Rules and Regulations
By submitting an application to enroll in the Certified Corporate FP&A Professional program, candidates agree to familiarize themselves with and abide by the policies that govern the FP&A testing process, as stated below.
- AFP Standards of Ethical Conduct
- OFAC Compliance Policy
- Scheduling Your Examination Appointment
- Changes to Testing Date
- Exam Day at the Test Center
- Special Testing Accommodations/ADA
- Identification Requirements
- Computer-Based Testing
- Examination Tutorial
- Reporting Testing Center Irregularities
- Testing Time
- Exit Survey
- Grounds for Dismissal
- Candidate Misconduct
- Score Validity Review
- Exam Results
- Reviewing Testing Results
- "No-show" Penalty Fee
- FP&A Exam Scoring Summary
- Upon Receiving Your FP&A Certification
- FP&A Recertification
By submitting an FP&A program application, candidates agree to read and abide by the AFP Standards for Ethical Conduct.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control ("OFAC") prohibits U.S. companies from engaging in unlicensed transactions with individuals who live in countries that are subject to certain sanctions. If you reside in Syria or Sudan, AFP cannot conduct business with you. AFP also cannot do business with Specially Designated Nationals ("SDNs") regardless of their location. If you attempt to register for a program despite U.S. sanctions that prohibit AFP from doing business with you, we are legally required to cancel your registration and we cannot refund your payment. See the OFAC website for details and updates on current sanctions programs.
Pearson Vue must also comply with OFAC policies, regardless of the location of the testing centers. Candidates who present an ID from a sanctioned country will be denied entry to the testing site. .
Once registered, the candidate must either schedule appointments and take the exam, or request that the registration be transferred or deferred to the next testing window.
Failure to schedule an appointment or appointments during your approved testing window will result in forfeiting your exam fee and you will be required to complete a re-exam form and pay the $350 USD re-exam fee per exam part in order to register again to take the exam.
Carefully check your Authorization to Test (ATT) email. Your first and last name (family name), as it appears on your identification, MUST match the name the test center has on file. If any information is incorrect, contact AFP prior to making your appointment to test.
Appointments to test can be made by contacting Pearson VUE's registration center. For Pearson VUE contact information, please visit www.pearsonvue.com/AFP. You may make an appointment to test at any of Pearson VUE's approved testing centers for any available date and time during your approved testing window. For the best availability, candidates should make their appointments immediately after receiving their ATT, as test center seats can fill quickly.
If you are submitting a cancellation, transfer or deferral request to AFP, you must also cancel your appointments with the testing center. Cancellations must be approved by Pearson VUE at least one full business day (24 hours) in advance. For Pearson VUE contact information, please visit www.pearsonvue.com/AFP. A "no-show" penalty of $100 USD per appointment will be assessed to candidates who do not cancel exam appointments.
You may reschedule your appointments within the same testing window to a new date or change your test location. However, you must contact Pearson VUE at least one full business day (24 hours) prior to your scheduled appointments. For Pearson VUE contact information, please visit www.pearsonvue.com/AFP. (Please note: leaving a message on an answering machine is NOT an acceptable method of canceling or rescheduling your appointments to test.)
If you miss your appointments, cancel too late, or arrive too late (30 minutes past your scheduled exam appointment), you will be considered a "no-show" candidate. In this event, you will not be allowed to reschedule your exam within the current testing window, you will forfeit your examination fee, and you must remit the $350 USD re-examination and $100 USD "no-show" fee per appointment for another testing window.
Candidates who submit a cancellation request form to AFP by the appropriate deadline will be refunded a portion of their registration fee. The application ($325 USD) and non-member differential ($395 USD) fees are non-transferable and nonrefundable. For candidates whose most recent payment did not include an application fee, there will be a $100 USD processing fee withheld and any no-show penalty fees ($100 USD) that were previously assessed.
Please note that cancellations are intended for candidates who are no longer interested in being enrolled in the FP&A Certification program or will be putting off the examination for an unknown period of time. Once the cancellation form has been processed and the exam fees refunded, the candidate must re-submit the new applicant form and the appropriate fees, should they ever want to enroll in the program again. For candidates interested in moving their exam registration to the next testing window, please view the transfer, deferral or re-examination sections of this page.
Upon enrollment candidates will be registered to take both parts of the examination within the same testing window. Should a candidate wish to move one exam part to the next available window, one complimentary transfer will be approved for this purpose. Only one complimentary transfer for either Part I OR Part II will be approved. Following the use of the complimentary transfer, a $125 USD fee per exam part will be applied to all candidates who wish to make this change. Only one transfer will be permitted per new or re-examination application for each exam part. Candidates must cancel their existing exam appointment at least one full business day (24 hours) in advance; otherwise they are subject to the "no-show" penalty fee of $100 USD per exam part.
Please note: candidate who are new applicants for the February-March 2018 (2018A) testing window will be the last group of candidates eligible to receive a complimentary transfer. Candidates who are new applicants for the August-September 2018 (2018B) window and for all subsequent windows will not receive a complimentary transfer with their enrollment.
Under special circumstances AFP may allow a deferral from the current testing window to the next testing window with no additional fee. Special circumstances must either immediately precede or coincide with the administration of the exam. All such circumstances must include supporting documentation, such as a doctor's note. Approval of a deferral request is granted on a case-by-case basis. Deferrals are permitted only once per exam part.
Absolutely no candidate substitutions may be made for the FP&A program and examination.
To ensure that all candidates' results are earned under comparable conditions and represent fair and accurate measurement, it is necessary to maintain a standardized testing environment. The following policies, procedures and suggestions pertain to every FP&A examination administration:
- Instructions by test center personnel are to be followed.
- Candidates may request a handheld four-function calculator from the test administrator. No other calculators will be allowed in the testing room.
- Do not bring books or other reference material into the examination room. The exam proctor will not permit anyone found possessing such materials to continue the test.
- Visitors are not permitted at the test center.
- You may not bring scratch paper into the examination with you. White boards with pens will be provided to you by the exam proctor at the test center. Raise your hand and the exam proctor will provide you with additional boards. You may request as many as you will need, however, you may not keep more than four white boards at your desk at once.
- If you wish to leave the room during the test, you must secure the administrator's permission. If you leave the testing area for any reason, please note that you will be electronically fingerprinted upon leaving and again before re-entering. Please note that the testing clock cannot be paused and your testing time will continue to count down while you are away from your work station.
- Bring a jacket or sweater for air-conditioned rooms.
Note: If you encounter a problem at the test center, please contact the administrator for assistance and request that an Incident Report be filed. If an Incident Report is not filed through the administrator we are then limited in our ability to authenticate issues and remedy for future testing. After leaving the test center, please contact the Certification Specialist at FPAcert@AFPonline.org to provide the Incident Report number and a description of what occurred.
Candidates with documented visual, physical, hearing or learning disabilities, which would prevent them from taking an examination under standard conditions, may request special testing accommodations and arrangements.
AFP and Pearson VUE require written documentation of the disability from the candidate's doctor or from another qualified medical professional who has treated the candidate for the disability. The documentation should include a description of the disability, treatment dates and recommended accommodations. This written documentation must be submitted to AFP within 24 hours of the exam application or registration form. There is no extra fee for making these arrangements.
In considering a request from an applicant for special accommodations, AFP and Pearson VUE are guided by a sense of fairness. Special accommodations are granted to give an approved candidate the opportunity to be examined in an equivalent manner with other candidates, but not to provide an advantage over other candidates.
Before you are allowed to test, you will be required to provide one form of identification that includes your name, signature, photograph, and an expiration date. Your first and last name (family name), as it appears on your identification, must match exactly both the name the test center has on file for you and the name that appears on your ATT.
Acceptable forms of identification include: valid passport, valid driver's license with photo, or other government issued ID.
You will NOT be able to test without the proper identification. Should you be turned away due to improper identification, you will be required to pay the $100 USD no-show penalty fee. If you are unable to reschedule your appointment within the testing window, you will have the option to transfer. To transfer to another testing window, $125 USD per exam part is required.
There are some discrepancies that are acceptable and those are listed below:
- Single letter discrepancy: Harrington, Herrington
- Single letter transposition: Cohen, Cohne
- Single letter omission: Brooks, Brook
- Single letter addition: Stuart, Stuarte
- Incorrect letters in one version: Gibbs, Ginns
- Names reversed: Ann Lisa, Lisa Ann
- Middle initial missing: Anna J. Ford, Anna Ford
- One ID has middle name, one has initial: Yuka M. Lewis, Yuka Michiko Lewis
- Informal variation of first name: Michael Jones, Mike Jones
- Maiden name as middle name on one ID: Betsy K. Smith, Betsy Smith Johns (as middle name only)
- All appendages to names will be ignored: Jr., Sr., II, etc.
You do not need extensive computer experience to take the examination. On-site assistance includes:
- Online tutorials to guide you through the use of the testing center computer
- Computer workstations equipped with a mouse
- Fully trained test center administrators available during your exam for technical assistance (not related to exam content)
The benefits of computer-based testing are:
- Immediate score reporting
- Ability to mark questions as a reminder for later review
- Ability to track and display the time remaining on the exam
At the beginning of your examination, you will be immediately provided with a nondisclosure attachment and a brief tutorial.
You will be asked to read and accept the terms of a nondisclosure agreement. This states that all candidates agree not to disclose any content or test questions on the exam, including comments on various AFP Discussion lists.
Once you have accepted the nondisclosure agreement, you will then have the option to complete a 15 minute tutorial. This is designed to familiarize you with the computer and testing and spreadsheet software. This time allotment is in addition to your testing time.
With the examination tutorial, you learn how to select answers, move from one question to the next, and use testing features such as "Item Review," as well as how to use the mouse and keyboard and how to use the online calculator. The tutorial will also explain the functionality of the in-test spreadsheets. The tutorial allows you to concentrate on how to operate the computer in order to complete the examination. You do not need to be concerned with which answers you select during the tutorial, as there is no penalty for incorrect answers. Once you exit from the tutorial, you may not return to it. You are strongly encouraged not to bypass the tutorial.
Should you experience a delay in taking your examination or any technical problems, please make sure that this irregularity is documented by the TA. This report is forwarded to Pearson VUE and to AFP. Test center problems cannot be addressed at a later date and time without a written report from the test center.
Your scheduled appointment time for Part I of the exam is 180 minutes, 155 minutes of which is used to answer the 125 questions presented. Of the 125 questions, 110 questions will be Multiple Choice and 15 will be Task Based Simulations. Your scheduled appointment time for Part II of the exam is 270 minutes, 245 minutes of which is used to answer the 125 questions presented. Of the 125 questions, 90 questions will be Multiple Choice and 35 will be Task Based Simulations. There will be 25 minutes allotted to both parts of the examination for the non-disclosure agreement, examination tutorial and post-test survey.
During the examination, you will have the opportunity to review any questions on the examination. You can change answers, mark or skip questions. Should your time expire while taking the exam, all answers, regardless of how they are marked, will be calculated into your score. Once your allowed time has expired, or you exit the examination, you cannot see or review the questions again. Incorrect answers will not count against you, so it is in your best interest to answer all questions on the exam.
At the conclusion of the examination, you will be asked to complete a brief survey which will provide AFP and Pearson VUE with an evaluation of your testing and preparation experience. All comments are reviewed after the close of the testing window and, wherever possible or necessary, changes are implemented.
Please feel free to forward written comments via email or conventionally mail them to AFP within five business days of your exam to one of the following addresses:
4520 East-West Highway
Bethesda, MD 20814-3319
Any candidate who does not have positive identification, who uses unauthorized aids, or who does not follow the testing procedures may be dismissed from the test center.
The following are examples of behaviors considered to be misconduct and will not be tolerated. Candidates who demonstrate misconduct will have their test scores canceled, will forfeit enrollment and application fees paid and will not be permitted to take the exam in the future.
- Giving or receiving assistance of any kind to other examinees
- Using any unauthorized references or aids
- Attempting to take the examination for someone else. Allowing someone else to take the exam for you.
- Failing to follow testing regulations and/or the instructions of the test center administrator
- Creating a disturbance of any kind
- Copying, removing or attempting to remove examination questions and/or note boards from the testing room
- Tampering with the operation of the computer or attempting to use it for any function other than taking the examination
- Leaving the testing room without permission
- Using electronic communications equipment, such as cellular phones, beepers or smart phones
In the absence of observed misconduct, it should be noted that Pearson VUE and AFP routinely apply a post-test administrative review of the validity of the test scores.
If irregularities are found as a result of these reviews, the examinee will be contacted and notified of procedures necessary to remove any score validity issues.
At the end of the examination you will receive a printed report of your results that will include your name, title of your examination and whether you passed or failed. Your actual score is only provided if you failed, along with your performance diagnostics by knowledge domain. To ensure confidentiality, results will not be released by telephone, facsimile or any other electronic transmission, either by AFP or by Pearson VUE. Electronic score data files will be retained for a period of three years.
Information about your results will be released only with your written consent. However, AFP will release the names of new FP&As on a semi-annual basis.
If you want a duplicate score report, please contact Pearson VUE. For Pearson VUE contact information, please visit www.pearsonvue.com/AFP.
The test questions are reviewed and approved by the AFP Certification committee, which shall be considered the final technical authority on the accuracy and interpretation of the test questions and answers. AFP policy states that candidates will not be allowed to review the test or individual test results. This policy results from the large number of candidates taking the examination and the need to keep the security of the examination intact.
However, Pearson VUE recognizes the extreme importance of test results to candidates and has a multi-step quality control procedure to help ensure that reported scores are accurate. Furthermore, candidates are encouraged to critique items in the exit survey at the time of the test. All comments are reviewed by Pearson VUE and AFP.
Occasionally testing irregularities occur that affect a group of test takers. Such problems include, without limitation, administrative errors, defective equipment or materials, improper access to test content and/or the unauthorized general availability of test content, as well as other disruptions of test administrations (e.g. natural disasters and other emergencies). When group testing irregularities occur, Pearson VUE will conduct an investigation and provide information to AFP. Based on this information, the AFP may direct Pearson VUE either not to score the test or to cancel the test score.
When it is appropriate to do so, AFP will arrange with Pearson VUE to give affected test takers the opportunity to take the test again as soon as possible, without charge.
Affected test takers will be notified of the reasons for the cancellation and their options for retaking the test. The appeal process does not apply to group testing irregularities.
A $350 USD fee applies to candidates who were not successful on their previous exam attempt or failed to schedule an appointment during their approved testing window. Only candidates who are within ten testing windows of their original application qualify for this reexamination fee. Candidates wishing to retake the exam more than ten testing windows after their initial application must submit a new application and pay the new applicant fees. Candidates must cancel their existing exam appointment in accordance with test center cancellation policies; otherwise they are subject to the "no-show" penalty fee of $100 USD.
A $100 USD fee applies to all candidates who fail to cancel an existing appointment with Pearson VUE at least one full business day (24 hours) in advance, regardless of whether they submit a written request to AFP to cancel, defer or transfer their exam registration. This fee also applies to candidates who miss their appointment, cancel too late or arrive late. Please select the "No-Show" Fee option on the transfer request form for payment.
You are not penalized for wrong answers, so it is to your advantage to answer every question, even if you have to guess.
The exam is not graded on a curve. You are competing against a predetermined standard, not other examinees.
Your raw score, which is the number of questions you answer correctly, is converted through a statistical formula, to what is referred as a "scaled score." Scaled scoring allows for all examinees to be judged on a level playing field when taking different forms of the exam. Scaled scoring is commonly used by most certification organizations that offer multiple forms of an exam.
The FP&A exams are valid, sound and legally defensible.
Once you have met all of the requirements for the credential , your new FP&A certification status will be officially recognized by AFP in writing. Newly certified FP&A professionals will receive:
- A Certificate of Achievement
- The AFP Standards of Ethical Conduct
- Information on Maintaining Your FP&A Credential
- An Employer Notification Request Form
- FP&A Pin
- Additionally, your name will be published on AFP's Website and the AFP Exchange Magazine
FP&A Certification is valid for 3 years. An FP&A professional must earn a total of 45 FP&A qualified continuing education credits within a three-year recertification cycle to maintain the FP&A credential.
For more information on recertification requirements and activities/topics that are eligible for credit, see the recertification guidelines.
All proprietary rights to the examination, including copyright, are held by AFP. In order to protect the integrity of the examination and to ensure the validity of the scores that are reported, candidates must adhere to strict guidelines regarding proper conduct in handling these copyrighted proprietary materials. Any attempt to reproduce all or part of an examination is strictly prohibited by law. Such an attempt includes, but is not limited to: removing materials from the examination room; aiding others by any means in reconstructing any portion of an examination; or selling, distributing, receiving, or having unauthorized possession of any portion of an examination. Alleged copyright violations will be investigated and, if warranted, prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. It should also be noted that examination scores may be invalidated in the event of this type of suspected breach and candidate eligibility status revoked.