Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA®)

Entry Level 4

Would you like to become a Financial Adviser?

If you’re interested in the world of investments and personal finance and enjoy working with people, a career in financial advice could be ideal for you. Working in financial advice can be a very rewarding career and offers the flexibility to work for yourself or within a company.

The DipFA is a leading qualification in the financial world, and by passing the DipFA course you will become a qualified Independent Financial Adviser (IFA).

The DipFA is a level 4 FCA approved qualification and designed specifically for those who are new to the financial services world. With as little as seven months of part time study, you’ll be equipped with the technical skills and knowledge you need to legally offer advice on retail investments.

Watch Explainer Video

Studying DipFA with Simply Academy

  • DipFA (Diploma for Financial Advisers) is an RQF level 4 FCA approved qualification accredited by Ofqual and awarded by the London Institute of Banking & Finance.
  • This Financial Adviser course is split into two units which you can study online via Live Webinar, with start dates available throughout the year. You can register for the two units separately or save money by booking both units together.
  • Knowledge is assessed through a combination of coursework, multiple choice exam and written exam. The exams can be taken at over 150 locations throughout the UK or from your preferred location via remote invigilation.
    After passing the exams, you will be awarded DipFA certification and may add the designation ‘DipFA’ after your name. This indicates to future clients and potential employers that you are qualified to work as an Independent Financial Adviser.
  • Simply Academy holds Trusted Partner Status which is the highest accolade awarded by the LIBF. Achieving this status requires an organisation to demonstrate that they provide the highest quality of Financial Services training and education.

Get course information

Drop us an email to receive your career guide and further course details.

Get the guide
Download our Course Guide


Over 20000 people have studied with us, so you can have confidence in our experience.


Our carefully selected training consultants are amongst the most knowledgeable in the industry.


We are Government backed and approved by professional institutions.

Did you know, we helped over 500 advisers achieve DipFA leading up to the RDR deadline



Learning Outcomes


Unit 1 –
Financial Services Regulation Ethics (FSRE)

The environment of the financial services industry

Key components and the interrelationships of the financial system

Principles of the regulatory framework and the implications for the financial advice process

The importance of the concept of risks related to the institutions and individuals’ legal concepts, and the interplay between regulation and legislation

The FCA’s approach to ethical and unethical behaviours and the code of Ethics

2-hour objective exam comprising 90 multiple-choice questions and 2 case studies with 5 linked multiple-choice questions.

Unit 2 –
Advanced Financial Advice (AFA

Products, services and legislation that inform the financial planning and advice process.

Principles, theories and interrelationships of investment, retirement planning and protection.

The importance of consumer-oriented communication and ethical behaviours.

Assessed through a combination of coursework and written exam:

  • Coursework comprising written assignment and short answer questions.
  • Written exam based on pre-released fact find which is available 6 weeks prior to exam.

Career Progression:

The DipFA course is the ideal start to your career in Financial Advice. Once you’ve qualified as a Financial Adviser, these Simply Academy courses are a great way to continue your career progression.

Studying our popular AdviserSkills course will help to get your new career off to the best possible start. This course develops the interpersonal skills you need to thrive as an Independent Financial Adviser, covering topics such as effective communication and building customer relationships.

If you would like to be able to offer Mortgage Advice to your clients, CeMAP is the benchmark Mortgage Advice qualification. By completing the FSRE unit of DipFA, you are exempt from having to pass CeMAP 1 and can progress directly to CeMAP 2&3. Once you have passed CeMAP, you will be qualified to offer advice on mortgage related products in addition to retail investments.

The Certificate in Regulated Equity Release (CeRER®) is a popular qualification which will allow you to advise clients on the ever growing equity release market. You need to hold CeMAP or a CeMAP equivalent qualification in order to take this course.

Study Options:

DipFA Webinar

Live Webinar

Be part of the class from the comfort of wherever you choose.

Each live lecture is delivered by one of our highly experienced tutors, who all have expert knowledge of Financial Services and years of experience in their chosen field.

Find Out More


What is the DipFA qualification?

The Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) Level 4 course is one of the most respected qualifications for UK financial advisers. Awarded by the London Institute of Banking and Finance (LIBF), DipFA is a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) approved qualification and highly respected by both clients and employers.

The two sections of the Simply Academy DipFA training course will equip you with the skills and knowledge you need to provide professional financial investment advice. Once you have completed both sections and passed the DipFA exams, you will be legally qualified to work as a Financial Adviser in the UK.

Does studying DipFA require any financial services experience?

Our DipFA financial adviser training course is designed to be suitable for people without a background in financial services. The DipFA study materials will give you a thorough grounding in the skills and knowledge you’ll need to begin your career in financial advice.

Many of our students like to study DipFA alongside our AdviserSkills course, which helps you to develop skills like record keeping, negotiation and time management. These skills are also vital for success as a financial adviser.

Does it take long to study?

The total length of time needed to study DipFA will vary for each individual student. However, you could be ready to take your final DipFA exam after as little as seven months’ part-time study.

The first module (FSRE) comprises ten Live Webinar sessions, each lasting three hours. You can start reading the course materials for this part of the DipFA course immediately after registration. Once you have completed your five-day Live Webinar, you can then sit the multiple choice DipFA FSRE exam at a time that suits you.

The second part of the DipFA (AFA 1&2) course comprises a total of eight Live Webinar sessions, each of which is three hours long. This part of the DipFA qualification is assessed via a coursework assignment and exam. When you enrol on your chosen AFA 1 & 2 Live Webinar course, you will be provided with the relevant dates for the coursework submission and examination.

Is DipFA difficult?

DipFA is a Level 4 course, so some students may find it more difficult than other courses. It’s a challenging qualification but is achievable for students who receive specialist tutor support from an appropriate financial services education provider.

Simply Academy students receive access to our high-quality learning materials, and our team of tutors use their considerable industry experience to present the DipFA syllabus in an engaging way. And because the online Live Webinars are recorded, you can use the sessions as a useful revision resource.

Every student learns differently, but many of our students like the fact that taking DipFA means you only need to pass three assessments to be a financial adviser.

Where can I take the exams?

You can take your Unit 1 FSRE exams at test centres in locations nationwide or alternatively through remote invigilation. The Unit 2 AFA unit of DipFA is assessed through a coursework assignment and an exam.

To avoid confusion when liaising with the awarding body our student support team will be happy to complete registrations on your behalf ensuring both study sessions and examinations are aligned.

Can I use the DipFA designation?

You will receive DipFA certification once you have passed the full Diploma for Financial Advisers qualification, which then qualifies you to use the letters DipFA after your name. Passing DipFA shows that you have achieved this highly respected FCA recognised qualification to legally provide financial advice.

Where can I work after passing this qualification?

Many students who pass the DipFA go on to become self-employed independent financial advisers. Some students prefer to pursue employment in banks, building societies and other financial services companies, providing specialist advice on investment products.

Some personal financial advisers also decide to study CeMAP which allows them to provide mortgage advice to their clients. Successfully completing the FSRE module of DipFA exempts them from studying CeMAP 1, so they only need to pass the CeMAP 2&3 course to achieve their licence to practise.

Do I need to renew my DipFA certification?

There is no expiry on DipFA certification so once you have successfully achieved your DipFA qualification, you will not need to retake the course in the future. However, the financial industry is ever changing, and qualified financial advisers are legally required to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD). This ensures that you are up to date with the latest financial regulations and can provide accurate information to your clients.

Simply Academy is accredited as a trusted partner by The London Institute of Banking & Finance
Simply Academy is trusted by the Education & Skills Funding Agency
Simply Academy awarded the Highest Rated Courses Brilliance Award 2019 from CourseCheck
Simply Academy is FSQS (Financial Services Qualification System) registered

Get Course Information

Fields marked with a * are mandatory

    Please select the sector you are interested in:*:

    We will use your details to send you information that relates to the sector selected. We will attempt to follow up using the phone number and email address provided to ensure you have the full information.

    I consent to you contacting me for these purposes*

    For further information about how we collect and use your data, please see our Privacy Policy

    Please enable Javascript in order to successfully submit this form.


    0808 208 0002 (freephone)

    Let’s talk. We’re open Mon-Fri 9am to 5.30pm

    Thank you for contacting Simply Academy.

    Your enquiry has been received and a member of the Student Support Team will be in touch with you shortly to discuss your training requirements, but if you need to reach us in the meantime, please call 0808 208 0002 (freephone) or email [email protected] for assistance.