When life changes money changes, and when money changes life changes.®

--Susan Bradley, CFP®, CeFT®


Become a Certified Financial Transitionist® 

Two-Part Process

Part One: 12-Month Core Training

Part Two: One-Day Certification Exam 

       Part One: 12-Month Core Training                        

$5,100 ($425/month or $4,845 if paid at one time)             



Upcoming Start Dates (click to register):

 June 19th, 2018  October 17th, 2018


Please note that although any financial advisor with at least five years of direct client contact may participate in the program (and say that they have been trained in Financial Transitions Planning once they have successfully completed it), only those who hold a CFP®, CIMA®, CFA®, or CPA/PFS designation can sit for certification. Professionals not sitting for certification can still use the materials once they have successfully completed the program, and are invited to all member events, for an annual fee.*

Core Training is composed of:

6 Monthly, On-demand Training Videos

6 Live, Web-based Experience Calls

Two, One-on-one Coaching Calls with FTI/SMI faculty

The on-demand recordings are 60-90 minutes and delve into the usage of the unique tools and protocols that characterize the work of the CeFT®. During each module, a new topic or tool is introduced, homework is assigned (which takes at least an hour to successfully complete), and an online quiz of 5-10 questions is completed.

During the live, experience calls, the candidate’s knowledge and skills are assessed by the faculty as well as by peers, and homework is reviewed. As this is an experience-based program, participants use the tools in their own practice and report back to their group for support and ideas around integrating the tools seamlessly into their work.

12+ CFP CE Credits are available for Core Training, not including the 10+ available for attendance at our conferences.

Upon completion of Part One (including the submission of all homework and the written case), participants (who hold a CFP®, CFA®, CIMA® or CPA/PFS) may use the title Financial Transitionist®. 

Once the Certification Exam is passed (65+), the designation Certified Financial Transitionist® has officially been achieved and can be used (assuming membership is maintained and there has been no change in the status of the primary designation).


Core Curriculum

Module One: The Foundation, Purpose Method Outcome, Communication Preferences

This module is perhaps the most academic as it presents the scholarship underpinning our work. From Bill Bridges’ seminal work on transitions to Stanford’s Carol Dweck’s research on mindset, to Stanford’s Kelly McGonigal and Berkeley’s Jane McGonigal’s popular reviews of the literature and original research on stress and mindset, to Harvard’s Marty Linsky and Ronald Heifetz’s research in adapting to change, this module is packed with the science behind the skillset, protocols and tools of the Financial Transitionist®. Purpose Method Outcome (PMO) is the structure for using the tools, where the tool or protocol is the Method. PMO is about getting to the client’s why for the work they’re doing. Communication Preferences is the first tool introduced. It is designed to allow clients to quickly identify their primary communication preferences for meeting with advisors, receiving information, and making decisions.

Module Two: The Transition Traits

Transitions often go very well, as we discuss with our Traits of Transition Flow. On the other hand, sometimes clients have difficulty processing their life event and the myriad associated changes in relationships, expectations, and priorities.

We call those difficulties Traits of Transition Struggle, and they have relatively predictable patterns of behavior and consequences. This module digs deep into the traits, including how to identify them and their relationship to the science of responsivity and reactivity, and it introduces the tools that most skillfully addresses them. Usage of the traits clearly demonstrates that the client is the driver of the work with the Financial Transitionist®. The traits will be revisited in each subsequent module. 

Module Three: The Decision Free Zone, One-Pagers, and an Introduction to Written Cases

The Decision Free Zone was created to increase executive functioning when the client is faced with important decisions and commitments. Order is calming and it increases the ability to comprehend, see options, and understand consequences.  One-Page Overviews are presentation tools that make use of the science of data visualization, which informs us that appropriately crafted visuals improve recall by 650%. One-Pagers create alignment between advisor and client as well as alignment within the client themselves, and the how, when and why of using them is discussed. Written Cases are introduced, as the curriculum culminates with them and their depth and complexity needs ample preparation.

Module Four: Managing Expectations, What if… and further discussion of Written Cases 

Managing Expectations is vital to the work of transitions in that it is often expectations (spoken and not) that create confusion and conflict both within the client and in their relationships. What if . . . is a way to explore the spectrum of options that opens up when life circumstances shift. Further discussion of written cases, as well as further integration of Transition Traits, is included.

Module Five: Am I Okay?, What has Changed? and Touchstone

When a client is struggling, these two tools can be used, separately or together, depending on the circumstance, to provide them with some relief about their short-term cash flow as well as other parts of their life that are of concern to them. Touchstone helps clients make important decisions--particularly when they are choosing among several options--by helping them identify times when they felt complete and in flow or most happy. The goal is to recall that feeling and use it as a guide. Written cases and Transition Traits are further discussed.

Module Six: Written Case

The written case is the time for the advisor to demonstrate their training-in-action. It represents the culmination and integration of the tools and shows the faculty that the advisor not only knows the content of the course but that their practice is an embodied one. The candidates must write as well as verbally present their cases and defend their positions and their work.


*For professionals who do not hold one of the primary designations required for certification, the annual fee for the licensing of the materials, and for invitations to members events, is $800.


                                Part Two: One-Day Certification Exam                              

The Certification Exam is held twice a year. This event demonstrates the skill of the candidate in the application of Financial Transitionist® tools and protocols through role-playing/oral exam, written case essays, structured response, multiple-choice testing (5 hr., closed book, and proctored). As important as content—and equally weighted during the assessments—are the candidate’s listening skills, assessment skills, communication skills, and their ethics. 

Included in the cost of the exam is a Prep Course consisting of three prep calls. A (virtual) practice exam is available for $150. 

In order to sit for certification, candidates must:

  • Adhere to the Code of Ethics for Financial Transitionists®.
  • Be in good standing with the governing board of their primary designation.  
  • Successfully complete the 12-Month Core Training.
    • Submit all homework assignments.
    • Demonstrate a base level of competency of the materials taught by active participation in the experience calls.
    • Make use of their two coaching calls.

Click here for requirements for Maintaining the CeFT® Designation, which includes a description of the continuing Levels of Membership.


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