The RQF level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning meets the FCA’s qualification requirements for retail investment advisers (subject to gap fill), and develops core technical understanding across a broad range of key advisory areas.
Read the Diploma in Financial Planning specification >>
Who’s it for?
- Those seeking to give retail investment advice, in particular those who already hold CII credits that count towards completion (otherwise, the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning is more suitable)
- Paraplanners, technical consultants, and those in financial planning support roles
One of the following CII qualifications, or equivalent, must be held to complete the Diploma:
- Certificate in Financial Services (General route)
- Certificate in Financial Services (Life and pensions route)
- Certificate in Regulated Financial Services Operations
- Withdrawn Certificate in Financial Planning
Recognition of prior learning
Before studying, check to see whether any of your previous academic qualifications or credits from other professional bodies and institutes can be carried towards completion of the Diploma.
To be awarded the Diploma, you must obtain at least one CII Diploma-level J0 or R0 unit.
Find out more about recognition of prior learning >
With no compulsory units, the Diploma in Financial Planning lets you tailor your learning pathway to reflect your needs. A total of 140 credits must be achieved to be awarded the Diploma.
At least 80 credits must be at Diploma level (J02, J03, J05, J07, J09-J12, R01-R04, R06-R08).
The following also count towards this requirement:
- One Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning unit (AF1-AF8) - or a maximum of 30 Advanced Diploma non-specific credits awarded after 2006
- Advanced Diploma level credits from withdrawn AFPC units, credits from some specified units in the general insurance framework.
The remaining credits can come from any CII financial services units, excluding LF1 and subject to a maximum of 30 Advanced Diploma unit credits. A total of 140 credits must be achieved. The credits can consist of any CII financial services non-specific credits or credits from financial services units, excluding LF1, credits from some specified units in the general insurance framework. This requirement is subject to a maximum of 30 credits gained from Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning units (AF1-AF8) counting towards the qualification as a whole.
See our key information link to the right of this page for details
Members are entitled to use the designation DipPFS, subject to membership and Continuing Professional Development (CPD) requirements.
Diploma level units are assessed by multiple-choice question exam (MCQ), written case study based exam or by coursework assignment.
For online MCQ exams, result notification is immediate on completion. For paper-based MCQ exams, results are released five weeks following the exam sitting. Written exam results are normally released 6-8 weeks following exam sitting, and coursework results are released 40 days following submission.
Find out more about assessments, including policies and exam centres >
Each qualification unit comes with the essential tools to support core learning. For a single fee, study packages typically include: study text, assessment entry and access to RevisionMate, our online study tool.
We also offer additional study materials to support individual learning. These range from key fact booklets and next-edition study texts, to question packs and Learn interactive tutorials.
For full unit availability, click the unit links to the right of this page