FEA Designation

Family Enterprises are the foundational pillars of prosperity and economic growth in most industrialized countries around the world. Today - more than at any point in history - we have a greater understanding of the nature of Family Enterprises and their impact on our economies.

Approximately one third of family entrepreneurs are planning to transition leadership of their businesses and wealth in the very near future. 90% of them expect to transition leadership to a family member. Generational transition is one of the most important challenges Family Enterprises face, and is a critical issue for which they seek strong, clear and, engaged advice.

Families add an element of continuity and long-term thinking to their businesses that many non-family enterprises lack. Becoming FEA certified will not only help you deliver the highest quality advice for business families, but it will reinforce your standing and expertise in this growing and critical sector of the business world.

The Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA) Program and Designation will reinforce your standing and expertise in this growing and critical sector of the business world and help you bring timely and thoughtful solutions to the family table. 

Be fluent in Family Enterprise.

We know:

  • Family businesses create an estimated 70 to 80% of global GDP, annually
  • Family businesses contribute 64% of the US GDP and 50% of the Canadian GDP
  • About half of the Canadian workforce is employed by family businesses
  • Family-controlled businesses constitute 80% of all businesses worldwide
  • 55% of all charitable donations are given by family businesses


1. Completion of the Family Enterprise Advisor Program (FEA Program)

The Family Enterprise Advisor (FEA) Program is a mandatory pre-requisite to obtain the FEA Certification. The FEA Program consists of seven modules, and includes a team project and book report. The FEA Program is designed to be completed in one year and is currently offered in Vancouver, British Columbia | Calgary, Alberta | Toronto, Ontario.

2. Hold a degree or another professional designation

3. Join the Family Enterprise Exchange (FEX)

All FEA Program participants receive a one year complimentary membership to FEX. All FEA certificants are required to keep their FEX membership current in order to maintain the FEA certification. The FEX annual membership fee is $1,495 + tax.

4. Complete the FEA Certification Application Form

The FEA Certification Application Form must be completed and submitted for approval by Dec 31, 2018 for Toronto and Vancouver cohorts, and Feb 28, 2019 for the Calgary cohort. You may submit your application prior to completing the FEA Program, however, approval depends upon the completion of the program including the team project. Candidates cannot write exams until their application form has been approved. The FEA Certification Application Form includes the following:

  • Three references
  • Professional and criminal background disclosure
  • Your CV or bio

There is a one-time FEA certification fee of $750 + tax

Apply for FEA Certification

5. Pass the FEA Certification Exams

The FEA Certification exams consist of two components: written exam and oral assessment. Only candidates who pass the written examination can participate in the oral assessment, and therefore, a minimum three week period is required between the two exams.


6. Maintaining the FEA Certification

Maintaining the FEA Certification is an ongoing process. By receiving the Family Enterprise Advisor Certification, each designate undertakes and agrees:

  1. To comply with:
    • all laws and regulations applicable to the organizations on which he/she serves;
    • the written codes of conduct of all organizations with which he/she is associated; and
    • The Code of Ethics and Professional Standards of FEA and all other professional codes for bodies and associations to which he/she belongs
  2. To conduct him/herself in a manner that supports the purpose, vision, mission, and goals of FEX
  3. To obtain and keep current any necessary or required professional insurance
  4. To maintain FEX membership
  5. To commit each year to ongoing professional development and learning, and meet the continuing education requirement of seven continuing education credits per calendar year

Apply for FEA Certification

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