Which Designation is Right for You?

About Certified Fixed Income Practitioner (CFIP)

Committed professionals across the country have achieved their CFIP designation to demonstrate mastery of the foundational principles of fixed income investing as well as dedication to life-long learning and ethical standards. The information learned in the program prepares individuals for a variety of careers, making it a popular choice for public agency treasury and investment professionals, bank and credit union managers, investment oversight committees, investment advisers and registered representatives. Working with our graduates and Student Advisory Council, we have developed new requirements for obtaining and maintaining the designation.
Please refer to the 2017 Designation Requirements for additional information.

As proud as we are of our bond school curriculum and certification program, they are not the only options and may not be the best choice for you. The notion of post-secondary learning and continuing professional education (CPE) continues to evolve, creating more customized options for all of us to achieve our learning objectives. Collaboration is key as we work together to tailor learning plans. As an example, FIA Bond School is now part of the required curriculum to achieve the Certified California Municipal Treasurer (CCMT) designation and we are helping the Government Investment Officers Association (GIOA) develop a new designation specifically suited for more active investment managers in the public sector Read on to learn more and don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your options. We are here to help.

If you are currently a CFIP and wish to maintain your designation, visit the Membership page to complete your application.

Why Get Certified?

Obtaining a financial industry specific certification and/or designation is a great way to stay sharp and keep up with trends. It also demonstrates to employers and constituents that you take your fiduciary responsibility seriously and are committed to optimizing your organization's results.

Measure Results

The desire to measure mastery of knowledge has highlighted the need for uniform professional standards, which has prompted their creation as well as new certification programs. This is a good thing because it allows professionals to focus their time on learning concepts and applications directly related to their areas of responsibility. But it can also be a little confusing when sorting through the alphabet soup of titles and accreditations. So we created this table to list some of the more common programs geared towards institutional and public agency investors for your convenience. We have gathered the information from various sources deemed to be reliable, but encourage you to visit each organization's website to learn more about their respective programs.

Compare and Contrast

First, let's clarify our definitions of "certification" versus "designation." The terms are used interchangeably and it becomes confusing when many designations include the word "certified". Heck, we even encourage you to "get certified!", mainly because it sound better than "get designated!".

Generally speaking, certifications are earned after successfully completing a body of knowledge, typically demonstrated by passing a test. Certificate programs do not have continuing professional education (CPE) and renewal requirements to maintain the credential. Certificate holders typically do not use marks or initials after their names.

Well-received designation programs are earned after successfully mastering a body of knowledge, typically demonstrated by the passing of one or a series of tests. Most designations programs will have more stringent prerequisites in addition to ongoing CPE and renewal requirements. The content covered is typically comprehensive and takes longer to complete. Designation holders typically do use marks or initials after their name, such as CPA, CFA® and CFP®, providing the designation holder continues to comply with the requirements of the sponsor organization. The sponsoring organizations are responsible for ensuring that designation holders keep up with the ongoing CPE and other requirements.

Name of Designation/ Certification Sponsor Organization Sample Careers of Designees Initial Requirements & Cost Ongoing Requirements & Cost Link to Learn More
Certified Treasury Professional (CTP) AFP Corporate Treasurers; Cash Managers Education and work experience requirements; self study books or 3rd party learning management system; $300 to apply plus costs of materials; costs vary depending on chosen options 36 hours of CPE every 3 years; minimal fee for renewal ctpcert.afponline.org
Certified Public Funds Investment Manager (CPFIM) APTUS&C Municipal Treasurer; Municipal Accounting Professional; Oversight committee member 8 hours plus one 75 question test; classes are offered periodically offline; less than $300 Doesn’t appear to be any aptusc.org
Advanced Certified Public Funds Investment Manager (ACPFIM) APTUS&C Same as CPFIM Additional 3-4 hours after completion of CPFIM; classes are offered periodically offline; less than $300 Doesn’t appear to be any aptusc.org
CFA Institute Investment Foundations™ Investment Certificate CFA Institute Operations and staff responsible for supporting investment decision makers No prerequisites, 80-100 hours of self study; ~$700 per individual for application and study materials; group rates available. None cfainstitute.org
Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) CFA Institute Graduate level program for portfolio managers, equity and fixed income analyst and institutional investors. Education and work experience requirements, must pass 3 exams (the average person takes 4 years to complete and there is a less than 50% success rate), cost varies depending on types of study materials and number of times taken but is in the range of $2000 - $4000 Appears to be voluntary cfainstitute.org/cfaprogram,
Certified California Municipal Treasurer (CCMT)

Newly Revised!
CMTA Treasurers, Investment Officers, Finance Professionals and other fiduciaries directly responsible for the management of public funds in the State of California Education and work experience requirements; ~$500 to take the CFA Institute Investment Foundations™ Investment Certificate Program plus $1275 to take Fixed Income Academy Bond School; minimal additional cost for 8 hours of CMTA offline training 25 hours of CPE every year; minimal recertification fee cmta.org
Certified California Treasury Certificate (CTC)

New 2015!

CMTA Individuals responsible for the support or oversight of public agency treasury or finance professionals in the State of California No prerequisites; ~$500 to take the CFA Institute Investment Foundations™ Investment Certificate Program; minimal additional cost for 4 hours of CMTA offline training No ongoing requirements cmta.org
Certified Fixed Income Practitioner (CFIP) Fixed Income Academy Buy-side and sell-side professionals and support staff responsible for the management or oversight of cash equivalents and/or short duration fixed income portfolios; public and private treasurers and portfolio managers, institutional sales people, auditors, oversight committee members Educational and/or work experience plus membership in a qualified industry trade association and commitment to comply with the CFA® Code of Ethics. Bond School registration is $1650 or $1275 for Mission Partners. Membership in a qualified industry trade association;completion of 12 hours of online or offline training; $50 renewal fee (without continued Bond School access) or $195 renewal fee (inluding online access and virtual workshops) fixedincomeacademy.com
Certified Public Finance Officer Program (CPFO) GFOA Finance Directors; Treasurers; Budget Officers Education and Work Experience Requirement; Self Study plus 175 question exam for each module. Must complete all 5 modules within 7 years; coveres a wide range of disciplines; one module focuses on investments;$300 plus exam materisl; cost varies depending on options 60 hours of CPE every two years; minimal fee for renewal gfoa.org/cpfo
Certified Government Investment Professional (CGIP)

New 2015!

GIOA Investment Officers, Treasurers and Portfolio Managers responsible for the direct management of public agency bond portfolios 20 hours of CPE every year; annual $50 admin fee for renewal. gioa.us
Fixed Income Portfolio Management(Basic) New York Institute of Finance (NYIF) Jr. PMs, money managers, research analysts, consultants, investors, private bankers and financial advisors No prerequisites, 3 days offline classes in NY (~21 hours), $2700 tuition per person Doesn’t appear to be any nyif.com
Fixed Income Professional Certificate New York Institute of Finance (NYIF) Equity analysts, institutional sales staff, and capital markets assistants No prerequisites, 5 days offline classes in NY (~40 hours), $4300 tuition per student Doesn’t appear to be any nyif.com