Frequently Asked Questions
(1) What is the value of having the CFE™ designation?
Becoming a Certified Franchise Executive shows your commitment to franchising. As a CFE you commit yourself to lifelong learning and an ongoing pursuit of knowledge of franchising. Among franchise leaders, the CFE designation has become widely known and recognized as a mark of distinction that offers a wide range of benefits. Individuals pursue the CFE for a variety of reasons, including professional development, career planning and professional pride, dedication to their career, a personal belief in the franchising industry, and self-fulfillment.
(2) When was the CFE program established, and why?
Initial discussions about the establishment of a certification program began in the late 1980s. The first certification programs were offered by IFA on April 15-19, 1991 and this is considered the official start date of the program.
(3) How is the CFE program governed?
The CFE program is overseen by the ICFE Board of Governors.
(4) Who is eligible for the CFE?
A franchisor, franchisee, supplier or educator actively engaged in franchising who has completed the necessary requirements of the program is eligible to receive the CFE designation.
(5) What is required on the application?
The application documents your professional and educational background, achievements, and franchising leadership experience. Candidates need 3500 total credits to complete the program divided among three areas: Experience (500), Participation (500), Education Core (2500) course work. Education credits are sometimes also referred to as Core or Elective credits.
(6) What is the cost?
The ICFE charges a one-time enrollment fee of $350.00 (member) and $600.00 (non-member) which must be submitted with the application. Course fees are additional and separate and established by individual course providers. These range (on average) from $350.00 to $1,500 per course. Travel costs will be additional. We estimate overall costs of $4,000-$6,000 over a 2 year period to complete the CFE course requirements.
(7) How long will it take to complete the program?
Candidates progress through the program on an individual basis depending upon their time to attend seminars, but in general most will complete the program within 1-1/2 to 2 years. A candidate has 3 years from the date of enrollment to complete the program. Candidates will be notified when they are approaching the end of their 3 years. If a candidate wishes to continue working towards certification, re-enrollment will be required and an additional $250.00 re-enrollment fee must be submitted.
(8) Where can I find information about course offerings?
For a list of courses and course providers click here
(9) What is the enrollment process?
Interested individuals should complete the CFE application and return it to the Institute of Certified Franchise Executives. In completing the application it is important to note that credits for Participation (500) and Education (2500) curriculum may be claimed in the application for a period of approximately one year prior to the date of enrollment. The Application will be reviewed by the ICFE Coordinator who may request additional information if necessary and will confirm enrollment to the applicant. Application forms can be completed online, mailed or faxed to the ICFE Program Manager.
(10) How do candidates receive updates of their credits?
Candidates may log into the "My CFE" section of the website to view their credits. When a candidate completes a program, he/she should mail, fax or email a copy of any certificate received at the conclusion of the program and/or any other documentation certifying their attendance to the ICFE. Credit are posted regularly but candidates should allow at least one week and are responsible for checking their credit status themselves online regularly and report any discsrepancies to the CFE Program Manager.
(11) When is the CFE designation granted?
The CFE designation is presented annually at the IFA Convention to candidates who have completed all the requirements and been approved by the ICFE Board of Governors. Candidates must complete all their requirements by November 20th of the year preceding the year in which they wish to receive their CFE designation. Graduates may use the CFE designation following the IFA Annual Convention at which it is awarded.
(12) How does a candidate receive credits for in-house training program similar to those presented by approved ICFE course providers?
A CFE candidate may request CFE credit for courses or seminars by ICFE-approved Course Providers that are offered as part of a company-training program by the Course Provider. In such cases, if the request is approved, the CFE candidate must pay an additional $150 fee for each course that is approved for CFE credits.
(13) What is the CFE Alumni Group?
The CFE (Certified Franchise Executive) Alumni group is open to all Certified Franchise Executives (CFEs) in good-standing. The purpose of this group is to foster communications and networking among CFE graduates and to provide constructive feedback on improving the CFE program. For information click here(
1) This Linked In Group is exclusively for Certifed Franchise Executives (CFEs) in good standing.
(2) The ICFE Board of Governors reserves the right to limit the use of the CFE Linked-In group to its members and may restrict the use of the Linked In group to any individual who does not follow the guidelines for use of the Linked In group.
(4) Use of the CFE Linked-In group for advertising, promotion and marketing of products and service is strictly prohibited and may result in a member losing his or her priveleges to use the site.
(14) When must CFEs recertify?
Effective February 1, 2004, the ICFE Board implemented a requirement that all CFEs renew their certification every 3 years from the date they are certified. CFEs must accumulate a total of 1200 credits during each 3 year renewal period to maintain their certification. Recertification applications must be filed no later than February 1st every three years.