Personal and Family Finance

Description of the Assessment & Certification

The Personal and Family Finance Assessment and Certification are:
  • driven by business and industry standards;
  • based on relevant content standards developed by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy and consistent with the National Standards for Family and Consumer Sciences Education and the National Career Clusters Initiative;
  • appropriate to validate achievement of competencies related to personal and family finance;
  • useful in a broad range of education and employment settings, such as secondary and post-secondary education, community-based education programs, and employer-based human resource and staff development programs; and
  • advantaged to utilize a gold-standard, computer-based testing platform format that provides for valid and reliable competency measurement and a reporting mechanism for data-driven program improvement, accountability, and individual remediation and acceleration.

Uses of Assessment & Certification

The assessment and certification are used to:

  • document exit-level achievement in rigorous secondary programs and lower division post-secondary courses;
  • satisfy federal accountability reporting mandates required by Perkins IV legislation;
  • facilitate seamless articulation, placement, and credit-by exam within post-secondary institutions;
  • validate competencies required for employment at the pre-professional and/or paraprofessional level; and
  • provide an industry-recognized certification.

Assessment & Certification Resources

Alignment Matrices
21st Century Student Outcomes Career Ready Practices (CCTC) Employability Skills Framework
Instructional Resource Directory

* Bulletin includes detailed information on assessment design, scoring, content, sample test items, and resources)


The Personal and Family Finance assessment and certification will address competencies necessary for success in managing personal and family financial matters in daily life (a necessary skill set to maximize success in all career areas) while also foundational specifically to careers in personal and family finance. It is anticipated that this assessment and certification will facilitate employment in early career ladder positions and promote continuing education at the post-secondary level preparing for careers related to:
  • personal and family financial planning,
  • consumer services and advocacy,
  • consumer credit counseling,
  • investment planning, or
  • insurance services.


Once the assessment is submitted, results are immediately available to the test candidate. The results provide an overall percentage score, a breakdown of scores corresponding to domains, and the indication whether pre-professional certification was achieved. The national cut score for pre-professional certification eligibility is established annually by AAFCS. Scores can be used to demonstrate competency, pinpoint weaknesses or gaps in performance, improve programs and curricula, and demonstrate accountability to stakeholders. Through articulation agreements, scores may be used as the basis for advanced placement and/or credit-by-exam at post-secondary institutions. Thus, local and state entities have latitude for independently establishing passing or qualifying scores for other purposes.

Pre-Professional Certification Score:  Click here for the list of current certification scores

Developed by National Industry Professionals & Educators in Personal & Family Finance

AAFCS has engaged the assistance of a broad range of esteemed personal and family finance practitioners and educators from across the nation to assist in identifying relevant industry standards and develop the assessment instrument. Recognizing the value of a solid assessment tool in assuring that programs are effectively preparing individuals with the knowledge and skills necessary for successful management of their personal and family finances and for pre-professional careers requiring those skills, the following stakeholders participated on the development panel for the assessment and certification:
  • Todd Christensen, Debt Reduction Services, Boise, ID
  • John Meeks, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Raleigh, NC
  • Mary Ann Campbell, Money Magic, Little Rock, AR
  • Missy Tysinger, Wachovia Corporation, Charlotte, NC
  • Jason Alderman, VISA U.S.A., San Francisco, CA
  • William Cheeks, Jump$tart Coalition, Powder Springs, GA
  • Jeanne Hogarth, Federal Reserve Board, Washington, DC
  • Nichole Chinadle, Family Economics & Financial Education (FEFE), Tucson, AZ
  • Pamela Bennett, University of Central Arkansas, Conway, AR
  • Faye Griffiths-Smith, Cooperative Extension System, North Haven, CT
  • Anna Goff, Farmington School District, Farmington, AR
  • Kathryn Cox, Wake County Schools, Raleigh, NC

Further Information

For further information please contact AAFCS at or 703-636-7641

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