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Diploma in Financial Planning

Tailor your financial planning learning pathway

The RQF level 4 Diploma in Financial Planning develops core technical understanding across a broad range of key financial planning areas. 

  • Paraplanners and technical consultants
  • Those supporting financial planning processes, in particular those who already hold CII credits that count towards completion (otherwise, the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning is more suitable)

One of the following CII qualifications, or equivalent, must be held to complete the Diploma:

  • Certificate in Financial Services (General route)
  • Certificate in Financial Services (Life and pensions route)
  • Certificate in Regulated Financial Services Operations
  • Withdrawn Certificate in Financial Planning

Before studying, check to see whether any of your previous academic qualifications or credits from other professional bodies and institutes can be carried towards completion of the Diploma.

To be awarded the Diploma, you must obtain at least one CII Diploma-level J0 or R0 unit by CII examination (see completion rules below).

Find out more about recognition of prior learning

Specific study time guidelines are provided for each unit on its webpage and in the CII qualifications brochure. The notional Ofqual ‘Total Qualification Time’ for this qualification is 570 hours. This represents the time a student might typically take to complete the qualification by the shortest combination of units. The number of hours may increase dependent on the units chosen, plus further study time for any units required to meet the additional completion requirements.

Diploma level units are assessed by multiple-choice question (MCQ) exam, written exam or by coursework assignment. 

For online MCQ exams, result notification is immediate on completion. For paper-based MCQ exams, results are released five weeks following the exam sitting. Written exam results are normally released 6-8 weeks following exam sitting, and coursework results are released 40 days following submission.

Find out more about assessments, including policies and exam centres

Qualification units are delivered through purchasing an Enrolment, equipping you with the essential materials to support core learning. For a single fee, an Enrolment typically includes: study text, assessment and access to RevisionMate, our online study tool. 

We also offer additional revision aids through purchasing Enrolment plus for most key units. These range from Key fact booklets and Question packs, to Learn online tutorials.

Due to the extent of syllabus overlap, certain combinations of current and withdrawn units will result in only one award of credits.

If a withdrawn equivalent is held you may not need to complete a current unit in order to satisfy a qualification's completion rules. Clarification should always be sought from CII Customer Service.

Find out more about credit awards for equivalent units

Completion requirements

Option units

The Diploma comprises unit options from the CII Personal Finance qualifications framework, providing a total of 140 credits on successful completion. There are 37 units to choose from, including the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, the Diploma units listed below and the Advanced Diploma units. At least 80 credits must be at Diploma level (J02, J03, J05, J07, J09-J12, R01-R04, R06-R08) and a maximum of 30 credits at Advanced Diploma level.

Any credits already achieved from these units will continue to count towards the completion requirements of the Diploma in Financial Planning and the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning after the unit’s withdrawal.

Group risk
Credits : 10
Level : 3
Credits : 20
Level : 4
Pension income options
Credits : 20
Level : 4
Supervision in a regulated environment
Credits : 20
Level : 4
Credits : 30
Level : 4
Discretionary investment management
Credits : 20
Level : 4
Securities advice and dealing
Credits : 20
Level : 4
Financial services, regulation & ethics
Credits : 20
Level : 4
Investment principles and risk
Credits : 20
Level : 4
Personal taxation
Credits : 10
Level : 4
Pensions and retirement planning
Credits : 10
Level : 4
Financial protection
Credits : 10
Level : 3
Financial planning practice
Credits : 30
Level : 4
Advanced mortgage advice
Credits : 15
Level : 4