The American College, based here, and the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors have partnered to create the Financial Services Specialist designation, a new financial planning credential.

The FSS program - geared toward financial services professionals in traditional insurance roles - is based on the college's training model of the insurance-based Life Underwriter Training Council designation program. Like the LUTCF, the FSS designation curriculum is comprised of six courses delivered in a live classroom instructional format. The courses are organized through the same network of NAIFA local associations and agencies.

Of the six courses, three are required and three are electives that can be selected by the student. Topics in the program include basic planning concepts, such as understanding the financial services market; communication skills; understanding the client life-cycle; introductory financial planning concepts, including estate planning, investment planning and retirement planning; and introductory financial product knowledge, including investments, annuities and insurance.

Courses are open to all financial services professionals through local associations of the NAIFA. For information, visit the NAIFA Web site at www.naifa.org, call (877) 655-5882, or e-mail volunteers@theamericancollege.edu.

The Falls Church, Va.-based NAIFA is comprised of 800 state and local associations with member practices focusing on life insurance and annuities, health insurance and employee benefits, multiline, and financial advising and investments.

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