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CII Diploma in Financial Planning Exam Breakdown

CII Diploma in Financial Planning Exam Breakdown

The CII Diploma in Financial Planning is appropriate for anybody who gives financial advice to clients (individuals, companies or government bodies), such as independent financial advisers and tied-agents, as well as paraplanners, pension analysts, financial analysts and senior administrators.   As individuals are now requried to attain the RQF level 4 status to give financial advice, the Diploma in Financial Planning in itself is no longer enough and gap-fill activity must be undertaken. However, if you are interested in pursuing an Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning, these topics will be helpful to you.

This Diploma provides candidates with advanced technical knowledge and understanding of a wide range of fundamental advisery topics, including trusts, business tax, pensions, investment and supervision. Many key technical subject areas are covered by these Chartered Insurance Institute exams, ensuring that candidates progress their careers in accordance with the regulations.

The CII Diploma in Financial Planning provides a flexible learning programme that allows candidates to choose the units most suitable for their current job and/or future career aspirations.

Many units can be chosen from, including the following:

  • J02 Exam: Trusts
  • J03 Exam: The Tax and Legal Aspects of Business
  • J05 Exam: Pension Income Options
  • J07 Exam: Supervision in a Regulated Environment
  • J09 Exam: Paraplanning

Each unit consists of 2-hour written short-answer exam, which is held at around 50 test centres at city centre locations across the United Kingdom. Candidates must reach a total of 140 credits (with a minimum of 80 of which must be at Diploma level and 30 advanced diploma level). The modular style of learning means you can learn at your own pace, fitting the work around existing work or family commitments.

It is different from the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning in several ways. Firstly, if no other J0 Diploma subjects have been passed, it is necessary to pass six units (R01 – R06) to complete the Regulated Financial Planning programme. The exam structure is also different: R01 – R05 consist of either 50 or 100 multiple choice questions, while R06 involves two written case studies. While there are no entry requirements for either Diploma, a Diploma in Financial Planning will only be awarded if the candidate already holds the Certificate in Financial Services (or an equivalent).

Upon successful completion of the qualification, candidates are able to use the designation DipPFS® (provided certain Continuing Professional Development requirements are met and you hold current membership of the appropriate professional body). The credits can also be used towards gaining Chartered Financial Planner status.

Most importantly, this Diploma provides the knowledge needed for financial advisers and planners to advise their clients in the most professional and appropriate way, reducing the level of risk and increasing their clients’ confidence in their abilities.

Information in this article is correct as at May 2020