The maintenance of proficiency with a minimum of 40 hours per year of continuing education in the field of financial planning distinguished the RFC® from other professionals. The IARFC is convinced that extensive on-going professional education is essential for an advisor to serve the public effectively.
While serving a number of needs for its members, the primary purpose of the IARFC is to provide the public with a pool of well-qualified practitioners from which to choose a personal advisor. The RFC® designation is removed from anyone who fails to maintain proficiency through substantial continuing education, or who betrays the public trust by failing to live up to its Code of Ethics or by having a professional license revoked or suspended for any reason.
The IARFC participated in its first professional Cruise/Conference, and these events have been successful in providing continuing education in a very attractive venue. Each year, the cruise/conference provides the members with an excellent opportunity to network with leading financial professionals. An example, in 2001, the venue was the Western Caribbean and in 2002, there was one to Scandinavia and Russia.
The organization launched its website IARFC.ORG, which is a steadily growing portal for association members and the public. A new licensing exam was developed to allow in applicants who met all other requirements except having completed academic courses that included exams.
The association held its first Financial Advisors Forum professional education conference on a university campus at Yale University in New Haven.
This was followed in 1998 at Stanford where the attendees paid homage to the founder of the financial planning movement, Loren Dunton.
Also in 1998, the IARFC created the Registered Financial Associate (RFA) designation for the benefit of recent graduates of financial services curricula who had not yet accumulated the four years of experience required. An RFA converts to an RFC designation after several years and the completion of 160 hours of professional continuing education.
The association offices were moved to Middletown, Ohio, under the leadership of Ed Morrow, and an independent accounting and membership-tracking system was installed. The charter was revised to include additional directors from academia. Membership was then 850.
The association expanded its internal focus, with courses being offered in Malaysia and Taiwan. By the end of 2007, there were classrooms courses offered in twelve countries, including China and India.
The association began offering the Financial Planning Process™ course in the U.S., which is unique because it requires the submission of both modular and comprehensive plans in addition to coursework and exams.
The IARFC maintains a computer bank of members and their website links are maintained on this website to provide the general public with information on the nearest Registered Financial Consultants.