The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. wants to put theory into practice with its proposal to add a financial plan development course to its educational standards.

The proposal would require aspirants to the certified financial planner certification to prepare a written, comprehensive financial plan as part of the established curriculum. Both the written plan and an oral presentation of the plan would be evaluated.

CFP Board's education standards comprise coursework in the major financial planning areas including general principles of financial planning, insurance planning and risk management, employee benefits planning, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning, and estate planning.

Under CFP Board's proposal, all of this would have to be tied together into a cogent financial plan.

"The proposed financial plan development course would require individuals seeking to attain CFP certification to demonstrate their ability to integrate and apply the financial planning topic areas to a scenario based on the types of situations a practicing financial planner might be expected to address with clients," said Marilyn Capelli Dimitroff, chair of the CFP Board.

As proposed, the new requirement would require financial planning education programs registered with CFP Board to offer a financial plan development course by January 2012. The organization is taking written comments on the proposals during a 60-day period that ends October 2.

Comments will be reviewed by CFP Board's Council on Education and posted in their entirety on the organization's web site. The CFP Board is particularly interested in comments focused on implementation, assessment and course outcomes related to the proposed requirement.

Inspiration for the proposal came after CFP Board's international cousin, the Financial Planning Standards Board Ltd., added a comprehensive case study component to its curriculum.

The entire proposal can be found at Comments can be emailed to [email protected]. Or they can be mailed to: CFP Board, c/o Managing Director of Education, 1425 K Street NW, Suite 500, Washington, D.C., 20005.