When to start using the designation

Congrats to all who got the great news.

Does anyone know when can we start using the designation on resumes, linkedin etc.

I became a regular member, paid the fees, activated the membership. I can already find myself in the member directory and can see the designation right next to my name.

Am I good to go? Do we need to wait for an e-mail from CFA Institute as a confirmation to use the designation?

Curious to know this as well, in the same situation and nervous to use it alreay. Don’t want to get a violation right out of the gate!

So did they not check your references and job descriptions before posting you online? Surprising. Is it all automated now?

Sorry for the misunderstanding. I took care of them right after the exam. Got them approved in advance. I made the payment later to activate the membership, right after i got the results. And it automatically put the credentials next to my name in the directory.

It is surprising that no one exactly knows whether it is okay to use the designation now.

I searched for older topics in the AF. Candidates used to receive a confirmation email back in 2011. Not sure if this is still the practice though.

you can use when CFAI says you can use it. In the email that they send congratulating you they say it. Here a snippet of what they sent me:


Congratulations ******,

You are now a CFA® charterholder, and you may begin using the coveted CFA designation! You worked hard to earn your CFA charter, and I am proud of your achievement… "

also, just remember that being approved does not necessarily mean that you are a charterholder becuase you may still need to activate your memebership. that basically means paying your dues. Here’s a snippet of what they send in the approval phase:

"Dear Mr. ****,

Congratulations! You have been approved for regular membership. Activate now to begin enjoying member benefits, including access to career postings in JobLine, webcasts featuring industry leaders, and respected publications like CFA Magazine. Please note that the membership year is 1 July through 30 June. Visit our website to learn more about the membership year and dues.


If your membership was approved and your member name has suffix CFA, you may use your designation.

Plain and simple. Check your profile. It should have the date of awarding of Charter. Once you see that, you are good to go.

And we’ll be right back with “The Most Insightful Analysts in the World”…


The three letters are there after my name in the profile page (I saw them just after payment of fees and becoming a regular member). So this is indicative that I can start using the designation.

How was the process to apply for membership, i.e. the references and job descriptions? Do they scrutinize this alot? I didn’t realize you can apply in advance of finishing the exams…

First you should push your referees to submit their recommendations. Once submitted, it’ s quickly approved by CFAI. Certain local societies may prolong their 2nd stage approval.

Being a member is different than being a charterholder (although it is a prerequisite). To become a member, you need to have passed Level 1 exam, have three professional references, four years of eligible work experience, and to pay your membership dues. If you’re a member and pass the level 3 exam, then you become a charterholder as well.