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Level 3 Certificate for Financial Advisers (CeFA®)

  • Overview
  • Cost
  • Units
  • Studying
  • Assessment
  • Registration
  • Progression

Overview

The Certificate for Financial Advisers (CeFA®) is a QCF* Level 3 qualification. For many years, CeFA® has been the qualification of choice for trainee financial advisers as it met the appropriate exam standard to give retail financial advice. However, from January 2013, the regulatory standard for giving financial advice was raised from Level 3 to Level 4, meaning that gaining CeFA® will not meet the FCA standard to become a qualified financial adviser. To achieve this, you will need to gain an appropriate qualification at QCF Level 4 or above. The Level 4 Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA®) meets the required standards.

CeFA® can act as a stepping stone towards DipFA®, however the Level 3 Certificate in Financial Administration and Planning (CeFAP®) qualification has been specifically designed to be a quicker and more cost-effective alternative to CeFA®, providing the necessary industry and product knowledge before attempting DipFA®. CeFAP® also meets the National Occupational Standards for paraplanners.

CeFA® Key Facts:

  • Improves career and promotion prospects and can help prepare you for further professional development
  • Improves your knowledge of the financial services industry
  • Develops confidence through increased knowledge and understanding
  • Registration for CeFA® is open year-round
  • Upon successful completion of CeFA® you can use the designation 'CeFA' after your name.

Important Qualification Related Information

Further information relating to the CeFA® can be found in the Qualification Specification
View the Certificate for Financial Advisers (CeFA®) product card
*Read more about the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).

Cost

Registration fee
Includes learning materials and initial examination entry
£167.00 per module*
Examination resit fee £129.00 per module
Specimen paper £23.00 each
Revision notes £28.00 per module
Revision notes bundle £43.00
Ask the Expert
Online support service
£21.00 for three months

* The fee includes all units contained within the module.

Units

CeFA® consists of seven mandatory units contained within four modules:

Module Unit Details Syllabus
Module 1 - UK Financial Regulation (UKFR) Unit 1 - Introduction to the Financial Services Environment (ITFS) L / 501 / 8715
Unit 2 - UK Financial Services and Regulation (UKFS) R / 501 / 8716
UKFR is a broad-based module focusing on the purpose and structure of the UK financial services. The module is split into two units focusing on the financial services environment and regulation of the environment respectively. View the UKFR aims, learning outcomes and assessment criteria
Module 2 - Investments and Risks (INVR) Unit 3 - Principles of Investment (PINV) H / 501 / 8722
Unit 4 - Investment Products (INVP) K / 501 / 8723
The INVR module is split into two units, focusing on taxation, asset allocation and investment planning, and investment products respectively. View the INVR aims, learning outcomes and assessment criteria
Module 3 - Retirement Planning and Protection (RTPL) Unit 5 - Financial Protection (PROT) T / 501 / 8725
Unit 6 - Retirement Planning (RTPL) M / 501 / 8724
The RTPL module is split into two units, focusing on the purpose and scope of Financial Protection and the main aim and strategies of retirement planning respectively. View the RTPL aims, learning outcomes and assessment criteria.
Module 4 - Assessment of Investment Advice Knowledge (ASSI) Unit 7 - Assessment of Investment Advice and Knowledge (ASSI) The ASSI module requires you to apply the knowledge and understanding of Modules 1, 2 and 3 in order to apply suitable financial solutions within the regulatory and ethical framework. View the ASSI aims, learning outcomes and assessment criteria

Studying

It is recommended that you spend 320 learning hours of study time on CeFA®. The complete course is achievable within 12 months.

Students will receive online and printed study resources for each module.

The following additional study support, designed to complement the learning manual, are available to purchase:

  • specimen examination papers
  • revision notes
  • online tutor support

Please note that in order to reflect any changes to syllabuses, including matters arising from the annual budget, the study materials for some units are updated annually. It is your responsibility to ensure you are studying from the most up-to-date materials. The most up-to-date learning materials, updates and amendments can be found on my ifslearning, and we suggest that you log in regularly to check for updates.

Assessment

All units are tested objectively. Tests are available at over 150 Pearson VUE test centres nationwide with the result provided on the day. View information on examination booking and venues.

Module 1 - UK Financial Regulation (UKFR)

The UKFR module is assessed by a 2-hour, 100-question, multiple-choice examination split into two units, with each unit comprising 50 multiple-choice questions.

Module 2 - Investments and Risk (INVR)

The INVR module is assessed by a 2-hour, 100-question, multiple-choice examination split into two units, with each unit comprising 50 multiple-choice questions.

Module 3 - Retirement Planning and Protection (RTPL)

The RTPL module is assessed by a 2-hour, 100-question, multiple-choice examination split into two units, with each unit comprising 50 multiple-choice questions.

Module 4 - Assessment of Investment Advice Knowledge (ASSI)

ASSI is assessed by a 2-hour, 60-question, multiple-choice examination.

The pass mark for each unit is a minimum of 70%.

Registration

You can register for CeFA® at any time.

Please call Student and Customer Services on +44 (0) 1227 818609. Please have your VISA / MasterCard / debit card to hand when you call.

Membership

Membership of the Institute of Financial Services includes access to benefits that help you to maintain your skills and knowledge, as well as supporting your career ambitions. It costs £72 per annum and can be paid monthly by Direct Debit at no extra cost. Apply for membership.

Progression

When you have successfully completed CeFA® qualification you are well placed to study for the Level 4 Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA®).

The DipFA® is a high quality, cost-effective, FCA-approved programme that meets the qualification standard required of anyone wishing to work as a financial adviser. The DipFA® is a benchmark qualification that meets the standards required for those giving professional advice on retail investment products.

Additionally, you may consider other Level 4 qualifications such as the Diploma in Mortgage Advice and Practice (DipMAP®) or the Diploma in Retail Banking Conduct of Business (DipRBCB®).