Designated Financial Services Advisor (DFSA™)

How to find a  DFSAHolder?

Use the DFSA Directory to locate qualified financial advisors who have attained the DFSA designation.

When you hire an accredited CSI financial professional, you’re hiring an expert who has been trained by Canada’s most trusted and respected financial services education provider. Since it was established in 1970 as the Canadian Securities Institute, over three-quarters of a million financial professionals have chosen CSI for their career training and development.

Find a DFSA Near You

Why choose a  DFSA Holder?

Everyone’s financial “personality” is unique—from needs and goals to risk appetite. As we transition into different life stages, our financial situations evolve. Solid financial advice and a designated financial advisor to guide us through—is critical. A financial advisor can help clients to keep on track, even when life throws us curveballs.

The Designated Financial Services Advisor (DFSA) designation is recognized by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority in Ontario as a credential meeting the requirements to use the title “Financial Advisor,” and it is a  leading credential for financial advice in Canada. It ensures that those who earn it are qualified to provide appropriate financial advice for clients.

Those who choose to work with a DFSA can feel confident that they are receiving financial advice that fits their unique needs. Not only do DFSA holders provide clients with financial advice, but they are also held to high professional standards. They are required to abide by a Code of Ethics and fulfil maintenance requirements to make sure they always bring their best to the table.

Public Complaints and Ethical Misconduct Process

Allegations of violation of the DFSA Code of Ethics are dealt with by the Designation Ethics Committee according to the CSI Ethical Misconduct Process. If the Committee determines a violation occurred, a disciplinary sanction is recommended. Possible sanctions are outlined in the Ethical Misconduct Process.

Before filing a formal complaint with CSI, we strongly recommend trying to resolve the issue by speaking directly with the DFSA in question. Those who cannot come to a resolution are encouraged to send the complaint to CSI. Please do not send financial documents without removing any confidential or private information.

Please send your complaint using the submission link below. This link is used to file a formal complaint against a CSI designation or fellowship holder in relation to professional behaviour and a possible breach of the Code of Ethics. All complaints must be submitted using this form online. CSI will not accept anonymous complaints.

Submit Complaint

What is the  DFSA Competency Profile?

The DFSA Professional Competency Profile provides an overview of the responsibilities, skills and knowledge that are unique to someone who holds the DFSA designation. It is the foundational document for the Designated Financial Services Advisor (DFSA ) designation that describes the required competencies (i.e., the knowledge, skills and abilities) of professionals awarded the designation.

The Competency Profile is the defining resource for what a financial advisor can and should do in practice. As such, it is used to set the requirements for the pre-requisite education programs, the work experience component and for continuing education requirements.

As the DFSA designation continues to progress to meet the changing needs of clients, employers, and, most recently, regulators, CSI revises the Competency Profile every 5 years through an extensive consultative process involving a range of stakeholders.