How to Apply

Application for the Certification Mark is accomplished through a fiduciary assessment. The assessment is completed online. You will be asked a series of questions about your plan or portfolio, focusing on investment fiduciary practices. We recommend you refer to the Standard available on this site when completing the application.

If your service provider (ie. Advisor) is already CEFEX-certified, then the application process is significantly simplified. Please contact your CEFEX-certified provider for details. You may also contact CEFEX. In all other cases, please contact CEFEX and ask for a Fiduciary Assessment Agreement.

Once a CEFEX Agreement is in place, a unique CEFEX file is then established in the CEFEX system at www.cefex.org, for you and/or your designates to have secure access. Your responses to the questions in the Electronic Assessment Form (EAF), found in your CEFEX file would be accompanied by documentation which you would upload.

If you are not already working with a CEFEX Analyst, we will assign one. The CEFEX Analyst will help you complete the assessment.

Example documentation is:

Investment Policy Statement

Plan or trust documents (if applicable)

Service provider agreements

We check your answers in the Electronic Assessment Form and read through all the evidence uploaded. The CEFEX Analyst will contact you if further explanation is required.

The length of assessment depends on each individual application. It can be as short as four weeks, depending on how quickly you answer any additional questions we might have.

You will be provided feedback for each of the Fiduciary Practices within the Standard. The assessment will identify where your plan is in conformance or not, and where there may be opportunities for improvement.

CEFEX Registration Committee (CRC)

Once the assessment form is completed, it is reviewed by the CEFEX Registration Committee (CRC). The CRC is comprised of independent fiduciary experts, who ensure the impartiality of the CEFEX program.

The purpose of the CEFEX Mark is to raise the quality of the investment fiduciary process for retirement plans, foundations and any other investment steward portfolios. If you are displeased with the decision, you have the right to appeal it. CEFEX will order a second opinion from another fiduciary expert and/or request input from our advisory council.

You will be given a written summary of the steps taken in your appeal, along with the rationale for decisions taken.

The total cost of certification is the total of the Assessment and Registration Fees. The Assessment Fee is determined by CEFEX and/or the Analyst. Please contact CEFEX or your CEFEX-certified provider for a quotation.

The Registration Fee is shown below.

CEFEX Steward Registration Fee.

  Annual fee
Assets under $30M $500/year
Assets $30M-$200M $800/year
Assets $200-$750M $1,500/year
Assets over $750M TBD