Certified Trust and Financial Advisor (CTFA)

About CTFA | Apply | Exam Information | Exam Outline | Benefits
Maintain Certification | Advisory Board

About the CTFA

The Certified Trust and Financial Advisor certification is designed to:

  • Establish a recognized standard of knowledge and competence for the trust and wealth advisory field
  • Formally recognize those who meet these standards
  • Provide employers and clients with a tool to identify skilled, knowledgeable professionals
  • Support the benefits of professional continuing education and development

Who should pursue it

  • Wealth managers
  • Investment officers
  • Trust officers
  • Financial planners
  • Trust tax specialists
  • Private bankers
  • Trust administrators

Knowledge areas

  • Fiduciary and Trust Activities
  • Financial Planning
  • Tax Law and Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Ethics

Eligibility Requirements

 Please note:  The ICB certifications are based on U.S. laws and regulations and are therefore not offered outside the U.S.

You must meet the following prerequisites to qualify to take the CTFA certification examination.  If you are uncertain as to whether or not you meet the eligibility requirements to sit for the exam, please submit a resume to icb@aba.com.

1. Professional Experience and Education

2. Professional Reference
One letter of recommendation is required from your manager attesting to your qualifications for certification, including your wealth management experience and your ethical character. The letter must be signed and on corporate letterhead.

Wealth management experience is defined as direct experience in the various facets of delivering financial planning and fiduciary services relating to trusts, estates, IRAs and individual asset management accounts.  This experience further includes providing administrative, investment management, tax, legal and marketing services.  Please note -- experience in employee benefit trust, corporate trust or securities/trust operations does not qualify as wealth management experience.

3. Ethics Statement
Each candidate must sign ICB's Professional Code of Ethics statement.  Please note -- you must furnish all pertinent information about any convictions or pleas of nolo contendere on the grounds of fraud, embezzlement, unfair or deceptive practices, securities law violations, misappropriation of property, fraudulent conversations or any civil or administrative action from which you have been previously found liable.

4. Application
You must complete and submit the application.  You are required to meet the eligibility requirements at the time that you submit your application.

Maintenance Requirements

To maintain your CTFA in good standing, you must adhere to ICB's Professional Code of Ethics, pay an annual fee, and complete 45 credits of continuing education every three years, with a minimum of six hours in each of four knowledge areas.  In addition, you are required to complete three continuing education credits in Ethics.


Examination Fees*
School/Conference Application and Exam Fee
PSI Testing Center Application and Exam Fee
Exam Site Change Fee
(for all exam site change requests less than 1 week prior to School/Conference Exam Date or less than 3 days prior to a PSI Testing Center Exam Date)
Exam Retake Fee
School/Conference Exam
PSI Testing Center Exam

Exam Withdrawal Fee $125

* The Exam Fee, minus a $100 nonrefundable Application Fee, is 100% refundable upon written request prior to the published withdrawal deadline. A $125 withdrawal fee is assessed if a candidate cancels or withdraws after the published withdrawal deadline from a scheduled exam date for which the candidate is registered. However, requests for withdrawal received on or less than fourteen (14) business days prior to the exam date will not be honored and the entire exam fee will be forfeited. ICB will consider waiving the forfeiture fee in case of a medical emergency. Your request for such a waiver must be made in writing and supported by documentation from a physician, which clearly states that you are unable to appear for the exam due to personal or immediate family medical issues. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

Membership Fees**
Annual Membership Fee $199
Multiple Certification Discount $350 (2 certifications)
$450 (3 or more)

** Membership Fee is assessed annually every year after certification has been granted.
Fees are subject to change without notice.

Benefits and Services

  • Free subscription to ABA Trust Letter newsletter (monthly, delivered electronically)
  • ICB Certified Banker newsletter (quarterly, delivered electronically)

Click here for more information about CTFA benefits.

​Questions? Please contact icb@aba.com for more information.


 CTFA Resources