Certificate in Paraplanning (CertPFS)

Level: 4
Qualification: CII Certificate in Paraplanning (CertPFS)
Course Length: 18 Months

The CII Certificate in Paraplanning (CertPFS) offers a dedicated qualification route, developing paraplanning skills, expertise and advanced technical knowledge in several key advisory areas.

This qualification is for senior and mid-level paraplanners looking to further their knowledge. or new industry entrants, graduates or otherwise aspiring to become paraplanners.

The Certificate in Paraplanning covers:

  • R01 Financial services, regulation & ethics
  • R02 Investment principles and risk
  • R03 Personal taxation
  • J09 Paraplanning

This qualification can be studied as part of the Paraplanner apprenticeship standard, or through our CertPFS study support package.

This study support package includes as standard:

  • Books, examinations and revision materials
  • Online support from subject experts
  • Online revision sessions

The Level 4 Certificate in Paraplanning is focussed on developing core technical knowledge and financial planning capabilities across four core areas:


Qualification Contents Level Credits
R01 Financial, services, regulation and ethics
  • Purpose and structure of the UK financial services industry;
  • How the retail customer is served by the financial services industry;
  • Regulatory framework, powers and responsibilities to protect the consumer;
  • Legal concepts and considerations relevant to financial advice;
  • Code of Ethics and its impact on the business behaviours of individuals.
4 20
R02 Investment principles and risk
  • Characteristics, inherent risks, behaviour and correlation of asset classes, and investment products;
  • Macro-economic environment and its impact on asset classes;
  • Merits and limitations of the main investment theories;
  • Nature and impact of the main types of risk on investment performance;
  • Performance of investments.
4 20
R03 Personal taxation
  • Basic structure of the UK tax system;
  • Main taxes on income and capital that may be charged on individuals and trusts, the self assessment system and how tax liabilities are computed;
  • Taxation of investments are relevant to the needs and circumstances of individuals and trusts.
4 10
J09 Paraplanning
  • Understanding of the regulatory, legal and ethical frameworks of paraplanning;
  • Understand the client’s personal and financial circumstances;
  • Understand the financial planning requirements of the client;
  • Provide potential financial solutions.


4 30


Upon completion of this training programme, consideration could be given to progressing onto the DipPFS (Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning).

Our Certificate in Paraplanning (CertPFS) support packages are delivered online via our virtual learning environment. Each chapter of the book is accompanied by revision notes, mock exam questions, and workbooks designed to test and embed your knowledge. At regular intervals throughout the course you should attend online revision sessions to help cover more technical content.

Throughout the course you will have access to a subject expert to answer any questions you may have along the way. Before sitting any exams we will provide a full mock exam which you can retake as many time as required before sitting the real thing.

It is possible to complete the CertPFS within 18 months, allowing 4-6 hours of independent study per week. All courses are flexible to allow you to complete at a pace that is appropriate to you. You should not attempt two study for two exams simultaneously.

Please note that CII materials and exams are updated each September, and you may be required to purchase the study update packs for exams you are currently studying for. Your subject expert will advise you of this should it apply.

You must be a paid member of the CII to purchase this course, as we will require your PIN number as part of the enrolment process. If you are not a member you can join here:

There are no formal entry requirements for this study package, but you will require adept and developed literacy and numeracy skills.

Working within a financial services environment is desirable and advantageous, although not essential.

For an informal discussion about this course, please use the enquiry form below:

Thank you for your enquiry, we will endevour to get back to you as soon as we can.
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