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Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning

The qualification of choice for the planning profession

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.

  • Those seeking to give retail investment advice
  • Those seeking progression from the Certificate in Financial Services, in particular those who do not hold additional CII credits counting towards completion of the Diploma in Financial Planning 
  • Paraplanners, technical consultants, and those in financial planning support roles

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.

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 370 hours. This represents the time a student might typically take to complete the qualification.

The Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning comprises six core units, providing 100 credits on successful completion. Whilst many learners choose to take the units in numerical order, it is not necessary to do so, and they can be approached in whatever way suits the individual. However, for guidance purposes only, we outline a suggested route as follows.

R05 is a good starting point, particularly as this is a level 3 unit (the rest of the R0s are level 4) so is considered the least difficult.

R01 would be a good next step as this can be a prerequisite of some roles, particularly supervisory, and it is the basis for other qualifications.

As R02, R03 and R04 specifically address different areas of financial advice, the order in which these in taken would depend on the learner’s own knowledge and experience with them being taken in order of relevance to that individual.

As R06 tests the practical application of technical knowledge and planning skills already gained from units R01-R05, it would be helpful to take this unit last once the foundational knowledge has been established.

Diploma units are assessed by multiple-choice question exam (MCQ) (R01, R02, R03, R04, and R05), and a written case study based exam (R06).

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 the exam sitting.

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

Core units

The Diploma comprises six core units, providing 100 credits on successful completion.

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
Regulated Retail Investment Adviser Re-evaluation
Regulated Retail Investment Adviser Re-evaluation
Credits : N/A
Level : N/A