CPFO Program Changes FAQs

CPFO Program Changes

GFOA is pleased to announce that the Certified Public Finance Officer (CPFO) Program will undergo changes designed to make the program more accessible. The relaunched program will more effectively communicate the value of a CPFO to those outside GFOA and the public finance industry. The new program will attract more candidates, provide better opportunities for current and future CPFOs to engage with GFOA, and serve the public-finance profession.

Highlights of the program changes include:

  • Eligibility. New criteria will allow GFOA members not currently in a government position to participate 
  • Testing. More targeted exams with fewer questions; provide opportunities for exam preparation in addition to self-study
  • Topics. Topic areas focus on knowledge and skills essential for the current professional public finance environment
  • Continuing Education. Additional options for meeting continuing education requirements

Frequently Asked Questions

After carefully evaluating the current program, including interviews with many GFOA members and CPFO designees, we have determined that the program should be better integrated with other GFOA offerings. Additionally, the program should be expanded to provide a more enriching environment for current CPFO designees and better communicate the value of a CPFO to others in the public sector.

While many facets of public finance have changed over the past 20 years, the CPFO program has not undergone a significant update since its inception 20 years ago.

For current CPFOs, no changes to the program will impact their status as CPFOs. If requirements for obtaining the CPFO change in the future, you will not need to re-test. We are looking to allow for additional and more varied options to meet and report ongoing continuing education requirements, which will help current and future CPFO designees.

Candidates that started with Radford will receive full credit for any exams they passed under that program. Contact Eric Roach for details about the steps to restart your path to earning the CPFO certification.

GFOA will be looking at state/regional GFOAs that have exam-based certification programs and finding opportunities to partner with them on program fundamentals if they are interested. There will also be new opportunities for more multi-format learning opportunities and an expanded online presence.

Please see the CPFO Candidate Guide and CPFO Policies and Procedures Manual for more information.

For more information on CFPO changes, please contact Eric Roach.