Cookies on the CII website

By using and browsing the CII website, you consent to cookies being used in accordance with our policy. If you do not consent, you are always free to disable cookies if your browser permits, although doing so may interfere with your use of some of our sites or services. Find out more »

Chartered Insurance Institute
Recently added to my basket
 
Sorry but there was an error adding this to your basket. Please try adding it again
 

 

The qualification of choice for the planning profession

The RQF level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning meets the FCA’s qualification requirements for retail investment advisers, developing core technical knowledge and financial planning capabilities across six core areas.

Read the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning specification »

Who’s it for?

  • Those seeking to give retail investment advice, in particular those who do not hold additional CII credits counting towards completion of the Diploma in Financial Planning 
  • Paraplanners, technical consultants, and those in financial planning support roles  

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.

Find out more about recognition of prior learning >

Completion requirements

The Diploma involves completion of six core units from the Personal Finance qualifications framework, providing 100 credits on completion

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.


Assessment method

Diploma units are assessed by multiple-choice question exam (MCQ) (R01, R02, R03, R04, and R05), and a written case study based exam (R06).

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 the exam sitting.

Find out more about assessments, including policies and exam centres >

Learning support

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

Introduction

CII qualifications involve the completion of one or more units, each covering an individually assessed topic. Assessment methods vary and depend on a unit's level and subject matter.


Study and assessment methods include:

  • Multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam - Study is based on a specified enrolment period, from 01 January – 31 December. MCQ exams are available weekly at UK and select non-UK online exam centres, or twice-yearly in April and October at non-UK paper-based exam centres.
  • Written exams - Study is based on a 12 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. Written exams are held twice-yearly in April and October, with the exception of unit R06 which is tested four times-yearly, at UK and non-UK exam centres.
  • Coursework assessment - Study is based on a 12 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. Three written assignments, each typically between 2,000 - 3,000 words, need to be passed.
    Download Insurance Coursework assessment guidelines and instructions »
    Download Personal Finance Coursework assignment guidelines and instructions »
  • Mixed assessment - Study is based on a 18 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. A combination of a single coursework assignment must be passed within the first six months and a MCQ exam passed within 18 months.
    Download Mixed Assessment guidelines and instructions »
  • Dissertation assessment - Study is based on a 18 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. A dissertation, typically between 10,000 - 11,000 words, on an agreed subject must be submitted.
    Download Dissertation guidelines and instructions »

It is essential that candidates familiarise themselves with the guidelines and instructions. Candidates should also familiarise themselves with the coursework and dissertation policies as well as exam policies before the assessment, and notes to results post-assessment.

This qualification in detail

Key information

What does the qualification involve?

The Certificate comprises six core units from across the CII Personal Finance qualifications framework, providing a total of 100 credits on successful completion.

Candidates are required to take the following core units:

  • (R01) Financial services regulation and ethics
  • (R02) Investment principles and risk
  • (R03) Personal taxation
  • (R04) Pensions and retirement planning
  • (R05) Financial protection
  • (R06) Financial planning practice

For unit syllabuses, return to the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning landing page, and click on the ‘Syllabuses’ link to the right of the page.

Unit overview:

Unit

Assessment method

Study hours*

Credits awarded

Unit level

 

 

 

 

 

(R01) Financial services, regulation and ethics

·         2-hour exam

·         100 multiple choice questions

·         65% nominal pass mark**

60

20

4

(R02) Investment principles and risk

·         2-hour exam

·         100 multiple choice questions

·         65% nominal pass mark**

60

20

4

(R03) Personal taxation

·         1-hour exam

·         50 multiple choice questions

·         65% nominal pass mark**

50

10

4

(R04) Pensions and retirement planning

·         1-hour exam

·         50 multiple choice questions

·         65% nominal pass mark**

50

10

4

(R05) Financial protection

·         1-hour exam

·         50 multiple choice questions

·         70% nominal pass mark**

50

10

3

(R06) Financial planning practice

·         3-hour exam comprising 2 written case studies on financial planning practice (candidates receive the case studies 2 weeks prior to exam sitting)

·         55% nominal pass mark**

100

30

4

Find out more about assessment methods, including exam policies and centres »


Units treated as equivalent

Due to the extent of syllabus overlap, certain combinations of current and withdrawn CII units will result in only one award of credits.

If a withdrawn equivalent is held you may not need to complete a current unit in order to satisfy a qualification's completion rules. Clarification should always be sought from CII Customer Service.

Find out more about credit awards for equivalent units »

 

*The recommended minimum study hours will vary depending on your experience and ability.

** The actual pass mark may vary from one session to another to ensure consistency in pass standards.

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.

Syllabuses

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.

 

R02 Investment principles and risk

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

  • the characteristics, inherent risks, behaviour and correlation of asset classes, and investment products;
  • the macro-economic environment and its impact on asset classes;
  • the merits and limitations of the main investment theories;
  • the nature and impact of the main types of risk on investment performance;
  • the performance of investments.

R03 Personal taxation

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

  • the basic structure of the UK tax system;
  • the main taxes on income and capital that may be charged on individuals and trusts, the self assessment system and how tax liabilities are computed;
  • the taxation of investments as relevant to the needs and circumstances of individuals and trusts.

R04 Pensions and retirement planning

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

  • the main tax and legal frameworks applicable to pension schemes;
  • the features of defined contributions and defined benefit pension schemes;
  • state retirement benefits including risks and suitability of contracting out;
  • the aims and objectives of retirement planning including relevant investment issues.

R05 Financial protection

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

  • purpose and scope of financial protection products and how they interact with State benefits;
  • main features and functions of the different types of contracts and how they are arranged in order to meet the individual client's protection needs;
  • main protection needs of businesses

 

R06 Financial planning practice

This unit enables candidates to demonstrate their expertise in the application of the financial planning process through combining and applying learning content from all the other units in the CII QCF level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning:

  • Financial services, regulation and ethics;
  • Investment principles and risk;
  • Personal taxation;
  • Pensions and retirement planning;
  • Financial protection.