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An essential introduction to the life and pensions sector

This RQF Level 2 Award in Life and Pensions Foundations has been developed in collaboration with employers across the life, pensions and long term savings sector, to provide a more formalised and consistent approach to defining entry-level professional standards, helping to underpin improved customer outcomes and support staff development.

The Award develops knowledge and understanding across key areas of the life, pensions and long term savings market, including customer needs and solutions, the sector's value to society and the economy and the importance of professional conduct and maintaining a customer focus.

The unit syllabus setting out the learning outcomes for the Award can be found on the right of this page.

Who it's for

The Award is particularly suitable for:

  • Those who are new to the life, pensions and long term savings sector, providing essential learning that complements their induction process
  • Anyone looking to build their foundation knowledge of the life, pensions and long term savings sector

Entry requirements


Learning support 

Enrolment includes everything you need for a single fee: 

  • Study text with online updates;
  • RevisionMate online study support; and 
  • First exam entry.

How you're tested

The Award is assessed by a single multiple-choice on screen exam, tested year-round throughout the UK at a choice of over 40 centres, with an in-house option for firms. Find out more by selecting the completion requirements link to the right of this page.

Your next step 

The links at the top right of this page contain all the information you need to finalise your entry. To enrol and enter for the exam, please select the LF1 link. 

Employers interested in enrolling teams of staff should contact the CII Corporate Customer Service team by calling 020 8530 0815. 

Read the Award in Life and Pensions Foundations specification »


CII qualifications involve the completion of one or more units, each covering an individually assessed topic. Assessment methods vary and depend on a unit's level and subject matter.

Assessment methods include:

  • Multiple-choice exams - the assessment method for Award, Certificate, and financial services 'R0' Diploma units assessed in the UK. Exams are delivered on-screen at a network of over 40 public centres across the UK. Sittings are available year-round, often on a weekly basis.
  • Written exams - the assessment method for some Diploma and Advanced Diploma units and all units examined outside the UK. Sittings are typically available twice-yearly in April and October at over 50 public centres throughout the UK and over 100 public centres outside the UK.
  • Coursework assessment - available for a select number of Advanced Diploma in Insurance units and the financial services unit (J09) Paraplanning, coursework assessment involves the completion of three written assignments during a 12 month period.
  • Mixed assessment - Initially introduced for unit (P92) Insurance business and finance, this has been extended to units (P05) Insurance law, (P80) Underwriting practice, (P81) Insurance broking practice and (P85) Claims practice from April 2015 and and will be extended to all Diploma in Insurance units by April 2018 (unit codes begin with the letter M). This involves the successful completion of both a coursework assignment and a multiple-choice exam. This has an 18 month enrolment period.
  • Dissertation assessment - available for the Advanced Diploma unit 991 London market insurance specialisation. This involves the submission of a dissertation proposal and an 11,000 word dissertation. This has an 18 month enrolment period. This unit should only be taken by those who have access to the necessary information and people in the London Market.

Find out more

It is essential that candidates familiarise themselves with the guidelines and instructions which are shown on the CII website under the relevant units. In addition candidates should familiarise themselves with the coursework and dissertation policies as well as exam policies (before the assessment) and notes to results (after the assessment).

Key facts

Key facts for the Award in Life and Pensions Foundations

Ofqual Regulated Qualification Framework (RQF) Level Level 2
Number of available units 1 unit
Compulsory units (LF1) Life and pensions foundations
CII credits per unit Unit LF1 does not award any CII credit
Exam format
  • Online, one hour
  • 50 multiple choice questions
Average study time per unit

40 hours

Availability of exam sessions (Details shown apply to the UK. Outside of the UK exams are offered twice-yearly) Year-round. Availability varies from centre to centre, but typically weekly
Entry requirements? None
Record of Achievement issued for each exam pass? Yes
Qualification awarded upon completion Yes - Award in Life and Pensions Foundations
CII/PFS membership designation N/A

Completion requirements

To complete the Award you need to pass one compulsory unit: LF1

Unit Credits and level  Study hours per unit * Assesment method Exam sessions Nominal pass mark ** Results notification
LF1 No credits awarded - Level 2 40 1 hour exam comprising 50 multiples choice questions Year-round 70% Immediate notification of results

* The recommended minimum study hours shown below will vary according to your experience and ability. 

** The nominal pass mark is shown, however, the actual pass mark may vary from one session to another to ensure that the pass standard remains constant.



LF1 Life and pensions foundations

At the end of this unit, candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • the value of the Life and Pensions sector to society and the economy;
  • key customer needs relating to pensions, protection, investments and savings;
  • a range of potential solutions available to meet customer needs; and
  • how individuals and organisations work as a profession to treat customers fairly and meet their needs effectively.