Difference Between NCFM and CFP

I am confused about which certification to choose? Do not worry; Let us help you decode each and every course step by step to help you decide which one is beneficial for you. In this article, we compare the NCFM examNCFM ExamIn 1998 National Stock Exchange (NSE) launched NSE’s certification in financial markets (NCFM) as an online testing and certification program. NCFM exam helps the people working with financial intermediaries acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to offer a better quality of more with the CFP examinationCFP ExaminationThe CFP credential is the most desired and respected global certification to demonstrate commitment to competent and ethical financial planning practice. An aspirant must pass a rigorous exam that assesses competency and adheres to a code of ethics, pledging to provide financial planning in clients' more.

What is NCFM?

The NCFM is a certification program for those individuals who wish to learn the fundamentals of the capital markets in order to make their career in the financial markets in India. The certified course is necessary according to the regulations of the industry if one is keen to be a part of the financial markets.

The course provides a basic understanding of the concepts related to the different sections of the investment segment, the primary and the secondary marketsSecondary MarketsA secondary market is where securities are offered to the general public after being offered in the primary market. Such securities are usually listed on the stock exchange. A significant portion of trading happens in such a market and are of two types – equities and debt more, derivatives market, and the financial statement analysis. The course comprises of theory as well as practical application lessons with a wide range of perspectives.

The NCFM program training is conducted by the in house faculty of reliance Leap /IDBI INteq / PIFM/. The candidates in order to qualify to require about 30 hours of intervention before they embark upon to give the online test of the National Stock Exchange and get the NCFM certificate.


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What is CFP?

CFP or Certified Financial Planner is a certificate course for financial planners who are looking to specialize in strategic financial planning or advisory role in the financial services industry. The certificate is conferred upon by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards (CFP Board) in the United States and by its affiliated body FPBS in India.

CFP is a mark of excellence, recognized and respected worldwide by financial professionals. The course is designed to meet the stringent standards of education, examination, experience, and ethics to ensure that the individuals certified win the trust of employees and have a plethora of opportunities waiting for them after completing the course.

NCFM vs CFP Infographics

Let’s understand the difference between NCFM vs. CFP with infographics.


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Exam Requirements


No specific age or qualification is required for taking the certification examination. Computer literacy will be an added advantage, considering the test is completely online-based. The following persons are eligible to take the NCFM Certification Examination:

  1. All approved users and sales personnel of trading members of recognized stock exchangesStock ExchangesStock exchange refers to a market that facilitates the buying and selling of listed securities such as public company stocks, exchange-traded funds, debt instruments, options, etc., as per the standard regulations and guidelines—for instance, NYSE and more
  2. Interested students/professionals
  3. Any other individuals

A candidate, once registered in the NCFM program, can take as many modules and a number of attempts as desired by paying the Enrollment Fees for every attempt.


The candidates must fulfill the 4E criteria to be certified as a CFP.

  1. Education
  2. Examination
  3. Ethics
  4. Experience

The minimum eligibility criterion for the CFP course is a graduate or bachelor’s degree or higher degree with a working knowledge of the financial planningFinancial PlanningFinancial planning is a structured approach to understanding your current and future financial goals and then taking the necessary measures to accomplish them. Because this does not begin and end in a specific time frame, it is referred to as an ongoing more practices prevalent in the industry.

NCFM vs. CFP Summary

Organizing BodyThe NCFM exams are organized by the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd. (NSE), India. The exams are organized by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. (CFP Board), USA.
PatternThe course is divided into 3 modules


  • Foundation module
  • Intermediate module
  • Advanced module
 The course has only one level that has been divided into two 3-hour exams.
Duration of CourseThere is no mandatory time limit. The time taken by the candidates to clear each module varies from a few weeks to one month. The candidates can complete the course in a span of 36 months.
SyllabusSome of the main subjects are


  • Financial Markets
  • Mutual Funds & Debt Market
  • Fundamentals- International
  • Investment Analysis & Portfolio Management
  • Derivative Instruments
  • Commercial Banking in India
  • Banking & Capital Markets
  • Fundamental & Technical Analysis
  • Options Trading
  • Operations and Market Risk
  • Commodities Market
  • Project Finance and Mergers & Acquisitions
  • Wealth Management
  • Venture Capital & Private Equity
  • Algorithmic Trading
  • Banking Sector & Insurance
  • Treasury Management
  • Depository Operations
 The syllabus revolves around


  • General Principles of Financial Planning
  • Professional Conduct & Regulation
  • Risk Management & Insurance Planning
  • Education Planning
  • Estate Planning
  • Investment Planning
  • Tax Planning
  • Retirement Savings & Income Planning










Exam FeesThe cost of each sub-module is in the range of $30 to $100, which includes both exam fees and taxes. Hence, the overall cost of the 48 sub-modules is around $1,500. The exam fees vary in the range of $825 to $1,025 depending on the time of registration, such that $825, $925, and $1,025 corresponds to early, standard and late registration respectively.
JobsSome of the common profiles include


  • Relationship Manager
  • Broker
  • Research Analyst
  • Risk Manager
 Some of the common profiles include


  • Estate Planner
  • Financial Manager
  • Retirement Planner
  • Risk Manager
DifficultyThe passing criterion is 50%-60% for most of the sub-modules and, based on candidate feedback, it can be inferred that the exams are fairly easy. However, there is no information available pertaining to the pass rate of the candidates. The difficulty level of the exams is moderate with a historical pass rate of more than 60%. During Nov 2020, the overall pass rate was 72%, while that for the first-timers was even higher at 73%.
Exam DateThe exams are conducted online on all working days.




 The schedule for the upcoming exams during the year 2022


  • Mar 08-15
  • Jul 12-19
  • Nov 01-08

Why pursue NCFM?

NCFM is considered as a minimum benchmark course for individuals who are serious about pursuing their careers in the financial industry. Employers ensure that the candidates who apply for jobs relevant to them have at least passed out the NCFM program, as it provides basic knowledge and understanding of the financial marketsUnderstanding Of The Financial MarketsThe term "financial market" refers to the marketplace where activities such as the creation and trading of various financial assets such as bonds, stocks, commodities, currencies, and derivatives take place. It provides a platform for sellers and buyers to interact and trade at a price determined by market more. The NCFM is an extremely easy exam to crack as well as cost-effective, and achieving it only adds to your merit in the resume.

The certificate also depicts the candidate’s keenness to lap information and knowledge related to their field despite not finding any high favor with the employers, unlike the reputed certificate programs like CFA and FRMCFA And FRMCFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) certification exam prepares you well for careers in Investment Banking, Portfolio Management, Financial Research, whereas FRM (Financial risk management) certification exam is suited for those who want to make a career in Risk management in Banks, Treasury Department or in Risk more.

Why Pursue CFP?

CFP is the highest level of certification for a professional aiming to carve a niche in the financial industry and is appreciated worldwide by professionals as well as consumers. The certificate has been awarded the Gold Standard Award by the Wall Street Journal, which speaks volumes of its credibility.  The CFP candidates are remunerated with attractive salaries in industries such as investments, insurance, tax, retirement & real estate.

This has been a guide to NCFM vs. CFP. Here we discuss the differences between NCFM and CFP along with infographics and a comparative table. You may also have a look at the following articles –

Reader Interactions


  1. Chetan says

    I must appreciate your hard work. I am very happy to read such useful information. You are really doing a great job sir. Thanks a lot. Keep sharing

  2. john fernandes says

    Thank you for sharing this useful comparison between both these certifications. Looking further for many other useful posts.

  3. Russel says

    NCFM or CFP? This is the crucial will be better choice if you have clear intention with you in order to pursue your course. You should have the enough details with you regarding your interest and passion that is required to pursue your course.So by going through this Infographics you will have the detailed information on both the courses,so that you can decide that which course you want to pursue.

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