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Are you working towards RQF Level 6?

Are you working towards RQF Level 6?

Many advisers, paraplanners, and other financial services professionals are choosing to extend their qualifications beyond the diploma (RQF Level 4). Here, we talk about what’s involved in the CII RQF Level 6.


We are seeing a bigger demand than ever for CII AF exam support as people seek to pursue RQF Level 6 and Chartered status to develop specialist skills and knowledge and demonstrate their commitment to professionalism.

So what does the CII RQF Level 6 involve?

In order to complete the Advanced Diploma, you need 290 credits – 120 of these have to come from the Advanced level 6 units, 40 have to come from Diploma level 4 which include all the CII R0 exams (except R05) and the ‘J’ exams. All other credits can be gained at any level (except LF1).  You have to take AF5 – it’s compulsory!

These are the AF units;

  • AF1 Personal tax and trust planning – 30 CII credits
  • AF4 Investment planning – 30 CII credits
  • AF5 Financial planning process – compulsory – 30 CII credits
  • AF6 Senior management and supervision – 30 CII credits
  • AF7 Pension Transfers – 20 CII credits
  • AF8 Retirement Income Planning – 30 CII credits

When you have achieved the credits required at Level 4 and Level 6, you can opt for credits at any level.  So you may choose an easier Level 3 unit where this is a wide variety of Award and Certificate level units on offer.  Popular choices at this level are CF8 Long Term Care Insurance and ER1 Equity Release.

Once you’ve got your 290 credits, you can use the letters APFS after your name.  You can also apply for Chartered Financial Planner status – as long as you have 5 years’ industry experience.  This, we believe, is what a lot of advisers are now aiming for as this now puts our profession at the same level as those professions we often work closely with; Chartered Accountants and Solicitors.

Making the jump from a CII Diploma exam to an Advanced exam is not easy, and it should not be underestimated how much effort needs to be put in.  The exams jump from multi-choice and multi-response and short-answer questions to long case studies and fact-finds.  However, if you want Chartered status and the recognition from your clients as well as your peers, it’s well worth the effort.

There is of course plenty of help around as well.  Here at Brand Financial Training, we offer mock papers on AF1, AF4 and AF7 and a full fact-find analysis for AF5.  We also offer various other resources including study notes and calculation workbooks.

For more information on the Advanced Diploma go to: