2022 Edition

Financial Education and Counselling Services (CA-FEC) 5: Financial Education and Counselling Services

The organization supports and delivers a variety of counselling and education services on family money management, budgeting, and the prudent, intelligent use of credit.




Clients who receive Financial Education and Counselling services learn to solve financial problems and gain personal financial management skills.
All elements or requirements outlined in the standard are evident in practice, as indicated by full implementation of the practices outlined in the Practice Standards.
Practices are basically sound but there is room for improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • Minor inconsistencies and not yet fully developed practices are noted; however, these do not significantly impact service quality; or
  • Procedures need strengthening; or
  • With few exceptions, procedures are understood by staff and are being used; or
  • For the most part, established timeframes are met; or
  • Proper documentation is the norm and any issues with individual staff members are being addressed through performance evaluations and training; or
  • Active client participation occurs to a considerable extent.
Practice requires significant improvement, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards. Service quality or program functioning may be compromised; e.g.,
  • Procedures and/or case record documentation need significant strengthening; or
  • Procedures are not well-understood or used appropriately; or
  • Timeframes are often missed; or
  • Several client records are missing important information; or
  • Client participation is inconsistent. 
Implementation of the standard is minimal or there is no evidence of implementation at all, as noted in the ratings for the Practice Standards; e.g.,
  • No written procedures, or procedures are clearly inadequate or not being used; or 
  • Documentation is routinely incomplete and/or missing.      
Self-Study EvidenceOn-Site EvidenceOn-Site Activities
  • Financial counselling procedures
  • Table of contents of educational program curricula
  • Sample financial education materials provided to clients
  • Educational program curricula
  • Information about individual and group counselling and education programs including program dates, subjects, and number of participants
  • Interviews may include:
    1. Program director
    2. Relevant personnel
    3. Clients
  • Review client files


CA-FEC 5.01

The organization educates clients and provides general information about: 
  1. public and non-profit resources that can offer assistance; and 
  2. applicable laws and regulations.


CA-FEC 5.02

Counselling and education services offer the full range of options to address debt problems, and include information about:
  1. negotiating directly with creditors on payment or interest rate relief;
  2. changing buying habits;
  3. strategies for saving money;
  4. custom designed payment plans; and
  5. advantages and challenges of all options, including payment plans and options for student loans, bankruptcy, DMPs, and self-administered payment plans.
NA The organization provides Housing Counselling and Education Services only.


CA-FEC 5.03

Education programs include information that addresses, as applicable:
  1. affordable levels of debt and debt warning signs;
  2. appropriate use of credit and alternatives to credit use;
  3. financial implications of student loan modification actions;
  4. types, sources, and costs of credit and loans;
  5. solving credit problems;
  6. obtaining and understanding credit reports;
  7. re-establishing credit; and
  8. alternatives to bankruptcy.


CA-FEC 5.04

Clients are educated about the advantages of developing a budget, including how to:
  1. establish short and long-term financial goals and how to achieve them;
  2. calculate gross and net monthly income; and
  3. identify and classify monthly expenses as fixed, variable, or periodic.


CA-FEC 5.05

Money-management education includes information about:
  1. how to maintain adequate financial records;
  2. making decisions about purchases based on wants and needs;
  3. the value of insurance coverage; and
  4. saving for emergencies, periodic expenses, and long-term goals.


CA-FEC 5.06

The organization provides, either directly or through contractual arrangements:
  1. counselling and education programs to a wide range of groups through various mediums, such as online technology, in educational settings, in public settings, and in the potential service area; and
  2. information about its services to potential referral sources, such as employee assistance programs and social service organizations.
Examples: Audiences can include high schools, trade schools, adult education programs, colleges and universities, civic organizations, religious organizations, and the military, if located in the area.