CPFO Program Changes

Improvements to the program include opening enrollment to members in the private, nonprofit, and academic sectors, and more targeted exams with fewer questions. The seven new exams will allow candidates to concentrate their studies on specific topics while retaining the quality of the current program.

Here are some highlights of the new CPFO program.

New Testing Platform

Starting in January 2021, the structure of the new program will include seven exams that can be taken year-round at an in-person testing center or through web-based remote proctoring. The exams will be shorter, so candidates can take one exam every few months. We will be announcing our new testing partner soon!


Partnering with State Associations

To better serve our members, GFOA will partner with state associations to streamline the certification process. The partnerships can be with states that have an established certification program or are looking to develop a certification exam. The development of this aspect of the program will be ongoing as the new program is rolled out.


Current Candidates

Candidates currently enrolled in the program can continue taking the five exams until the end of this calendar year through Radford University. They will receive full credit for any exams they pass. Members actively enrolled in the current program will be able to continue on their path to earning the designation uninterrupted after enrolling in the relaunched program.


Enrolling in the Relaunched Program

In late summer, we will reopen enrollment so that participants can access study resources for the new exams. Enrollment in the new program will be open to any individual that is a member of GFOA. The fee to enroll will be $600 per year, which includes five exam attempts and a variety of discounts on e-learning products. Additional exam attempts within one year will be approximately $200.


Study Materials

In August, finalized exam content outlines will be posted to the website at gfoa.org/cpfo. The remaining content outlines will be shared once they are completed. In the meantime, future candidates can stay current with the education products and publications available on gfoa.org, such as GFR, to stay up-to-date on best practices.


GFOA staff, and members serving as subject matter experts, are focused on finalizing the new content outlines, identifying recommended study materials, and developing new questions for the exams. We are excited to begin the new phase of the CPFO program and continue building on the strengths of the current program.



For questions and to sign up for future updates, please contact Eric Roach.