Diploma in Financial Planning

Level 6 Diploma In Financial Planning

Your route to CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification in the UK

Why study the Diploma in Financial Planning?

If you want the confidence of knowing you will change your clients' lives for the better by the quality of the service you provide, this is the qualification that will help you create that difference. It's your route to building long term relationships with clients based on trust. Get that right and clients are not only willing to pay for such a service but also to refer you to their friends and colleagues

Is the Diploma in Financial Planning right for me?

The CISI Diploma in Financial Planning represents a challenging test of your technical ability by examination, but also assesses how well you can apply this knowledge in order to produce an effective financial plan - ie your planning skills.

Qualification factsheet

Key features:

Entry requirements

To be eligible for the CISI Diploma in Financial Planning, one of the following qualification requirements must be met:
  • An RDR compliant* qualification  (with gap-fill if necessary)
  • A current and valid SPS
For further information about this requirement, please email FPexams@cisi.org

*By ‘RDR’ compliant we mean a qualification that has been recognised by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as meeting the exam standards published by the FCA as a result of the Retail Distribution Review. The CISI offers two RDR compliant qualifications, The CISI Level 4 Investment Advice Diploma and The CISI Level 7 Chartered Wealth Manager qualification

Qualification Structure

The Diploma in Financial Planning is a level 6 qualification recognised by Ofqual. It represents a challenging test of your technical ability by examination, but also assesses how well you can apply this knowledge in order to produce an effective financial plan - i.e. your planning skills. You should not underestimate the time or effort required to obtain the Diploma, in particular that which is required to produce a Financial Plan that meets the assessment standards. The assessment standards can be found in the Certification handbook and candidates are advised to study them carefully (a new handbook is currently being developed, ifin the interim if you have any questions please contact customersupport@cisi.org).

Total Qualification Time:
702 hours

Total Qualification time is a term that Ofqual require awarding organisations to use. It is an estimate of the total time a candidate might typically take to complete the qualification. It includes Guided Learning Hours and any other time a candidate is likely to spend in studying for the qualification.

If you're planning to attempt this qualification, we recommend that you study the syllabus, identify any areas of weakness for further study and access our recommended reading list. The full Diploma in Financial Planning syllabus can be found in the Diploma in Financial Planning Handbook.

If you hold any technical examination passes over three years old, you should undertake the necessary reading to ensure that your technical knowledge is up- to-date before attempting the examination, but particularly the case study element.

Details of the two assessment components are available below:


Exam Details

Exam Availability

Pass Mark / Pass Rate

The current pass rate for this exam is and the pass mark is . The exam grades are as follows:

Regulated Qualifications Framework

credits on the Regulated Qualifications Framework are awarded upon successfully passing this exam

Feedback and Appeals

For further details on how to give us your feedback and / or Appeal your result, please refer to our Exam Policies.

Study support

Case Study Preparation Day

This intensive one day workshop and e-learning package is designed for candidates who have already passed the Financial Planning & Advice exam (or the retired Principles of Financial Planning exam) and are about to start the process of preparing their financial plan in response to the case study element of the Diploma in Financial Planning.

Case Study Preparation Day

Financial Planning & Advice

We have created some support materials to help you with some of the new concepts in this examination and to help as a refresher for your technical knowledge

Supplementary Learning Material

Post Qualification Opportunities


Obtaining the Diploma in Financial Planning entitles candidates to join the Institute at MCSI membership level. As a member of the Institute, you will enjoy the recognition of being a professional in a world of increasing competition. The extensive continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities available through the CISI’s suite of membership benefits ensures financial services practitioners can maintain competence and meet the requirements of firms and the regulator.


Following successful completion of the Diploma in Financial Planning, you can apply to the CISI to become a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional and use the CFPTM marks subject to certain criteria being met.

Find out more about the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER certification