How to revise for DipFA

DipFA is one of the main qualifications needed to start a career as a Financial Advisor and studying for it can be tricky if you don’t know how to approach it. Hopefully in this blog we will break down how you can revise for the DipFA qualification.

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).

DipFA is comprises of two units. Unit one: Financial Services Regulation Ethics (FSRE) and Unit 2: Advanced Financial Advice (AFA).

As you can imagine you will have to approach each unit differently and subsequently prepare for each unit differently also.

What are the study materials for DipFA?

The LIBF website details the below as some of the study materials which are included with or without tutor support.

  • Access to their virtual library KnowledgeBank
  • Online and printed study text
  • Specimen papers
  • Exemplars papers
  • Online student forum
  • Online access to their student portal MyLIBF
  • Online access to study texts, available as soon as you register
  • Hard copies of the study texts
  • A student handbook covering key qualification features and study technique
  • Access to a tutor-supported forum for Unit 1
  • Specimen papers for Unit 1
  • Exemplar papers and further reading for Unit 2

How to revise Unit 1 of DipFA

Unit 1 comprises of 90 multiple-choice questions and 2 case studies with 5 linked multiple-choice questions. The recommendation from the LIBF is to allow three months’ study time for Unit 1, and to sit the exam before starting work on Unit 2.

  • Create a schedule to systematically work through the online and printed study text and the rest of the online material to make sure you are looking at the whole specification
  • We would also advise people to go through all available specimen papers under exam conditions to ensure you are comfortable when the real exam comes around
  • Strongly consider tutor-support and how best you can utilise a tutor if necessary (by focusing on your weaker points or parts of the qualification you are unsure on)

How to revise Unit 2 of DipFA

Unit two 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 typed exam based on a pre-released fact find, which is made available 6 weeks before the exam.  The pass mark for both aspects of unit 2 is 50% and your score in the coursework assignment accounts for 30% of the exam final grades. Some learning providers will be able to give you a detailed structure of the coursework aspect such as; getting started, writing the body, referencing, writing a bibliography and submitting your work.

With the AFA Written exam it will represent 70% of the overall unit mark and will combine knowledge, understanding and application of the Unit. You will be required to write a suitability report based on the factfind that is released 6 weeks prior to your exam. Our advice would be to really study the released factfind and think about all of the stances that you could take when writing the sustainability report.

The recommendation from the LIBF is to allow a study time of six months to complete the unit.

What support is available for DipFA?

The LIBF state “If you select the ‘with tutor support’ option for Unit 2 when registering, you will also have access to experienced web tutors through an online forum, who will guide you throughout the course. Their tutors are all experts who have worked as financial advisers. This means that as well as explaining the theory, they can show you how it translates into practice by drawing on their experience. You’ll be able to post questions to the forum about the learning or the coursework and your tutor will get back to you with a reliable and personalised response.” Tutor support is an extra £100 bringing the total response to £1,090.

There are 2 Trusted Partners and 2 Accredited Learning Support Providers recognised by the LIBF for DipFA, view the full list below:


We also wrote a blog in 2019 regarding Different routes to become a qualified Financial Adviser that may be useful when looking at other ways to make becoming a Financial Advisor a reality. It is also worth noting that we will create more in depth content on these individual qualifications in the future.

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