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Chartered Insurance Institute
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The benchmark of learning for advisers across the global market place

Designed for financial advisers and insurance agents working outside the UK, this single-unit Award provides a solid grounding in the core financial and life assurance products and offers guidance on what constitutes professional practice, thereby providing a framework for ethical behaviour.

With over 6,500 holders to date across 80 countries, the Award in Financial Planning is the benchmark qualification for this sector.

What will I learn?

At the end of this unit, you should be able to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding in the following areas:

  • the client's needs;
  • the fact-finding process;
  • good practice;
  • protection products;
  • savings and investment products;
  • pension products.

Why the Award in Financial Planning?

The Award delivers many advantages:

  • Upon completion, CII members are eligible to use the designation 'CII (Award)'. Continuing Professional Development requirements apply.
  • Entry comes as a complete package for a single fee: study text, examination guide and examination sitting.
  • On passing the exam, you will hold one of the three Awards needed to complete the Certificate in Insurance and Financial Services.
  • Provide 15 Certificate-level credits towards completion of the CII's higher level qualifications (subject to completion requirements and excluding the Certificate in Insurance which is subject to UK regulation).

Is the Award suitable for me?

The Award is open to anyone working outside the UK in the insurance and financial services sector irrespective of educational background or experience.

In a growing number of territories the Awards meet the regulatory qualification requirements relevant to advisers. In other non-regulated environments they frequently provide a development pathway where no local educational and professional provision is available.

The Award is particularly suitable for:

  • Non-UK financial advisers and insurance agents working outside the UK.
  • Non-UK financial advisers needing to satisfy the minimum operating standards set by a local regulator.

Your next step

Upon completion, CII members are eligible to use the designation 'CII (Award)'. Continuing Professional Development requirements apply.

The Award also supports ongoing professional development as, on passing the exam, you will hold one of the three Awards needed to complete the Certificate in Insurance and Financial Services.

Enrol online here. Alternatively download the application form above or contact our Customer Service team on +44 (0)20 8989 8464 or email





CII qualifications involve the completion of one or more units, each covering an individually assessed topic. Assessment methods vary and depend on a unit's level and subject matter.

Study and assessment methods include:

  • Multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam - Study is based on a specified enrolment period, from 01 January – 31 December. MCQ exams are available weekly at UK and select non-UK online exam centres, or twice-yearly in April and October at non-UK paper-based exam centres.
  • Written exams - Study is based on a 12 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. Written exams are held twice-yearly in April and October, with the exception of unit R06 which is tested four times-yearly, at UK and non-UK exam centres.
  • Coursework assessment - Study is based on a 12 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. Three written assignments, each typically between 2,000 - 3,000 words, need to be passed.
  • Mixed assessment - Study is based on a 18 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. A combination of a single coursework assignment must be passed within the first six months and a MCQ exam passed within 18 months.
  • Dissertation assessment - Study is based on a 18 month enrolment period from the date of purchase. A dissertation, typically between 10,000 - 11,000 words, on an agreed subject must be submitted.

Find out more

It is essential that candidates familiarise themselves with the guidelines and instructions. Candidates should also familiarise themselves with the coursework and dissertation policies as well as exam policies before the assessment, and notes to results post-assessment.

Completion requirements

To complete the award you must study a single study text and then pass the associated exam.

Studying for the Awards

The study text breaks down into six chapters, each with clearly-defined learning objectives. All chapters conclude with a series of self-test questions which enable you to monitor your progress as you prepare for the exam itself.

As a guide, it is recommended that you allow a minimum of 60 hours' study (this will vary according to your experience and ability).

The exam

The exam itself takes the form of a two-hour paper consisting of 75 multiple choice questions, and is examined twice-yearly in April and October.

The nominal pass mark is 70%. However, the actual pass mark may vary slightly from one session to another to ensure that the pass standard remains constant.

The complete package

Enrolment for the Award includes everything you need for a single fee: study text, examination guide and exam entry.

Important deadlines

There are two public exam sittings for the Award - April and October. Please note the following important dates.

. Apr 2017 exams Oct 2017 exams
Exam entry
Closing date for your exam entry and payment to reach the CII at normal fee

All units
22 Feb 17

All units
30 Aug 17
At late entry fee All units
17 Mar 17
All units
22 Sep 17
Exam entry confirmation*

Once entered for the exam:

  • an exam entry confirmation will be sent seven working days from receipt of application
  • an exam admission permit will be sent six weeks before the date of the exam.
Exam sittings 05 Apr 17 11 Oct 17
Exam results
released online** at and posted to candidates. Please allow 14 days to a non-UK address 
12 May 17 17 Nov 17
Entry for the next exam You do not have to wait for your results before entering for an exam in the next session

* Please contact Customer Service if you do not receive these, either by emailing or calling 020 8989 8464. When you receive your admission permit you MUST read it in full and check whether any change has been made in the date or times of the units for which you have entered and that the units shown on your permit are those that you intend to sit. If there is any discrepancy you should contact Customer Service immediately.

** To access your results online you will need to be logged in to the CII website using your CII Permanent Identity Number (PIN) and password.

Recognition of prior learning

When you pass exams through the CII, the credits will automatically appear on your learning account, including for exams that you may have passed under discontinued CII qualification routes. You may also be able to receive credits for relevant qualifications you have passed through other awarding bodies - to do this you should submit an application for recognition of prior learning.

By claiming credits for qualifications you've attained outside the CII framework, you'll avoid duplicating learning already undertaken, in turn reducing the amount of study and obtaining your CII qualification more quickly. 

If you wish to claim credits to recognise non CII qualifications held, please see the accreditation section of this website, where you can read full guidance on the rules and requirements and download an application form.

Important note: To be awarded a CII qualification, and use any resultant membership designation, you must obtain, by CII examination, dissertation or coursework assessment, a pass in a unit from the qualification that you are looking to complete, and meet the qualification completion requirements. These rules apply irrespective of how many credits your existing qualifications might provide through recognition of prior learning. As a result, you will not gain permission to use the designation 'CII (Award)' if you pass the unit (AWF) Award in Financial Planning by recognition of prior learning.

Find out more about applying for recognition of prior learning »

Assessment information

It is important that candidates entering for a CII assessment familiarise themselves with our service, in particular the rules and procedures that are in place.


AWF Award in financial planning

The exam is based on the published syllabus, which is in itself an important aid to exam preparation and revision. It is essential that you familiarise yourself with this before commencing study (a full syllabus is provided in the CII study text).

This sets out the objectives of the unit and details the range of knowledge that forms the basis of the exam.