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Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice

Become a pension transfers specialist

The level 4 Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice develops the in-depth knowledge and practical skills needed by anyone seeking to advise on the transfer of safeguarded benefits, an increasingly important part of the advice process following the Government’s pension reforms.

The Certificate satisfies the appropriate FCA qualification requirements for those wanting to undertake pension transfer activities.

  • Retail investment advisers and non-advisers alike seeking to undertake pension transfer work and become pension transfer specialists
  • Retail investment advisers, paraplanners, technical consultants and those in financial planning support roles wanting to update their knowledge in this area

The Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice meets the current FCA requirements to be a pension transfer specialist. However, the FCA have announced in October 2018 that, from 2020, those requirements will increase so that all pension transfer specialists will have to have the full qualification for retail investment advice. For many people this will entail no new qualification requirement as they already hold the CII’s Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning or Diploma in Financial Planning. However, those holding only the Certificate in Pension Transfer Advice will need to undertake further qualification study.

The FCA’s October 2018 announcement does not immediately change anyone’s qualification to practise. We already had draft plans to create clear guidance and a path to qualification in line with the new rules when they came out and were awaiting the final direction of the FCA decisions. Now that this has been confirmed, we will finalise and publicise our plans soon.

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 Certificate.

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

R0 units are assessed by multiple-choice question exam (MCQ). For online MCQ exams, result notification is immediate on completion. For paper-based MCQ exams, results are released five weeks’ following the exam sitting. Unit AF7 is assessed by written short answer and case study based exam questions.

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 Certificate comprises four core units, providing a total of 70 credits on successful completion. There is no prescribed order in which units must be taken, however as AF7 builds on knowledge gained from R04, we recommend you complete R04 before moving on to AF7.

Financial services, regulation & ethics
Credits : 20
Level : 4
Investment principles and risk
Credits : 20
Level : 4
Pensions and retirement planning
Credits : 10
Level : 4
Pensions transfers
Credits : 20
Level : 6