Understanding Financial Certifications

Financial certifications and designations are not the same as a registration or license.  An advisor may use various financial certifications and designations whether or not he or she is registered or licensed with a regulatory body, like IIROC.
If an advisor represents that she or he has special expertise - a certification or a financial designation - you should make sure you understand what the certificate or designation means and what the advisor did to obtain it. If an advisor tells you that he or she has a certain designation or certification, ask questions. Do not rely solely on a financial certification or designation to determine whether an advisor can provide the type of investment services or products you need.
To assist in your background research, IIROC’s Glossary of Financial Certifications, current as of June 22, 2017, provides basic information about certificates and designations commonly used within the Canadian financial services industry. IIROC does NOT grant, approve, endorse or rank any financial professional or advisor titles.
IIROC’s glossary below includes information about whether the issuing organization has an investor complaint process. However, if you are dealing with an advisor who has been licensed by IIROC, we encourage you to contact IIROC. See Making a Complaint to learn more.   
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