Eligibility Requirements to Participate in the CPFO Program

An applicant must establish eligibility to participate in the Certification Program. Information supplied on an application or as part of documentation provided to establish eligibility is considered confidential and will not be released. The GFOA reserves the right to verify information supplied by or on behalf of an applicant.

A candidate must meet the following two eligibility requirements in order to take the certification exams:

Education: A candidate must have, at a minimum, a baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution. An official transcript reflecting the candidate’s degree is accepted as fulfilling this criterion. If the transcript is in a language other than English, a certified translation into English is required. An official transcript must be submitted with any application. A candidate-produced photocopy is not acceptable.

Ethics: A candidate must accept and observe the GFOA Code of Professional Ethics. A candidate’s signature following the statement on the application fulfills this requirement.

Once all five examinations have been successfully completed, a candidate must meet the following 3 additional requirements to be designed a CPFO. (primary employment is defined as a W-2 employee of a government working an average of at least 32 hours a week)

Current Employment: A candidate must (i) have as primary employment a position with a government, or (ii) be last primarily employed in government and currently unemployed and actively seeking employment in government. A candidate’s signature following the statement on the application fulfills this requirement.

Employment History: A candidate must have had at least three (3) years of primary government employment during the previous ten (10) years to be awarded the designation of Certified Public Finance Office (CPFO). A history of employment reflecting the prescribed government experience submitted on an "employment history" form provided by the GFOA fulfills this requirement.

GFOA Membership: A candidate who is employed with a government must be an active member of the GFOA or be eligible for active membership in the GFOA at the time of application for each examination.