There will be no exams this month for the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards’ certification, one of the most sought-after marks by financial advisors.
In response to the coronavirus, Prometric, the CFP Board exam administrator, announced Tuesday that it was closing all testing centers in North America for at least the next 30 days. As a result, anyone who was registered to take the CFP exam will be rescheduled to take the exam during the testing period this summer, from July 7-14, the CFP Board said in a statement.
The CFP Board said it will be in contact with the individuals who are expected to take the exam this month once registration opens for the July exam. There will be no additional cost to the test-takers rescheduled for the July testing period, the second of three exam periods this year.
The coronavirus pandemic has already closed borders, halted business, thrown the U.S. into the fastest-ever bear market, and continues to spread. As of Tuesday afternoon, it had infected at least 200,000 people and more than 8,200 have died, according to a New York Times database tracking global confirmed cases.
Like many businesses, the CFP Board has also ordered all employees in its Washington D.C. office to work remotely through March 27. “Please be assured that we are not suspending or closing operations, and staff will continue to be available to you on a remote basis,” it said in Tuesday’s statement.
The statement did not say how many employees work in the office. More than 86,000 financial advisors hold the CFP designation.
Meanwhile, the U.S. is escalating restrictions on individuals and businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the virus and mitigate a surge in the number of afflicted from overwhelming hospitals, a scenario that has occurred in Italy and other countries. The U.S. and Canada mutually agreed to close the border between their countries on Wednesday.
It could be months before people are no longer encouraged to stay home, practice social distancing, and daily lives return to normalcy. However, the CFP Board’s July exam period is still on.
“We remain committed to our future certificants, and as of now, the July exams for CFP candidates are going ahead as planned. If the schedule changes, we will notify our exam candidates in advance,” John Loper, managing director of Professional Practice at CFP Board, said in an email to RIA Intel last week.
On Tuesday, the CFP Board maintained that expectation but acknowledged the fluid situation.
“CFP Board is closely monitoring developments related to the COVID-19 situation and will take additional appropriate actions as needed to help protect the health of our staff, with continued service to our stakeholders,” the organization said in Tuesday’s statement.
“Thank you for your understanding and support as we all work to address this rapidly changing situation. Please take care of yourself during this challenging time.”
The CFP Board could not be reached to comment for this story.