Financial Adviser

Financial advisers provide their clients with specialist advice on how to manage their money. They may be employed in large companies or within small specialist advice businesses. The role involves building long term valued relationships with clients, researching the marketplace and recommending the most appropriate products and services available. Financial advisers may specialise in particular products, depending on their clients, such as advising employee pension schemes to companies or offering mortgage, pension or investment advice to private clients.  

Financial advisers operate in a highly regulated environment and in order to give financial advice, they must have professional qualifications and demonstrate a high degree of integrity, adherence to a code of ethics and be committed to maintaining their professional development and knowledge. Successful completion of this standard will provide both the professional qualifications and competency for candidates to progress towards becoming a regulated Financial Adviser.  

This apprenticeship is ideal for those who are already working in the Financial Services industry and are looking to progress into a Paraplanning role. It can also support an organisations graduate programme.                                                                               

Candidates with experience within Financial Services progressing into a Financial Advice role. 


24 Months

Any apprenticeship costs are covered by the employer and/or Government. Further information on costs for this apprenticeship can be found here.

Entry Requirements

Features and Benefits​​

As a Skills Edge student you will benefit from: 

Regular one to one support sessions

Includes the CII study books and exam entries​​​

Fortnightly workshops for the CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning

All workshops recorded and available on-demand

Exam tips, tricks, and strategies

Access to additional exam resources, providing the following: - Study notes - Interactive learning - 6000+ Exam questions

Interactive chat, forums and class notebooks for real time support and assistance from experienced and qualified Financial Services professionals

Free CII membership for non-members through the CII Aspire Apprenticeship Programme

Monthly workshops to develop the relevant knowledge and skillset of a Financial Adviser

Course Structure Overview​

Key Learning Outcomes

Financial Services Market

The structure of the Financial Services market including: Product Providers’ Services, Support Services and Platforms. The role of the Financial Adviser and associated supporting roles (e.g. the role of the Paraplanner). Different customer propositions including independent, restricted and non-advice models. 

Regulatory & Compliance

The Financial Services regulatory framework, and the ethics and key principles of the advice process. The requirements and practical implications of the Statements of Principles for approved persons (APER) and the Fit and Proper Test for Approved Persons (FIT). 

Products & Cash Flow Modelling

Financial products & financial planning tools (e.g. Cash flow modelling). How to analyse which features and benefits of the relevant financial products are appropriate to the clients’ specific needs and objectives. 

Systems & Controls

All systems and controls required to deliver the key objectives for the client, and firm. How these fit within the wider company and the financial advice profession and how they protect the client and the company. 

Demonstrate technical proficiency in using the firm’s I.T. systems required to complete the advice process, maintain accurate records, and agree review meetings to sustain the client / adviser relationship. Ensure Data Protection Act is not contravened.

Understanding Clients Needs & Objectives

The significance and importance of Knowing Your Client (KYC). How to prioritise a client’s needs and objectives. How to assess a client’s Attitude to Investment Risk and Capacity for Loss in relation to their needs and objectives. 

Know your customer

Make decisions confidently and autonomously in full awareness of the risk/potential external implications attached. Know when to seek further professional input, whilst maintaining high ethical standards and adhering to Treating Customers Fairly requirements.

Business development

Develop long term relationships with customers. Create new opportunities for business growth through referrals and networking. Build a new business or sustain and grow an existing business by prioritising workloads and deliver in accordance with the associated business plan. 

Managing Risk

Apply regulatory requirements both in the role of a Financial Adviser and also as applied to the Company. Maintain, the Fit and Proper person standards as laid down by the relevant regulator(s). 

Full information on all outcomes for this course can be found on the Institute for Apprenticeships & Technical Education website. 

Qualifications ​​

As part of this apprenticeship, apprentices will achieve the CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.

This will be made up of:
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

If you are purely interested in obtaining your CII qualifications and not the wider apprenticeship outcomes, please check out our CII study support workshops:

End Point Assessment:

The End-Point-Assessment (EPA) is conducted by an independent organisation, who will assess the Apprentice’s knowledge, skills and behaviours through the following methods:

1. A portfolio of recent evidence

Apprentices will sit this test under controlled conditions, which will be defined by the Independent Assessment Organisation. The test will synoptically test the knowledge and skills stated in the standard and last a minimum of 60 minutes.

2. Viva Based on a Completed Portfolio of Evidence

The Viva will be a structured interview lasting at least 1 hour between the apprentice and an assessor from the Independent Assessment Organisation

The Apprentice is awarded an overall grade for their apprenticeship based on their EPA, of Fail, Pass, or Distinction. 

Level 4 Financial Adviser Journey

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