CGFO Program


A CGFO Designation:

  • Distinguishes you as a business professional who is committed to a strict code of ethics
  • Confirms substantial knowledge of accounting, finance, and important related fields and demonstrates the ability to integrate this information into the business decision process
  • Demonstrates your commitment to personal professional development
  • Provides an opportunity to assess and demonstrate capabilities and expand knowledge base
  • Distinguishes you from peers and proves your commitment to excellence and lifelong learning
  • Expands career options
  • Identifies you as a motivated professional for hiring, recognition, and advancement purposes
  • Personal satisfaction


Minimum Qualifications

  • Active member of FGFOA
  • Apply for admission into certification program
  • Fulfill educational credentials
  • Satisfy the three-year experience requirement
  • Successfully complete an open book Ethics Exam (achieve a minimum score of 75%)
  • Pass all five parts of the certification exam
  • Comply with FGFOA Code of Ethics


How do I apply?

  • Complete the online application
    • Application must include a minimum of two letters of recommendation
    • After acceptance into the program, candidates will request the link to the open book Code of Ethics for Public Officers and Employees Examination, which must be completed within fifteen days (15) days.. After the candidate has successfully passed the Ethics Exam, the candidate may sign up for one or more of the CGFO examinations.


What is the cost of the program?

There is a $75.00 non-refundable application fee and a $75.00 sitting fee for each exam. 


What type of continuing education is required to maintain a CGFO?

After certification, the program requires 80 hours of CPEs every two years.  Some of these credits may be earned by professional involvement with the FGFOA or the GFOA or similar associations.  


After becoming a qualified candidate, when do I sit for the exam?

When you have qualified to sit for the exam, including successfully passing the Ethics Exam, and have paid for your exams in advance, you may sit for the next available exam.


How frequently is the exam given and when?

  • Exams are now offered online and on-demand 24/7 (except for major U.S. holidays.


What if I don’t pass the exam on the first try?

You have up to three years to pass all five parts of the exam before you must reapply and re-pay the $75 application fee.  Each time you take an exam, you must pay the $75 exam fee.  This fee is to help defray administrative costs of the program.


What are the application deadlines?

With the new online on-demand platform, there are no deadlines to apply to the program.

Do I need to take the exam review sessions / webinars?  How many times are these sessions offered?

While it is recommended that candidates take the review sessions / webinars, they are not required. The candidate should study sufficiently on their own using the suggested review material to help them pass the exam. The review classes / webinars are not intended to be a substitute for proper preparation for the exam. The CGFO review sessions are provided in conjunction with the School of Governmental Finance in the fall and webinars will be offered on-demand beginning in 2024.

For additional assistance, please contact Karen Pastula at (850) 701-3618.