AFCPE’s Professional Development Manager, Summer Red, answers your most frequent questions around ethics, webinars, and AFCPE® continuing education. 

What is the Ethics CEU requirement, how do I meet it, and why is it so important?

Agreeing to follow AFCPE’s Code of Ethics is a core requirement of the AFC® certification.  “Do the right thing” seems straightforward in theory, but it can be very complex in practice.  For example, what do you do if your client’s values are diametrically opposed to your own? Should you do your best to work with the client, or should you refer the client to someone who might be a better fit?

Making things more complicated is the fact that Ethics is situational.  For example, AFCs are required to maintain client confidentiality at all times, but military counselors have mandatory reporting requirements.  How does a military counselor with an AFC balance these two contradictory requirements? It is these questions, and many more like them, that solidify the importance of continuing education in Ethics. 

For the current reporting period, two of an AFCPE certified professional’s 30 CEUs must be in Ethics.  For now, any Ethics training(s) are accepted, as long as they add up to at least 2 CEUs.

Because of the situational nature of Ethics, we encourage everyone to watch the AFCPE Ethics webinar recording.  In it, we go through lots of ethical scenarios and how to handle situations that are specific to your work. It, like all AFCPE webinars, is free to AFCPE members. We’ll also offer a live, free Ethics training ahead of the 2019 AFCPE Symposium in Portland, OR. 

Why isn’t AFCPE offering free webinars anymore?

While AFCPE does occasionally offer free webinars – including Smarter Seasonal Spending coming in December 2019 – the truth of the matter is that it costs quite a bit of money to create, manage, and host webinars and, without external funding, offering a large number of free webinars is unsustainable.  We included webinars in AFCPE Membership to make them more affordable – $150 for your annual membership fee provides you with more than 20 webinars per year, a $1,000 value.  

If AFCPE Membership is not an option for you, AFCPE does accept outside trainings for CEUs, including some free webinars.  We do not endorse any specific training provider and we do not make recommendations, but some providers do seek pre-approval from AFCPE for their trainings.  Those that do often advertise that they are preapproved for AFC CEUs.

Why was my CEU request rejected?

To qualify for CEUs, continuing education must “pertain to personal finance subject matter, must enhance your ability and expertise, and must meet the requirements of your certification”.  It also must be continuing education – we very rarely give CEUs to volunteer or for on-the-job work and never without pre-approval.  

Due to ongoing confusion about CEUs, including how many CEUs to request for a given training, we are currently working on updating the CEU guidelines to provide additional clarity.  In the meantime, you can always e-mail if you have any questions about whether a continuing education opportunity will qualify for CEUs and/or how many CEUs to request.

When are my CEUs due?

June 30 of every even year (2020, 2022, etc.)

Why was the CEU due date changed?

AFCPE offices are closed between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day.  Coupled with holiday, Symposium, and other end-of-year stressors, it made for a challenging deadline for both our certified professionals and staff.  By moving to mid-year, we will be able to better serve you and ensure a smooth transition between reporting periods.

Why are CEU requests sometimes approved quickly and more slowly at other times?

Every single CEU request is manually processed by an AFCPE staff person.  Preapproved CEUs are processed quickly – especially those with a completion code phrase – while non-preapproved CEUs can require investigation and/or evaluation. Our goal is that all CEU requests are approved within 5 business days of submission.

What can I do to facilitate the CEU approval process?

Don’t wait until the last minute!  The earlier you complete and submit your CEUs, the faster they will be processed.  Also, be sure to fill out every single field in the CEU form – the only fields that are optional are the completion code phrase and the certificate (since you only need to submit one or the other).

Finally, be sure to attach proof of attendance.  Without this verification, we cannot award CEUs.

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