How to achieve Chartered Financial Planner status

Any title conveying a sense of high achievement should be challenging to obtain. Chartered Financial Planner is no exception. Your journey will be complete once you can meet the following requirements:


  • Hold the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning
  • Have five years' relevant industry experience
  • Be a CII or PFS member and adhere to the CII's Code of Ethics and Conduct
  • Demonstrate three years' existing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) and commit to maintaining this activity


The Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning requires individuals to obtain 290 credits of which a minimum of 120 must come from Advanced Diploma units. These must include the AF5 Financial Planning Process unit or its equivalent.

Each of the main Advanced Diploma units carry 30 credits (AF7 carries 20 credits) and are based on applying the essential technical knowledge from the diploma qualifications. Historically this was from the JO units but now the knowledge is also covered in the RO units.

The current Advanced Diploma units are:


  • AF1 - Personal taxation & trusts planning
  • AF2 - Business financial planning
  • AF4 - Investment planning
  • AF5 - Financial planning process
  • AF6 - Senior management and supervision
  • AF7 - Pension transfers
  • AF8 - Retirement income planning


AF1 to AF5 are assessed via a 3 hour written exam. The questions are based on cases studies and the pass mark is normally 55%. AF7 is a 2 hour written exam. The exams are held every April and October. The next set of exams will be in the w/c 12th October 2020.

AF6 and AF8 are assessed via coursework.



What the press and people say

"Mark has a fresh approach to studying and has some great tools to enable the student to retain large amounts of information. Very pleased with the results. Exams passed first time round."

Paul Pickering
Carter Financial Planning LLP

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