.”1

Coursework includes master level coursework in:

  • Planning for Impact in Context of Family Wealth
  • Charitable Giving Strategies
  • Gift Planning in a Nonprofit Context

The CAP® program provides financial advisors and planners with the knowledge and tools to provide high-level philanthropic and charitable planning to clients. It prepares advisors for advanced design, implementation, and management of charitable gift techniques, as well as philanthropic tools including charitable trusts, private foundations, donor-advised funds, pooled income funds, and charitable annuities.

CASL®: Chartered Advisor in Senior Living

The Chartered Advisor for Senior Living (CASL) is a professional designation for individuals whose advice helps older clients achieve financial security. A CASL certification is often held by financial advisors who have demonstrated a commitment to helping clients who are middle-aged and older to achieve and preserve financial security through wealth management, wealth preservation, and wealth transfer planning.

ChFC® Chartered Financial Consultant

A Chartered Financial Consultant is a professional designation representing the completion of a comprehensive course consisting of financial education, examinations and practical experience. Chartered Financial Consultant designations are granted by the American College upon completion of seven required courses and two elective courses. Those who earn the designation are understood to be knowledgeable in financial matters and to have the ability to provide sound advice.

ChHC® Chartered Healthcare Consultant

The Chartered Healthcare Consultant designation ChHC® program is considered the most comprehensive credential available for benefits specialists, healthcare consultants, and financial advisors interested in effectively providing clients with cutting-edge information. The curriculum provides professionals with an in-depth understanding of the latest reforms in healthcare mandated by recent legislation.


Candidates for the ChHC® designation must complete a minimum of six courses and 12 hours of proctored examinations and was granted by The American College of Financial Services. They must also fulfill stringent experience and ethics requirements.


Once the Program is completed, a Chartered Healthcare Consultant® can provide expert advice on a broad range of health insurance related topics including state exchanges; medical loss ratios; Early Retiree Reinsurance Programs (ERRPs); Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs); Health Savings Accounts (HSAs); Cafeteria Plans; and more.

C(k)P® Certified 401(k) Professional

The C(k)P® Certified 401(k) Professional Designation represents the pinnacle of achievement for the professional Retirement Plan Advisor, recognizing a combination of substantial practical retirement plan management experience, and the completion of a comprehensive and highly specialized educational program. To earn the right to use the C(k)P® designation requires more than just academic aptitude. A financial professional must have demonstrated real world application of the core competencies taught in the classroom.


The C(k)P® Designation or Certified 401(k) Professional Designation is administered by The Retirement Advisor University in collaboration with UCLA Anderson School of Management Executive Education. The C(k)P® Designation identifies individuals who have been authorized to use the C(k)P® Designation certification marks in the USA by identifying financial professionals who have the knowledge and experience to favorably affect the outcome of corporate retirement plans.


C(k)P® Designation holders have:

  • Demonstrated competency and experience in the retirement field
  • Completed a rigorous and unique education course work experience
  • Agreed to adhere to a code of conduct and ethics.

The education course work includes classroom, online, and live online instructor led courses, as well as periodic assessments, an exam and a case study. The conduct and ethics codes embrace the core values of integrity, diligence, fairness, and objectivity.


The C(k)P® Standards & Certification Committee sets the standards for the Certified 401(k) Professional Designation. Designation candidates are expected to develop a high degree of knowledge and ability in the following study areas:

  • Technical Competence
  • Optimizing Plan Outcomes
  • Management and Business
  • Sales & Marketing

The prerequisite* to use the C(k)P® Designation on marketing materials consists of personally having:

  • 10 plans under management/advisory
  • $30 million of assets under management/advisory
  • 3 years of experience in the defined contribution industry.

CLU® Chartered Life Underwriter

A chartered life underwriter (CLU) is a professional designation for individuals who wish to specialize in life insurance and estate planning. Individuals must complete five core courses and three elective courses, in addition to successfully passing eight 100-question, two-hour examinations in order to receive the designation. The required course titles include Fundamentals of Insurance Planning, Individual Life Insurance, Life Insurance Law, Fundamentals of Estate Planning and Planning for Business Owners and Professionals. Other course topics include financial planning, health insurance, income taxation, group benefits, investments and retirement planning.

CPFA Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor

The Certified Plan Fiduciary Advisor (CPFA) is a professional designation for the retirement plan professional that demonstrates expertise and experience working with corporate retirement plans. During the CPFA certification, candidates spend around two months learning about fiduciary services for retirement plans.

The National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) is an organization designed for retirement plan advisors. This organization oversees all coursework and exams required to become a CPFA.

REBC®  Registered Employee Benefits Consultant

The Registered Employee Benefits Consultant® designation includes practical knowledge on pensions and retirement plan funding, installation and administration. The program covers group medical plans, long-term care, executive compensation, personnel management and more.

RHU® Registered Health Underwriter

The Registered Health Underwriter (RHU®) — a professional designation granted by the American College of Financial Services to individuals who pass examinations oriented toward group insurance benefits and health insurance for individuals and families. Successful RHU® candidates are those who have completed three core courses and two elective courses and successfully pass all eight 2-hour, 100-question examinations. The RHU® program places an emphasis on major benefit protection laws, including the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).