Exit Planning Institute


Program Vetting Process:

What is Exit Planning?

Exit Planning is simply good business strategy. Exit planning combines the plan, concept, effort, and process into a clear, simple strategy to build a business that is transferable through strong human, structural, customer, and social capital. The future of you, your family, and your business are addressed by exit planning through creating value today.

What is a CEPA?®

Formally, CEPA® is an acronym for Certified Exit Planning Advisor. Participants who successfully complete the executive MBA style program, and pass the closed book proctored exam, receive the Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®) credential.

In reality, A CEPA® is a holistic business advisor that helps a business owner align their business, personal and financial goals while building transferable value into their company so that the owner is always prepared to capitalize on a transition of their company, planned or unplanned.

What is the difference between CEPA Online and CEPA In-Person?

CEPA Online is a 5-day fully virtual educational experience that allows advisors to gain knowledge about the Exit Planning industry from the comfort of their home or office. An “Edu-Series” experience delivering one-on-one live, simulated education in a way that you will retain and use immediately.

CEPA In-Person is a completely in-person CEPA credentialing program hosted in world-class learning facilities across the country. This in person experience includes numerous opportunities to network with advisors from across the country.

What makes the CEPA Credentialing Program different from other exit planning programs?

As a professional advisor, credentials, and professional designations provide you with a wealth of industry-specific knowledge. Credentials allow you to advance your career and make you stand out in a market of advisors with similar backgrounds. The Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA®) credential is the leading credential in the exit planning and business value growth industry, with over 3,000 CEPAs in the marketplace.

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Pre-CEPA Program:

Is there reading I must complete prior to the CEPA Credentialing Program?

Yes, you must read Walking to Destiny: 11 Actions an Owner Must Take to Rapidly Grow Value and Unlock Wealth prior to attending the CEPA credentialing program. You will receive a copy in your CEPA box that is sent to you prior to the program.

How should I prepare for the CEPA Credentialing Program?
  • Before your CEPA Online program, read Walking to Destiny by EPI CEO, Christopher Snider to get a general understanding of the Value Acceleration Methodology, on which we base the curriculum.
  • Schedule your one-hour Pre-CEPA call to walk through the CEPA program, discuss exam logistics, and meet other CEPA candidates in your program.
  • Log into your Member Center to access all files needed for the CEPA program and ensure there are no issues ahead of your CEPA program.
  • Schedule your Exam.
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CEPA Program Logistics:

How is the CEPA Online program organized?

CEPA Online is a 5-day program that follows a “Layered Learning” model. The three components of the program are a virtual classroom, self-study exercises and case stud work, and daily Faculty Meet Ups. 

Does the CEPA program qualify for Continuing Education Credits?
Yes, the CEPA program is approved for up to 21.5 CPE hours and 14.5 CFP ® hours.
How long is the CEPA Credentialing Program?

Developed by nationally recognized experts in the field of exit planning and value acceleration, the CEPA credential is an  executive MBA-style program that includes 16 modules taught by 11 expert instructors. CEPA Online is a 5-day program, whereas CEPA In-Person is a 4-day program. 

Is there an exam?

Yes, within one week of completing the program you must take the exam. The exam is 150 multiple choice questions and is administered through Exam Room, an online proctoring service. Further instructions for completing the exam, creating your account, and selecting your exam time will be provided prior to your CEPA program. Once the exams are completed, the results are announced within two weeks of completing the program. A 70% or higher is required to pass the exam.

Is there an additional cost to sit for the exam?

No, it is included in the cost of the program.

What is the best way to prepare for the CEPA exam?

If you would like additional help studying for the exam, we recommend purchasing the CEPA Exam Prep course. It is an on-demand course built to strengthen and reinforce the core competencies required to pass the CEPA exam.

What happens if I do not pass my exam?

If you do not pass your exam on the first attempt, it can be retaken two additional times (3 exam attempts total) before having to retake the CEPA program. Chris Snider will reach out and schedule a phone call to go over the exam, specifically areas where you struggled, and help prepare you to re-take the exam. Your Member Experience representative will help you schedule a re-take of your exam. 

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Post-CEPA Program:

Is there a continuing education requirement?

The Certified Exit Planning Advisor (CEPA) credential must be renewed every three (3) years via continuing education. To maintain your earned credential, you must complete (1) ongoing adherence to professional conduct requirements and (2) continual professional development activities or a combination of professional development activities and contributions to the profession; as outlined below:

  • Meet Minimum Continuing Education Requirements: Renewing certification holders must have completed a minimum of 40 hours of exit planning related professional development. EPI accepts reciprocal CE hours from CPE, CFP, etc. EPI, however, does not accept ethics as CE.
    • 20 of the above hours need to be from the Exit Planning Institute in the form of programs, courses, and meetings. These include the Exit Planning Summit, EPI Academy, Chapter Events, Think Tanks, Webinars, etc.

  • Maintain Professional/Ethics Standards: Renewing certification holders must agree in writing that they will adhere to the EPI Professional Standards and Code of Ethics, and they must re-attest that they have not been convicted of a felony related to the practice of exit planning.

In addition to the requirements stated above, in order to maintain the CEPA credential, an Annual Membership fee must be maintained.  In the case the Annual Membership fee is not maintained, the CEPA credential will be de-activated and membership terminated. An applicant will be ineligible for renewal if their Annual Membership fee is past due.

What are the ongoing membership fees to be an active CEPA credential holder?

Exit Planning Institute offers two membership options. The first option is Credentialed Plus. Credentialed Plus  is $895 and includes not only the CEPA credential, but access to CEPA ThinkTanks, the Monthly Member Round Up, and the full EPI Member Center with exclusive content and tools. The second option is Credentialed. Credentialed is $395 and includes only the CEPA credential. The first year at the Credentialed Plus level is included in your program fees.

View Member Benefits

Does EPI have a software product/program?

No, EPI does not have a proprietary software program. To better serve our CEPAs, EPI endorses several software providers through the Alliance Partner Program.

View EPI Partner Network

What are the long-term benefits of CEPA?

Becoming a Certified Exit Planning Advisor allows you to differentiate yourself from your competitors, gain better access to business owners, and grow your referral network of professional advisors. You will become more engaged on a business owner’s advisor team, have deeper and more holistic conversations with business owners, and received hundreds of marketing and business development tools tailored for owners.

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Reinvent yourself with exit planning.