Frequently Asked Questions

 

 



Have questions? Browse the commonly asked questions below for help

About the CPWA® CertificationEducation & PreparatationMaintaining Your CertificationCE AuditCE Reporting

About the CPWA® Certification

 


Advanced certification designed for experienced advisors who work with high-net-worth clients. It focuses on the full cycle of wealth – accumulation, preservation & distribution. Candidates who earn this designation learn to identify and analyze challenges facing high-net-worth clients and learn to develop specific strategies to minimize taxes, monetize and protect assets, maximize growth, and transfer wealth.

 


CPWA® will help you gain specialized knowledge and expertise for dealing with HNW clients. HNW clients have higher expectations as to what their financial advisor can help them accomplish. Advisors who earn the CPWA® certification are better able to deliver more value and greater expertise to their HNW clients, and to lead (or quarterback) the client’s wealth management team (including their CPA, estate planning attorney, etc.). You will learn to identify and analyze challenges that HNW clients face, and learn to develop specific strategies to address them, such as minimizing taxes, protect assets, maximize growth, and transfer wealth. With all of this, it also allows you to differentiate yourself from other advisors in the eyes of your clients and their current team (CPA’s, Lawyers etc.), by being able to discuss these concepts and strategies. Additionally, you can make the claim that you are competent to deliver advice related to these strategies not simply because you say so, but because your competency has been evaluated by the Investments & Wealth Institute®, a well-respected certifying body in financial services.

 


The CFP® is focused on a more basic approach on the process of financial planning at a primary level that can apply to a wide variety of clients. CPWA® takes a more in depth, advanced and holistic approach to financial planning, focused more on wealth planning and the solutions advisors can bring to their HNW clients.

 

 

Education and Preparation


 

  • Human Dynamics: Ethics, Behavioral Finance, Family Dynamics
  • Wealth Management Strategies: Tax Strategies & Planning, Portfolio Management, Risk Management and Asset Protection
  • Specialty Client Services: Retirement, Closely Held Business Owners, Executives
  • Legacy Planning: Charitable Giving, Estate Planning & Wealth Transfer

 

 
  1. Application & Acceptance
  2. 6-month pre-study
  3. Attend executive education course
  4. Exam
  5. Sign licensing agreement
  6. Maintain CE credits

 

 

  • Bachelor’s degree OR one of the following designations (CIMA®, RMA®, CFA®, CFP®, ChFC,® CPA®)
  • Pass FINRA background check – None or minor disclosures
  • 5 years’ experience in the financial field at time of certification

 

 

  • Application fee & background check
  • Tuition & materials for 6-month study
  • Executive education course & materials
  • Room and board
  • Exam fee – 1st attempt

 

 
Yale Online Chicago Booth

Online ONLY – No in-person component
Includes 5 day in-person executive education at Chicago Booth
Yale learning platform is used Institute learning platform is used
Materials, reading & resources selected and/or sourced by Yale Materials, readings & resources selected and/or sourced by the Institute.
1 year for studies 6 months for studies
No cancels or transfers Cancels or transfers allowed up to 60 days prior to in-person course
Support team – Dobbs Education/Yale SOM Support team – Investments & Wealth Institute
Certificate of course completion provided by Yale SOM Certificate of course completion provided by Chicago Booth
Schedule flexibility More condensed & structured study time frame

 

 

  • 4.5 days of executive education with our instructors/professors/expert practitioners
  • Optional exam prep sessions

 


Individuals are required to submit an online CPWA® application directly, via the Investments & Wealth Institute website, and select their program model (Chicago Booth, Yale, Institute Intensive Prep) at that time.

  • For Booth and Intensive Prep, once your application is approved and accepted, candidates will complete a 6 month pre-study prior to attending the executive education course.
  • For Yale, once your application is approved and accepted, candidates will complete an online pre–study – there is no executive education course with Yale Online.

 


A candidate is able to sit for the CPWA® certification exam upon completion of the required education based upon the program selected – Yale Online or Chicago Booth.

 


The CPWA® certification exam is offered in–person at a Pearson Vue testing center OR online through Proctor U monitored by a proctor.

 

 

Upon receipt of the Pass email received from the Institute (within approximately 5-7 business days from the date of your exam), you will be required to document a minimum of 5 years of verified work experience in financial services, sign a License Agreement and pay an initial certification fee.

 


Upon receipt of the Exam Fail email received from the Institute, candidates will need to complete 2 steps:

  • Step 1: Complete the Exam Retake Form via the link provided in the Exam Fail email. A retake fee may apply.
  • Step 2: Make your Exam Selection via a separate link provided in the Exam Fail email.

Please note, candidates must wait 30 days in between each exam attempt.

 


135 Multiple choice of which 10 are beta
You will be scored on 125 questions

 



Updated exam pass rates can be found here CPWA® Exam Pass Rate

 


There is not a set passing score for the exam. The exam is scored using the Modified Angoff Scoring Method, meaning that your pass rate is determined by the difficulty of the exam that you received. If your exam is less difficult, then your passing score will be higher; if your exam is more difficult, then your passing score will be lower.

 


CPWA® candidates will have an initial 90-day testing window from the time that the program education requirement is complete. However, candidates do have an unlimited number of exam attempts and therefore can open multiple testing windows by submitting the exam retake fee, if applicable. There is no set deadline in which a candidate needs to take and/or pass the CPWA® certification exam.

 


Results are received immediately upon completion of the exam for both Pearson Vue and Proctor U exam vendors.

 

 

Upon receipt of the Exam Fail email received from the Institute, candidates will need to complete 2 steps:

Step 1: Complete the Exam Retake Form via the link provided in the Exam Fail email. A retake fee may apply.

Step 2: Make your Exam Selection via a separate link provided in the Exam Fail email.

Please note, candidates must wait 30 days in between each exam attempt.

 


We can transfer you to a different class up to 60 days prior to class (deadline date). A $750 transfer fee will apply. Cancelations must also be within the 60-day window prior to class (deadline date). Cancellations will receive a refund of their tuition minus a $1500 non-refundable fee.

 

 

Maintaining Your Certification


 

  • Complete and report a total of 40 CE hours including 2 ethics hours and 1 taxes/regulations hour
  • Pay the certification renewal fee
  • Complete the compliance requirement - Compliance (U4 disclosures) & Institute Code of Professional Responsibility disclosure
  • Please review the Renewal Requirements page for more information on maintaining certification

 

No, however we recommend being a member because you receive significant discounts on registration fees for conferences, online education and certification renewal fees

 

 

No, CE can be earned from a variety of sources. Please check the Current Approved Providers page on the website to find the preapproved providers.

 


There are two Reinstatement options available to individuals who are no longer certified (CE option for applying for reinstatement within 2 years of termination date, Exam option for applying past 2 years). **See reinstatement policy.

 

 


No, accepted CE hours apply towards all Institute Certifications.

 

 

  • No. Unfortunately extensions are not available.
  • Not Licensed: Certificants who have not met all renewal requirements will receive an email stating they are no longer licensed on the next business day after certification renewal requirements are due. They then have an additional week to meet all requirements before they get an official Relinquishment letter.
  • Relinquishment: Relinquishment letter, reinstatement policy and reinstatement application is mailed via certified mail one week after the Not Licensed email is received.

 

 

  • Auto Email is sent at 1 year, 180 days, 90, 60, 30, 15, 7 prior to renewal date
  • 90 day letter is mailed to primary address on record
  • We will reach out to you personally, by phone or email, as it gets closer to your renewal date.

 


We offer a Leave of Absence for certificants in this situation. They have to send an email (30 days before renewal date) requesting an LOA to recertification@i-w.org and it must be approved. Reasons one usually applies: personal illness, family emergency, pregnancy difficulties, taking care of sick family member etc. Unemployment, job change or being busy doesn’t qualify for an LOA.

 

 

No, there is not a retirement status. Certificants can remain certified if they meet all 3 renewal requirements. Certificants who are retiring may submit a request to voluntarily drop their certification. Voluntary Drop status does result in the individual no longer being certified, and they would have to go through reinstatement should they wish to earn the certification back. For this, they are not certified and cannot use the marks. Voluntary Drop requests must be sent to recertification@i-w.org.

 


Yes. We have an email titled Letter of Good standing that will confirm an individual holds certification and it is in good standing. You may request a Letter of Good Standing via email.

 


No. We do not accept payments over the phone. Certification renewal payments may be paid online under the My Renewal Requirements area of the Dashboard, or a Certification Renewal Invoice can be sent to the certificant to complete with payment information. The Certification Renewal Invoice can be downloaded from the My Renewal Requirements area of the Dashboard or downloaded from NetForum to be emailed to the certificant.

 

 

You may report CE online through the Dashboard. After logging into your Dashboard, click on Report CE to begin the reporting process.

 

 

Yes. Under the My Renewal Requirements area of the Dashboard there is a CE Summary button that will provide you with a summary of CE courses/programs that have been reported to your current renewal period.

 


Yes. Once you click on the CE Summary Button under My Renewal Requirements there will be a drop down at the top of the page that will allow you to select a past renewal period.

 



You may print off a receipt from the My Transactions area of your Dashboard. There is a My Transactions link on the left side of your Dashboard.

 


Unfortunately we are unable to verify CE over the phone AND are unable to review events before they occur.

 

 

You may verify if a CIMA®, CPWA® or RMA® are certified by utilizing the Find an Exceptional Advisor search tool online. Only individuals with an active CIMA®, CPWA® or RMA® certification will show online.

 


Absolutely. Feel free to contact the Certification Department at certification@i-w.org or call us at 303.770.3377 option 2 with any questions.

 


 

Individuals who complete in-person or online continuing education from a third party that is not a CE Sponsor or the Institute will pay a US $5/per credit hour fee to add the hours to their CE record. The hours will be applied to the 40-hour CE requirement immediately upon entry.

 


 

No. You should retain all documentation in the event you are audited, but you will not upload, email or mail supporting documentation when you report Self-Reported CE through your online Dashboard.

 


 

Yes. You can complete in-person or online continuing education hours from a CE Sponsor or independent third party.

 


 

No. Programs completed through a registered CE Sponsor (Sponsored CE) can be reported through your online Dashboard using the assigned program/course ID specific to that program. CE credit is applied to your certification record immediately upon completion, and no fee is applied.

 


 

Both live and online programs completed through the Institute will be reported on your behalf approximately 10 business days after the conclusion of a live event, and two business days after completion of an online program.

 


 

You will receive all CE hours needed for a certification period for CFP® (excluding ethics)
You will receive 40 CE hours for CIMA® and/or RMA®, including ethics and tax & regulations.

 


 

Your Certificate should be received approximately 8 weeks after you have signed your license agreement

 

 

CE Audit


 

Audited individuals will have 30-days to provide documentation that supports their completed hours for review and approval. Certificants need only verify Sponsored CE and Self-Reported CE. Premier CE offered by Investments & Wealth Institute will not be audited.

 

 

No. Individuals will only be audited after completing their renewal, and are randomly selected.

 

 

Individuals must provide documentation that supports the "3 C's": 1) Content, 2) Credit hours or program length and 3) Course completion for a program submitted for CE credit.

 


The earliest date that you could be audited would be December 31, 2022.

 

 

Yes. You will receive notifications from the Institute regarding the steps you need to take along with your status throughout the entire process.

 

 

Audited individuals who do not/cannot provide acceptable documentation to satisfy the audit and subsequently do not have enough CE hours to meet their continuing education requirements may lose the right to hold the certification and will need to reinstate it.

 

 

At the time that your account is selected for audit, you will receive an email communication sent to the primary email address the Institute has on file.

 

 

Audited individuals will have 30 days from the date of their audit notification email to submit supporting documentation.

 

 

You must submit documentation supporting program completion, content and clock time:

  • Proof of Completion: Acceptable documentation from the CE provider includes (1) a certificate of completion with your name, date of completion and program name; (2) a confirmation or email from a conference or event provider verifying your attendance; (3) a sign-in sheet; (4) a final attendee list completed after the conclusion of the event; (5) or a CFP Transcript showing completion of the event. Please note: For conferences, only overall completion is needed, completion documentation for individual sessions is not necessary.
  • Proof of Content: Acceptable documentation supporting proof of content includes clear information about the topics covered, showing that they are in line with our list of Accepted CE Topics. (1) For courses, provide documentation with course title. (2) For conferences provide a final agenda with the sessions you attended marked on the agenda. (3) For course or session titles that are vague, provide detailed content descriptions from the CE provider.
  • Proof of Clock time: Acceptable proof of clock time is documentation from the CE provider that each event lasted a minimum of 50 minutes. CE is awarded based on a minimum 50 minute hour (every 50 minute = 1 CE hour). *Conference sessions that are under 50 minutes in length will be accepted as long as the combined total of conference hours attended are greater than 50 minutes.

 

 

The email communication that you receive at the time the audit is initiated will include a list of the CE under audit that documentation must be submitted for. CE not listed in this communication is not under audit. There is no need to submit documentation for CE not listed in the communication.

If the CE list on the original audit communication is blank, you did not have any reported CE that is eligible for audit. (Only Sponsored CE and Self-Reported CE is eligible for audit). You will receive a follow-up communication verifying that your audit has been closed.

 

 

All documentation can be submitted by email to recertification@i-w.org or fax 303-770-1812.

 


When acceptable documentation is received and approved, you will receive notification that your audit has been successfully completed. The audit will be officially closed and your status will remain Certified in good standing.

 

 

If documentation is received but is not in line with the Institute's CE standards, you will be asked to either submit additional documentation or additional completed CE for which you are able to provide appropriate documentation.

In the event that no appropriate documentation is received by the deadline, your certification would be relinquished and your status would be changed to Not Certified. You would no longer be permitted to use the marks. At this point, you would need to go through Reinstatement (see policy here) in order to become certified and be able to use the marks. (Please note that there is no reinstatement option for the loss of the CIMC certification.)

For additional questions regarding the CE audit process, please contact the Certification Department at 303-770-3377 or email recertification@i-w.org.

 

 

CE Reporting Changes


 

The process for self-reporting CE will be streamlined using a new CE reporting feature. Using this tool, you will be asked to list program details such as program title, provider, date attended, credit hours and attest to completion of the program delivered through an independent third party, that is not the Institute or a registered CE Sponsor. A fee to report this CE online is required, and the CE credit is applied to your certification record immediately upon entry.

 

 

Individuals who complete in-person or online continuing education from a third party that is not a CE Sponsor or the Institute will pay a US $5/per credit hour fee to add the hours to their CE record. The hours will be applied to the 40-hour CE requirement immediately upon entry.

 

 

No. You should retain all documentation in the event you are audited, but you will not upload, email or mail supporting documentation when you report Self-Reported CE through your online Dashboard. Investments & Wealth Institute will not retain any documentation sent prior to the audit.

 


Yes. You can complete in-person or online continuing education hours from a CE Sponsor or independent third party.

 

 

No. Programs completed through a registered CE Sponsor (Sponsored CE) can be reported through your online Dashboard using the assigned program/course ID specific to that program. CE credit is applied to your certification record immediately upon completion, and no fee is applied.

 

 

Both live and online programs completed through the Institute will be reported on your behalf approximately 10 business days after the conclusion of a live event, and two business days after completion of an online program.

 

 

Audited individuals will have 30-days from date of audit to provide documentation that supports their completed hours for review and approval. Certificants need only verify Sponsored CE and Self-Reported CE. Premier CE offered by Investments & Wealth Institute will not be audited.

 

 

No. Individuals will only be audited after completing their renewal and are randomly selected.