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Financial Education for Securities, Banking, & Insurance Professionals.

Regulatory Update/Designation Toolkit

Click here to learn about the CASL® Retirement Coaching Designation Meeting Regulatory Standards.

For several years The American College has been calling attention to the issue of "rogue designations" - those that result from weekend seminars or simplified courses without the rigorous studying that is required to gain full mastery of a particular topic. While some of these programs may provide valuable education, they should not be confused with in-depth designations and certificates such as those supported by The American College and other accredited institutions. State regulators and the U.S. Senate have been addressing this important issue, and The American College continues to provide support and counsel in this process. The CASL® retirement coaching designation is approved for use in every jurisdiction.

Designation Toolkit
A tool for companies to use in evaluating the quality of professional designations: Designation Evalution Criteria

Individual State Regulations
Many states have adopted versions of either the NASAA or NAIC model rules on senior designations. The American College's CASL® designation meets the requirements in all of those states. Certain states have special requirements as outlined below. CASL® may also be used in each of these states and in every jurisdiction in the United States.

CASL® Designation Meets Regulatory Standards
Regulators Separate Quality Senior Designations from the Rest

It has never been more important to know that your senior or retirement designation is acceptable for use by regulators, and there have been important developments on that front over the past few months. California's new senior designation law, AB 2150, takes effect January 1, 2009. Senior designations used in California must receive approval from the California Department of Insurance, and The American College's CASL retirement designation is approved. Many states are adopting the model rules produced by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). CASL is also approved under those approaches. Further, the U.S. Senate's Special Committee on Aging has introduced a bill that clarifies what constitutes a "misleading" senior designation - and a key test for quality in that bill is regional accreditation, the type of accreditation held by The American College.

CASL® - the mark of retirement coaches for life's second half - is currently accepted for use by every jurisdiction in the United States and meets the standards recommended by all of the regulatory bodies outlined above. It is the industry's most rigorous, most complete designation in the senior and retirement space.

It doesn't matter what the name of the credential is - whether it includes words such as "senior" or "retirement planning" or other similar terms - the issue is the quality and rigor of the content. Look for these important features:
  • Does the organization providing the credential have regional accreditation, the highest level of academic accreditation available?
  • Is the provider a non-profit public charity focused on education instead of on sales and marketing?
  • Does the content have depth and rigor, and are examinations "closed book" and proctored?
  • On average, does the credential take at least six to twelve months to achieve and do pass rates suggest a challenging course of study?
  • Are there continuing education and ethics requirements in place to maintain the designation?

Don't take chances with something so important. Sign up today for the rapidly growing CASL® designation and truly set yourself apart for your clients!
CASL®: Regulatory Update on the Use of Professional Designations
As the discussion around the appropriate use of professional designations - especially with regard to seniors - continues to intensify, we are seeing a clear movement to quality that supports the programs offered by The American College and other regionally accredited educational institutions.

A number of regulatory developments over the past few months have further solidified the CASL® retirement coaching designation as the leading credential in the competitive senior/retirement area. At 15 semester credit hours and with five proctored exams, the program takes an average of 18 months to complete and is the most robust in the industry. It is currently accepted for use in every jurisdiction in the United States.

The American College has been actively engaged with the U.S. Senate's Special Committee on Aging, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), and individual state regulators in multiple jurisdictions, providing key information about the designations you have worked so hard to earn and separating them from "weekend" credentials that can be given out for a fee after a few hours or days.

The NASAA model rule on the use of senior-specific certifications and professional designations includes requirements for continuing education, program rigor, and accreditation that match the standards of The American College. Individual states are beginning to move to this uniform approach.

The U.S. Senate's draft legislation singles out "regional accreditation" of the awarding institution as a sign that a designation is not "misleading," and it also references the NASAA model rule as a standard. It strongly encourages a universal approach across all jurisdictions and one that spans both the securities and insurance industries.

NAIC is also moving this important issue forward in meaningful ways. The quality of professional education in financial services has never been more important, and your College remains at the forefront of the fight we initiated four years ago against anything less than the highest professional standard in education for the benefit of you, your career, and, most importantly, every client you serve.

If you have questions, please contact Keith Hickerson, Vice President of Marketing and Student Success, via email at

This information is believed to be accurate at the time of its release. Consult with your compliance or regulatory advisors for current guidance. The American College does not provide legal or compliance advice.


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