The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards is working on several new initiatives to provide greater academic support for the financial planning profession, including a new Ph.D. program and academic journal, along with the possible establishment of a Center for Financial Planning.

The goals, according to the board, are to provide new opportunities for research and teaching, as well as enhance the quality of financial advice offered to the public.

“As the standard-setting body for the CFP certification and the authority on financial planning, CFP Board is committed to moving the needle in providing to those in academia—from both within and beyond our existing CFP Board-registered programs—a home to conduct research and teach financial planning to a new generation of CFP professionals,” said CFP Board chair V. Raymond Ferrara in a statement. “These new efforts reflect the adoption of financial planning as a recognized discipline within academia as well as a growing profession within the financial services industry.”

All of the efforts, Ferrara noted, are consistent with the CFP Board’s mission to benefit the public by granting the CFP certification and upholding it as the standard for personal financial planning.
The CFP Board said Thursday it is exploring the creation of a Center for Financial Planning that would serve as a credible source of research that advances the financial planning professional in several areas:  influencing and supporting academic research dedicated to helping financial planners better serve the public; supporting diversity within the profession so it better mirrors the American public; and building capacity for the next generation of competent and ethical financial planners to meet public demand.

The CFP Board is also setting up its first business school doctoral program at Louisiana State University’s E. J. Ourso College of Business. The school’s Department of Finance now offers a Ph.D. in business administration (finance), with a specialization in financial planning, making it the first CFP Board-registered doctoral program in a business college accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business.

In addition, 225 colleges and universities already offer CFP Board-registered programs, with more than 120 of them offering financial planning baccalaureate programs.

The CFP Board is also collaborating with the publisher John Wiley & Sons on a peer-reviewed academic journal that focuses on financial planning, with research provided by academic faculty who are teaching and conducting research in financial planning. The journal will be available for free to all CFP professionals. Last year, the CFP Board collaborated with Wiley on publishing a Financial Planning Competency Handbook.