October, 2015 InFRE Update: the CRC® Renewal Program

The purpose of the CRC® renewal program is to enhance continued competence and ensure an ongoing understanding and compliance with ethical requirements.

The CRC® certification carries an obligation of continuing education to help Certificants maintain current understanding and knowledge of relevant retirement planning topics. Like many other professional certifications and licenses, an annual continuing education requirement assures a Certificant’s commitment to life-long learning. The one year continuing education requirement is important for professionals working in a dynamic industry with a constantly changing legislative, tax and resources environment.

Continuing Education (C.E.) Requirements for Renewal

In order to maintain active status, CRC® Certificants must earn and submit fifteen (15) hours of continuing education annually.  Candidates who pass the CRC® Examination but have not yet completed all other requirements for obtaining the CRC® certification must also submit their C.E. annually.   All continuing education submitted must conform to the CRC® Approved Topic List, which can be found here:


Ethics Continuing Education

At least two (2) hours every two (2) years must be in the subject of Ethics. A Certificant’s first two-year ethics requirement must be met with an InFRE-produced ethics course that specifically addresses the CRC® Code of Ethics (Exhibit B). InFRE self-study courses or InFRE-sponsored workshops may satisfy this initial requirement.

Approved Sources of Continuing Education

This section outlines approved sources of continuing education. Credit will only be granted for topics on the approved list (see link). Unless otherwise noted, any of these sources may be used to satisfy the entire 15-hour annual requirement. For attendance at live programs (e.g., conferences and workshops), a 50-minute session counts as one hour. Partial hours rounded to the nearest quarter hour will be granted. (e.g., a 70-minute session would count as 1.25 hours; a 65 minute session would count as 1.0 hours).

Certificants repeating coursework may not submit the same course for CE credit over two consecutive CE reporting periods.  This includes coursework that contains the same content offered in different formats (i.e., print book and webinar).

Certificants who have purchased CRC exam preparation study materials may not apply these materials toward CE credit for their first CE reporting period after becoming certified.

Conferences, Workshops and Seminars: Continuing education programs sponsored by InFRE or other organizations related to the accepted topic list. Delivery may be face-to-face, audioconference (with or without webcasting), or online synchronous.

Examples include those offered by continuing education providers and other certification-granting entities such as but not limited to state and local Bar associations, CEBS societies, CPA societies and FPA chapters.

Employer-sponsored education programs and in-house training: Continuing education programs sponsored by the Certificant’s employer related to the accepted topic list. Delivery may be face-to-face, audioconference (with or without webcasting), or online synchronous.

Participation as speaker, workshop leader, discussion leader, course instructor, author or editor.

Examples include writing an article for a professional journal, speaking to other professionals at an association conference, and reviewing or editing professional publications.


  • Credit will not be granted for:
    • Activities that constitute part of the Certificant’s job description (such as preretirement workshops to plan participants), or
    • Activities directed to audiences other than industry professionals (such as the general public, grade school students, etc.)
  • A maximum of ten (10) hours per reporting period may be reported.
  • For those teaching other professionals, two (2) hours will be granted for every one (1) hour of delivery, up to the maximum of ten.
  • Credit will only be granted for the first presentation, but not for repeat presentations.

Self-study groups: Pre-planned learning sessions of three or more professionals that include an in-depth study of a topic on the approved list.


  • Groups must have a topic outline and a designated leader.
  • A maximum of five (5) hours per reporting period may be reported.

Self-study programs: Educational materials used for individual, self-paced study, including internet-based courses CDs, DVDs, or MP3s, or printed materials/articles.


  • CE credit will be based on the average completion time of the program. A minimum of 50 minutes of completion time is required for 1 hour of CE credit. Additional half-hour increments will be accepted after the first hour has been completed.
  • Program must include an exam/quiz graded by the sponsor and the Certificant must attain a passing grade of 70% or better.
  • The exam/quiz must contain at least 10 questions per class hour and 5 questions for additional half-hour increments.
  • No credit will be granted for an exam/quiz with less than 10 questions.

Professional licenses, designations/certifications. Certificants may get credit for successfully earning a license or completing a designation/certification program.


  • Only licenses or credentials based on the list of approved topics will receive credit.
  • License or designation/certification program must include an examination graded by the sponsoring organization.
  • Certificants should contact InFRE to inquire if a license or designation/ certification program qualifies for CE credit and about the number of approved CE hours.
  • Separate CE credit may not be earned for both an exam preparation course and passing the exam of the license or designation/certification program in the same reporting period.

Academic Coursework: Course taken for credit at a U.S. regionally accredited college or university, regardless of the delivery (e.g., face-to-face, independent study/correspondence, online).


  • Continuing education credit will be granted on the following basis:
    • One semester credit qualifies for 15 C. E. hours; a 3-credit semester college course is equivalent to 45 C. E. hours
    • One quarter credit qualifies for 10 C. E. hours; a 2-credit quarter college course is equivalent to 20 C. E. hours.

Participation on InFRE committee or other InFRE project. Acceptable activities include authoring of educational or review course materials, writing and updating examination questions, and conducting and/or authoring industry research projects.


  • A maximum of ten (10) hours per reporting period may be reported.
  • Hours granted will be determined in consultation with the Recertification Committee.


Posted in: The InFRE Update

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