CFO Designation Process


Individuals seeking the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation complete an application consisting of seven components:

  1. Personal, employment, and department demographic information
  2. Letters of reference
  3. Professional development
    1. Education (formal degrees)
    2. Certifications
    3. Training/courses
    4. Development goals
  4. Professional contributions and recognition
  5. Professional memberships, affiliations, and community involvement
  6. Technical competencies
    1. Outline of knowledge, skills, and abilities needed in each of 20 proficiency areas
    2. Exemptions from technical competency component for fire chiefs and chief fire officers who have a certain level of experience and education
  7. Certification statement

Code of Professional Conduct

Participants in the Designation program are required to comply with the Code of Professional Conduct and the administration thereof. Non-compliance may be cause for termination from the program or revocation of the designation.

Peer Review of Portfolio

A team of peers reviews portfolios submitted for the CFO designation. The peer review process includes:

  • Reviewing the application
  • Determining whether or not an applicant has met all program criteria and requirements
  • Conducting an oral interview with the candidate
  • Researching and verifying statements made on the application
  • Making recommendations to the Commission on Professional Credentialing on the candidate's eligibility


The Commission on Professional Credentialing (CPC) makes the final determination of applicant eligibility and confers the CFO designation.


The peer review process takes on average 30-45 days to complete. The CPC meets every 60-90 days to act on andidate for designation applications.

Maintaining the CFO Designation

The CFO designation is valid for three years. The renewal application is based on four components:

  • Professional development
  • Professional contributions/recognition
  • Professional memberships and affiliations
  • Community involvement