Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning (DipPFS)

Level: 4
Qualification: CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning (DipPFS)
Course Length: 24 Months

The CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning (DipPFS) is the qualification of choice for the financial planning professionals and is therefore ideal for those pursuing a career in investment advice, paraplanning, technical consultancy and other financial services supporting roles.

This qualification (formerly AFPC) meet the FCA’s (Financial Conduct Authority) requirements for retail investment advisers and is therefore a minimum requirement of most financial planning opportunities.

The Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning covers:

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

This qualification can be studied as part of the Financial Advisor apprenticeship standard, or through our DipPFS study support package. Both pathways include as standard:

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

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:


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 assesment system and how tax liabilities are computed;
  • Taxation of investments are relevant to the needs and circumstances of individuals and trusts.
4 10
R04 Pensions and retirement planning
  • Main tax and legal frameworks that govern retirement benefits under registered pension schemes;
  • Features of defined contribution and defined benefit pensions;
  • State retirement benefits available, including the risks and suitability of contracting out of the State Second Pension.


4 10
R05 Financial protection
  • The purpose and scope of financial protection products and how they interact with State benefits;
  • The 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;
  • The main protection needs of businesses.


3 10
R06 Financial planning practice
  • Appropriate techniques in advising clients;
  • Synthesising client information;
  • Analysing the client situation and the advantages and disadvantages of appropriate options;
  • Formulate suitable financial plans;
  • Implement and review.
4 30

Our Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning 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 DipPFS within 24 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.
Learners are currently enrolled with Skills Edge
Learners trained with Skills Edge
of learners would recommend Skills Edge