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Chartered Insurance Institute
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The essential mortgages and equity release advice qualification

The RQF Level 3 Certificate in Equity Release meets the FCA's qualification requirements for mortgage advisers and those advising on equity release schemes. In addition to developing mortgage advice knowledge and skills, the Certificate develops  understanding of equity release regulation, products, market practice and customer needs.

The Certificate is an ideal next-step for holders of the CII Level 3 Certificate in Mortgage Advice, only requiring completion of one further unit.

The Certificate involves completion of three compulsory units:

Unit syllabuses setting out the learning outcomes for each unit can be found on the right of this page. 

Who it's for 

The Certificate is particularly suitable for:

  • Anyone seeking to give mortgage and equity release advice 
  • Those working in the mortgage and equity release market in non-advisory roles, for example, technical consultants or those in support roles

Entry requirements 


Learning support 

Unit study materials for this qualification include:

  • Study text with updates 
  • RevisionMate online study support
  • Blended learning package 
  • Key fact booklets
  • Question packs
  • Audio revision

How you're tested

Each unit is assessed by a single multiple-choice on screen exam, tested year-round throughout the UK at a choice of over 40 centres. Find out more by selecting the completion requirements link to the right of this page. 

Member designation 

Completion entitles CII or PFS members who are also members of the CII's Society of Mortgage Professionals to use the designation Certs CII (MP & ER). Continuing professional development requirements apply.

Your next step

The links at the top right of this page contain all the information you need to finalise your entry. To order your study text and assessment entry, please use the individual unit links. 

Read the Certificate in Equity Release specification »

Key facts

Key facts for the Certificate in Equity release

Ofqual Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) Level Level 3
Number of available units 3 Certificate units and 1 Diploma unit
Compulsory units 3 units
• (R01) Financial services, regulation and ethics; or
• (CF1) UK financial services, regulation and ethics
• (CF6) Mortgage advice
• (ER1) Equity release
CII credits required to complete (existing credits carried forward) 50
CII credits per unit CF1/ER1 - 15 credits
R01/CF6 - 20 credits
Combination of units at any level allowed Yes
At Certificate and Diploma level
(subject to completion requirements)
Exam format R01/CF1
• Online, 2 hours
• 100 multiple choice questions (MCQs)
• Online, 3 hours
• 100 multiple choice questions (MCQs) and five case studies, each comprising five MCQs
• Online, 2 hours
• 50 multiple choice questions (MCQs) and five case studies, each comprising five MCQs
Average study time per unit R01/CF1 - 60 hours
ER1 - 60 hours
CF6 - 100 hours
Availability of exam sessions (Details shown apply to the UK. Outside of the UK exams are offered twice-yearly) Year-round
Availability varies from centre to centre, but typically weekly
Entry requirements? None
Credits available for prior learning? Yes
Record of Achievement issued for each exam pass? Yes
CII/PFS membership designation Cert CII (MP & ER)
CII members are entitled to use on completion

Completion requirements

To complete the Certificate you need to obtain 50 CII credits by passing three compulsory units: R01 or CF1, CF6 and ER1.

Units Credits and level  Study hours per unit ** Assesment method Exam sessions Nominal pass mark *** Results notification
CF1 15 - Level 3 60 2 hour exam comprising 100 multiples choice questions (MCQs) Year-round 70% Immediate notification of results
R01 20 - Level 4 60 2 hour exam comprising 100 MCQs 65%
CF6 * 20 - Level 4 70 3 hour exam comprising 100 MCQs and 5 case studies, each comprising 5 MCQs 70%
ER1 15 - Level 3 70 2 hour exam comprising 50 MCQs and 5 case studies, each comprising 5 MCQs 70%

* Holders of the withdrawn CII unit '(MAQ) Mortgage Advice Qualification' satisfy this requirement.

** The recommended minimum study hours shown below will vary according to your experience and ability. 

*** The nominal pass mark is shown, however, the actual pass mark may vary from one session to another to ensure that the pass standard remains constant.

Assessment information

It is important that candidates entering for a CII assessment familiarise themselves with our service, in particular the rules and procedures that are in place.


CF1 UK financial services, regulation and ethics

At the end of this unit, candidates should understand the:

  • purpose and structure of the UK financial services industry;
  • different financial asset classes and product types;
  • process of giving advice and the main areas covered;
  • ethics, regulatory processes, rules and legislation underpinning UK financial services;
  • use of the financial regulators' powers and responsibilities to protect the market's integrity and the impact on individuals and firms of these regulators' powers.


CF6 Mortgage advice

At the end of this unit, candidates should be able to understand the:

  • house buying process, from making an offer to completion and the key parties involved;
  • different types of borrowers and how to meet their individual mortgage needs;
  • different types of mortgage product and repayment options and their suitability for the client;
  • legislative and regulatory position of mortgages and the requirements of a mortgage adviser.


ER1 Equity release

At the end of this unit, candidates should be able to understand the:

  • principles of equity release and the types of schemes available;
  • suitability and affordability of the different types of equity release products;
  • risks to the consumer associated with equity release;
  • application of suitable equity solutions according to the circumstances of different customers.


R01 Financial services, regulation and ethics

At the end of this unit candidates will be able to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skill in applying the following topic areas:

  • UK financial service industry in its European and Global context;
  • how the retail customer is served by the financial service industry;
  • Regulatory framework, powers and responsibilities to protect the consumer;
  • the legal concepts and considerations relevant to financial advice;
  • the Code of Ethics and its impact on the business behaviours of individuals.