InFRE: International Foundation for Retirement Education The leader in retirement education for professionals
retirement resource center about us press room contact us log in
take the Retirement Readiness Profile

CRC Candidates

How do I Become a CRC® Candidate?

CRC Handbook
Download handbook

InFRE's Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) certification was created to advance recognition among retirement planning professionals of the need for a retirement specific certification program that demonstrates a mastery of subject matter, a commitment to the retirement planning profession, and adherence to a code of ethics and continuing education.

What do you need to know about how to become a CRC?

1. What is my time commitment? You will study 4 subject concentrations about 15-25 hours each, depending on your prior knowledge and experience.

2. What materials do I need? InFRE offers Study Guides and elearning modules developed specifically for CRC® Candidates. You may determine your own study path to prepare for the CRC® exam and are not required to purchase study materials offered by InFRE or any other source.

3. How much does it cost? There is no charge to register to become a Candidate. Study Guide, Exam Fee, and Annual Renewal Fees are as follows:

Optional Study Guides purchased separately $125* Add to Cart
BETTER VALUE: Complete set of 4 Guides
Save $50 over individual book purchases
$450* Add to Cart
Exam Fee $450* Add to Cart

* Group discounts available. Contact InFRE for more information

Four steps to your initial certification

Step 1: Complete the Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) Registration Form.

Register for no charge either online, by faxing the Registration Form, or calling 847-756-7350 ext. 134 to register over the phone. Following registration, expect a confirmation email with information about upcoming exam dates and how to schedule your exam. If you do not receive this email within two weeks of submitting your registration form, call number above.

Step 2: Prepare for the Examination.

Begin to prepare for the exam by first reviewing the CRC® Test Specifications. The four-hour, 200-question multiple-choice exam covers the domains of practice and knowledge required to perform tasks listed in the CRC® Test Specifications, and should be well understood before taking the exam. You may choose to use your own study materials and other resources to prepare for the examination.

Purchase InFRE’s Study Materials to help you prepare

InFRE offers print, live classroom review and online exam preparation resources to help candidates prepare for the exam. To learn more about the study guides and elearning review resources, go to Education and Training Solutions.

A complete set of Print Study Guides is $450 – A savings of $50 when purchasing the complete set of all 4 study guides.
Add to Cart

You’ll also receive access to the CRC® Elearning Review Courses ($249 value), developed and taught by a team of Certified Financial Planners®, to supplement your self-study preparation for exams. These 30 online sessions, totaling more than 18 hours of content, may be viewed by candidates at their convenience to clarify concepts and answer questions on the more difficult topics. Click here to view a sample.

State Insurance and CFP® Continuing Education Credit Certificates. The CRC® curriculum and other courses are approved to meet your state insurance license and CFP® continuing education requirements; click here to learn more. The first CE certificate is $25; additional certificates are $15 each plus any required state fees (optional).

Step 3: Pass the CRC® Certification Examination.
Add to Cart

To sit for the exam, complete a Request to Schedule CRC® Examination Form and submit it with your $450 exam fee. You may complete the request form online, download a form or call 847-756-7350 ext. 134 to schedule an exam by phone. The exam is administered four times a year in January, April, July and October - typically arranged at colleges or universities as close as possible to the candidate. The application deadline is approximately six weeks prior to each exam date. Click here to learn more about the CRC® exam and view the schedule for upcoming exams.

Step 4: Complete the Certification Process

Once you pass the exam, Candidates for CRC® certification must also meet the remaining eligibility requirements. Certification is awarded upon:

  • Verification that the Candidate meets the education and experience requirements of completion of a bachelor's degree (or higher), or its equivalent, in any discipline, from an accredited college or university and a minimum of two (2) years relevant retirement related professional experience (within the last five years) -or- completing a high school diploma or its equivalent and five (5) years relevant retirement related professional experience (within the past seven years).
  • Passing a complete background check upon meeting education and experience requirements.
  • Completing an initial Certificate Holder's Statement indicating adherence to the CRC Code of Ethics and annual continuing education requirements. InFRE must receive this document within three months of notification of passing the exam or the Candidate must retest.

Candidates are not allowed to use the certification until they have met all the requirements above. Candidates who pass the exam but have not met their education and experience requirements have five (5) years from their exam date to complete these requirements or the Candidate must retest.

Maintaining your certification

The Annual Renewal Fee is $125. To maintain your use of the certification, Certificants must also annually complete 15 hours of approved continuing education. Continuing education requirements can typically be fulfilled with CE needed for licenses and other certifications.

For more information

The CRC Candidate Handbook contains essential information for Certified Retirement Counselor (CRC) program candidates. Please read it carefully and keep
it readily available as a reference until you have achieved Certificant status. Candidates are responsible for knowing the contents of this Handbook.

Click on the following links for information in the Handbook about:

For more details pertaining to CRC certification initial and ongoing requirements and other policies, review the CRC Program Policies Manual.

Click on the following links for information in the Manual about:

General policies and procedures regarding the certification, including:

Certification requirements, including:

If you have additional questions, please contact InFRE by email or call 847-756-7350 ext. 134.