A guide to DipFA

What is DipFA?

The Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA) is a Level 4 FCA approved qualification that is required to provide professional advice on retail investment(s). It is broken down into two units.

Unit one: Financial Services Regulation Ethics (FSRE) which is a 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) consists of two parts, coursework and a written exam. The coursework includes a main written assignment and short answer questions. The second part is a 3-hour written exam based on a pre-released fact find, which is made available 6 weeks before the exam.  

Benefits of studying DipFA

The DipFA qualification is a great way to start your career as a Financial Advisor and there are many benefits to the course and undertaking it. Some examples from the LIBF website include:

  • You can study at your own pace online
  • Varied study options so you can pick the one for your learning style
  • Student membership for one year with additional benefits
  • Access to career support and guidance
  • Use the ‘DipFA’ designation after your name once you qualify
  • Invitations to events and webinars from industry leaders


  • Financial advisers have the option to be employed or self-employed which both hold different benefits and can be differently suited to your personal circumstances
  • Reed estimates that the median earnings for a Financial Advisor is around £65,000 based on all of their active vacancies 

This qualification can be the starting place for a long and prosperous career in financial advice!

How long does it take to get DipFA?

The LIBF require you to sit the Unit 1 exam of DipFA within 12 months of registering and is open for applications all year round. They recommend you undertake 3 months of study time. You will sit this exam through Pearson VUE test centre much like the CeMAP qualification and your driving theory test.

For Unit 2 there are four registration periods for Unit 2. “You’ll have to submit coursework online after 16 weeks of study. You will also have to take a three-hour typed electronic exam, based on a case study that will be released six weeks before.”

The LIBF predict the Total Qualification Time for the DipFA qualification being 400 hours, therefore it is important you make sure you regularly plan time to study.

How much does the DipFA qualification cost?

The 2021 registration fee for the DipFA qualification is £1,090 with tutor support and £990 without tutor support through the LIBF, and this price includes study materials and exam entry. Additional fees for resits, deferrals and resubmissions would be incurred.

Tips for studying DipFA?

  1. Flexible study – The benefits of studying online is that you can fit in studying around your work or other life activities tip that the LIBF also gives “Create an overall study plan with built-in flexibility.”
  2. Create a study plan – Another point recommended by the LIBF when undertaking any structured qualification like DipFA is that it is important to create a realistic plan to make sure you are revising all the key points.
  3. Consider using an Accredited Learning Provider – The LIBF give 2 examples for Accredited Learning Provider, these can be very useful to give additional support.

Make sure that you keep an eye out for our upcoming ‘How to revise for DipFA’ blog and video later this month for more detail.


DipFA is one of the go to qualifications when looking to start a career as a Financial Advisor. When you pass, make sure you know what your next steps are. As a business, we have covered the key things like Writing your CV for financial servicesFinding a new job and How to transition your career which could be especially useful if you are becoming a Financial Advisor for the first time.  

View our Financial Advisor jobs now or call/email us to discuss your circumstances and what roles could be suitable for you free of charge at:

Email: enquiries@premierjobsuk.com

Telephone: 0208 0044 154