Professional qualifications

The London Institute of Banking and Finance Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA®)

DipFA® is a benchmark qualification that meets the standards required for those giving professional advice on retail investment products. It is recognised by the industry’s regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Unit 1 – Financial Services, Regulations and Ethics (FRSE) - learning outcomes

On completing this unit, you will understand:

  • the UK financial services industry, in its European and global context
  • how the retail consumer is served by the financial services industry
  • the regulation of financial services
  • the Financial Conduct Authority’s responsibilities and approach to regulation
  • the principles and rules as set out in the regulatory framework
  • the legal concepts relevant to financial advice
  • the different types of risk and how they relate to institutions and individuals
  • the skills required when advising clients
  • the Financial Conduct Authority’s principles based approach to promote ethical behaviour
  • the Code of Ethics and professional standards
  • the differences between ethical and unethical behaviour.

Unit 2 – Advanced Financial Advice (AFA) – learning outcomes

On completing this unit, you will understand:

  • the UK taxation system in relation to individuals and trusts
  • taxation of investments in relation to individuals and trusts
  • the role and relevance of taxation in the financial affairs of individuals and trusts
  • personal taxation in relation to investment advice
  • the macro-economic environment and its impact on asset classes
  • the main characteristics and behaviours of asset classes
  • the merits and limitations of the main investment theories
  • the principles of the time value of money
  • the nature and impact of the main types of risk on investment performance
  • the characteristics and behaviours of investment products
  • the principles of investment planning
  • the investment advice process
  • the performance of investments
  • the areas of need for financial protection planning
  • the consumer and retail market factors and trends relevant to financial protection
  • the main sources of financial protection
  • the role and limitations of state benefits for financial protection
  • the range and application of life assurance policies to meet financial protection needs
  • taxation treatment of life assurance and pension-based policies
  • the range and application of income protection insurance
  • the range and application of critical illness insurance
  • the range and application of long term care insurance
  • the main features of other insurance based protection policies
  • the needs and priorities in selecting appropriate financial protection solutions
  • the political, economic and social environmental factors which provide the context for pensions planning
  • how the HMRC taxation regime applies to pensions planning
  • the relevant aspects of pensions law and regulation to pensions planning
  • the structure, relevance and application of the state schemes to an individual’s pension planning
  • the structure, characteristics and application of Defined Benefit (DB) schemes to an individual’s pension planning
  • the range of Defined Contribution (DC) scheme options as they apply to an individual’s pension planning
  • the options and factors to consider for drawing pension benefits
  • the aims and objectives of retirement planning including the investment issues
  • the process of gathering client information for holistic financial planning
  • how to formulate and communicate holistic financial advice
  • how to create, implement and maintain financial plans.