Cookies on the CII website

By using and browsing the CII website, you consent to cookies being used in accordance with our policy. If you do not consent, you are always free to disable cookies if your browser permits, although doing so may interfere with your use of some of our sites or services. Find out more »

Chartered Insurance Institute
Recently added to my basket
Sorry but there was an error adding this to your basket. Please try adding it again


Vital knowledge and skills for those working with securities

The RQF Level 4 Certificate in Securities Advice and Dealing satisfies the FCA's appropriate qualification requirements for those advising, or dealing, in securities, and develops an in-depth knowledge of investment and securities products, the UK taxation system and considerations for appropriate investment recommendations.

The Certificate involves completion of four compulsory units:

Unit syllabuses setting out the learning outcomes for each unit can be found on the right of this page. 

Who it's for

The Certificate is particularly suitable for:

  • Anyone seeking to advise on, or dealing in, securities 
  • Anyone working in a related support role looking to develop their knowledge of the market

Entry requirements


Learning support

Unit study materials for this qualification include:

  • Study text with updates
  • RevisionMate online study support
  • Blended learning package
  • Key fact booklets
  • Question packs
  • Audio revision
  • Revision courses

How you're tested

Each unit is assessed by a single multiple-choice on screen exam, tested year-round throughout the UK at a choice of over 40 centres. Find out more by selecting the completion requirements link to the right of this page. 

Member designation

Completion entitles members to use the designation CertPFS (Securities).  Continuing professional development requirements apply.

Your next step

The links at the top right of this page contain all the information you need to finalise your entry. To order your study text and assessment entry, please use the individual unit links. 

Read the Certificate in Securites Advice and Dealing specification »

Key facts

Key facts for the Certificate in Securities Advice and Dealing

Ofqual Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) Level Level 4
Number of available units 4 Diploma units
Compulsory units 4 units
• (R01) Financial services, regulation and ethics
• (R02) Investment principles and risk
• (R03) Personal taxation
• (J12) Securities advice and dealing
CII credits required to complete (existing credits carried forward) 70
CII credits per unit J12/R01/R02 - 20 credits
R03 - 10 credits
Combination of units at any level allowed Not applicable
Exam format

• Online, 2 hours
• 100 multiple choice questions
• Online, 1 hour
• 50 multiple choice questions
• Online, 2 hours
• 75 multiple choice questions

Average study time per unit R01/R02 - 60 hours
R03 - 50 hours
J12 - 70 hours
Availability of exam sessions (Details shown apply to the UK. Outside of the UK exams are offered twice-yearly) Year-round (J12/R01-R03)
Availability varies from centre to centre, but typically weekly
Entry requirements? None
Credits available for prior learning? Yes
Record of Achievement issued for each exam pass? Yes
CII/PFS membership designation CertPFS (Securities)
PFS members are entitled to use on completion

Completion requirements

To complete the Certificate you need to obtain 70 CII credits by passing four compulsory units: R01, R02, R03 and J12. 

Units Credits and level  Study hours per unit * Assesment method Exam sessions Nominal pass mark ** Results notification
R01 20 - Level 4 60 2 hour exam comprising 100 multiple choice questions (MCQs) Year-round 65% Immediate notification of results
R02 20 - Level 4 60
R03 10 - Level 4 50 1 hour exam comprising 50 MCQs 70%
J12 20 - Level 3 70 2 hour exam comprising 60 MCQs and 3 case studies each comprising 5 MCQs

* The recommended minimum study hours shown below will vary according to your experience and ability. 

** The nominal pass mark is shown, however, the actual pass mark may vary from one session to another to ensure that the pass standard remains constant.

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.


R01 Financial services, regulation and ethics

At the end of this unit candidates will be able to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skill in applying the following topic areas:

  • UK financial service industry in its European and Global context;
  • how the retail customer is served by the financial service industry;
  • Regulatory framework, powers and responsibilities to protect the consumer;
  • the legal concepts and considerations relevant to financial advice;
  • the Code of Ethics and its impact on the business behaviours of individuals.


R02 Investment principles and risk

At the end of this unit candidates will be able to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skill in applying the following topic areas:

  • the characteristics, inherent risks, behaviour and correlation of asset classes, and investment products;
  • the macro-economic environment and its impact on asset classes;
  • the merits and limitations of the main investment theories;
  • the nature and impact of the main types of risk on investment performance;
  • the performance of investments.

R03 Personal taxation

At the end of this unit candidates will be able to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and skill in applying the following topic areas:

  • the basic structure of the UK tax system;
  • the main taxes on income and capital that may be charged on individuals and trusts, the self assessment system and how tax liabilities are computed;
  • the taxation of investments as relevant to the needs and circumstances of individuals and trusts.

J12 Securities advice and dealing

At the end of this unit, candidates shouble be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • the features and risks of different securities;
  • the structure and features of the securities market;
  • relevant factors and considerations for appropriate investment recommendations.