With any paid service, it is almost certainly preferable to deal with a licensed bureau or some sort of organization with a seal of approval from a recognized agency. One example is when engaging in an international adoption.
A logical place to start in the search for a financial planning program might be to consult the Better Business Bureau. While anyone who knows the Bureau understands that it does not exist solely for the purpose of approving financial planning programs, as it is committed more broadly to promoting ethics and trustworthiness in the marketplace, financial planning advisers also fall under its jurisdiction. A for-profit financial planning program is, by nature, a business, and by this token, the Better Business Bureau more or less has a duty to inform the public on whether or not a financial planner is worthwhile.
Another line of defense against faulty practices in finance and business is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA for short. FINRA is the largest organization with oversight of securities firms, in particular in America. Often, in the push toward retirement, investments in securities (stocks, options, bonds, etc.) will be critical to the creation of a portfolio and trying to generate savings for the future. By virtue of this, a disreputable financial planning program would be likely to be censured by FINRA.
Probably the foremost authority on financial planning programs, though, is dedicated to their accredited by name. The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards is an organization that puts candidates to be Certified Financial Planners through a fairly rigorous amount of testing before they can earn this symbol of professionalism. A financial planning program that has CFPs on staff would be expected to be extremely knowledgeable in key areas of financial planning.