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Financial Adviser Apprenticeship Level 4

This Apprenticeship offers an ideal entry point for a career in the financial advice sector or for individuals who wish to progress from other roles such as Mortgage Adviser. It is suitable for anybody in a role providing clients with specialist advice on how to manage their money.

Please note it is essential that an apprentice provides actual financial advice on financially regulated products to external customers to be able to complete this Apprenticeship.


Level: 4
Qualification gained:CII

1. Standards to be met
2. Length of apprenticeship
3. Qualification
4. Entry requirements
5. End point assessment
6. Progression
7. Funding

Standards to be met

The Apprenticeship standard details the essential Knowledge, Skills and Behaviours that somebody would need to demonstrate to be successful in this job role. This includes Understanding Client Needs and Objectives, Managing Risk and Communication. Apprentices will need to show they are competent in all the areas detailed in the standard when they take End Point Assessment (see below).

The Knowledge areas of the standard will typically be covered through completion of their qualification. Skills and Behaviours are developed through workshops, e-learning, workplace training and practical experience provided ‘on-the-job’.


  • Financial Services Market keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice can consistently explain the structure of the Financial Services market including: Product Providers’ Services, Support Services and Platforms.

    The apprentice understands the role of the financial adviser and Paraplanners, support service roles and administration in addressing financial needs of consumers.

    The apprentice has a good understanding of different customer propositions including independent, restricted and non-advice models.

  • Regulatory and compliance keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice has a detailed understanding of the Financial Services regulatory framework, and the ethics and key principles of the advice process.

    They are able to explain the responsibilities of approved persons and the need for integrity, competence and fair outcomes for clients. This includes the Statement of Principles for Approved Persons (APER) and the Fit and Proper Test for Approved Persons.

  • Products and cash flow modelling keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice understands financial products and financial planning tools (e.g. Cash flow modelling) that are applicable to their licence.

    They demonstrate a high level of understanding of which features and benefits of the relevant financial products are appropriate to the clients’ specific needs and objectives.

  • Systems and controls keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice is able to describe all systems and controls required to deliver the key objectives for the client, and their organisation.

    They can understand how these fit within the wider company and the financial advice profession and how they protect the client and their organisation.

  • Understanding clients’ needs and objectives keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice can apply appropriate techniques for asking about the client aims and objectives, their needs and wants, values and priorities.

    They are able to explain risk, and how the different types of risk apply to clients and explain what this means in terms that the client will understand.


  • Know your customer keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice makes decisions confidently and autonomously in full awareness of the risk/potential external implications attached.

    They know when to seek further professional input, whilst maintaining high ethical standards and adhering to Treating Customers Fairly requirements.

  • Customer service keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice is proactively and regularly meeting the company’s stated service/quality assurance standards, including working through complaints procedures effectively.

    They consistently support colleagues and collaborate to achieve successful customer outcomes.

  • Business development keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    They develop long term relationships with customers. As well as create new opportunities for business growth through referrals and networking.

    The apprentice develops new business or sustains and grows an existing business by prioritising workloads and delivery in accordance with the associated business plan.

  • Managing risk keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice applies regulatory requirements both in the role of a Financial Adviser and to their organisation.

    They maintain the Fit and Proper person standards as laid down by the relevant regulator(s).

  • Using systems and processes keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice demonstrates technical proficiency in using their organisation’s I.T. systems required to complete the advice process, maintain accurate records, and agree review meetings to sustain the client / adviser relationship.

    They ensure the Data Protection Act is not contravened.

  • Communication skills keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice can demonstrate the ability to use appropriate communication styles to build rapport with the client. They feel comfortable to challenge the client where appropriate.

    They are able to present complex information clearly and simply using a variety of methods.


  • Professionalism keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice always acts with professionalism and an ethical attitude.

    Their technical knowledge is maintained and recorded in line with requirements of the Regulator and Professional Bodies.

  • Adaptability keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice demonstrates a flexible approach to meet and exceed the requirements of client needs and objectives.

    They identify and react to the evolving regulatory requirements.

  • Business orientated keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice demonstrates an awareness of their organisation’s objectives, and how they contribute to this.

    They work to a business plan in line with their organisation's objectives and consistently plan workloads and meet deadlines.

    They demonstrate an understanding of how the external environment impacts the organisation.

  • Positive mental attitude keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice identifies and communicates ideas for business improvement.

    They take ownership and seek ways in which to develop their own knowledge and skills.

    They prioritise tasks effectively in order to ensure all objectives are met and recognise challenges, identifying potential solutions to overcome these.

  • Relationship management and collaboration keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down

    The apprentice has a proactive approach to building and maintaining relationships with both internal and external customers.

    They are consistent in their support for colleagues and regularly collaborates with others to achieve team and individual goals.

Length of Apprenticeship

The End Point Assessment cannot be taken until the apprentice has been on programme for at least 12 months. This Level 4 Apprenticeship will take around 24 months to complete in order for apprentices to have time to complete the professional qualification, complete their case study test, create their portfolio and complete their structured interview.

Key milestones:

verified_user Technical qualification
av_timer Interactive Development session
laptop Skills online focus session
person_pin Talent coach check in
border_color End point assessment

Month 1
person_pin Induction and sign up

Month 2
laptop Know your customer - skills online focus session

av_timer Interactive Development session 1

Month 3
laptop Customer service and business orientated - skills online focus session

Month 4
verified_user Complete R01 Financial services, regulation and ethics exam (study between months 2-4)

person_pin Talent coach check in

Month 5
laptop Communication skills and positive mental attitude - skills online focus session

Month 6
laptop Using systems and processes - skills online focus session

Month 7
person_pin Talent coach check in

verified_user Complete R02 Investment principles and risk exam (study between months 5-7)

Month 8
laptop Managing risk and business development - skills online focus session

Month 9
av_timer Interactive Development session 2

Month 10
verified_user Complete R03 Personal taxation exam (study between months 8-10)

person_pin Talent coach check in

Month 11
laptop Professionalism and communication skills (continued) - skills online focus session

Month 12
laptop Relationship management and collaboration - skills online focus session

av_timer Interactive Development session 3

Month 13
person_pin Talent coach check in

verified_user Complete R04 Pensions and financial planning exam (study between months 11-13)

Months 14-15
av_timer Interactive Development session 4

Month 16
border_color Portfolio preparation

verified_user Complete R05 Financial protection exam (study between months 14-16)

Month 17-18
laptop Managing risk and business development (continued) - skills online focus session

Month 19
person_pin Talent coach check in

verified_user Complete R06 Financial planning practice exam (study between months 17-19)

Month 20
laptop Adaptability - skills online focus session

Month 21
verified_user Receive final exam results for R06 Financial planning practice

border_color Gateway

person_pin Talent coach check in

Month 22
border_color Case Study preparation

border_color Interview preparation

border_color Portfolio preparation and review

person_pin Talent coach check in

Month 23
border_color Complete Case Study Test

border_color Submit portfolio of evidence

Month 24
border_color Complete Viva (structured interview)


Apprentices will need to complete the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning from the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII), a globally recognised professional body for Insurance and Financial Services. The Diploma will consist of six units:

  • Financial services, regulation and ethics (R01)
  • Investment Principles and Risk (R02)
  • Personal Taxation (R03)
  • Pensions and Financial Planning (R04)
  • Financial Protection (R05)
  • Financial Planning Practice (R06)

If apprentices have enough credits and experience such as having already completed some R0 units, such as R01, it may be possible for apprentices to start at R02. This is because R01 is a foundation unit for other qualifications including Mortgage Advice.

Teaching for these qualifications will be delivered through our fully flexible, blended learning offer which includes CII study material, Kaplan recorded lectures and live online revision sessions.

All exams are multiple choice and can be taken on demand (so whenever you are ready). On successful completion of the Diploma, learners can use the designation DipPFS after their name.

Entry requirements

There are no formal entry requirements for this Apprenticeship, so it is at an employer’s discretion. If a potential apprentice has already started their technical units, for example R01, we may be able to start them on R02 for example. They must let us know if they have any prior learning and exemptions before they apply for the apprenticeship.

Apprentices who have not achieved an A*-C GCSE (or equivalent) in Maths and English GCSE will be expected to gain Functional Skills Level 2 as part of this Apprenticeship.

End point assessment

Every Apprenticeship includes an End Point Assessment (EPA), assessed by an independent End Point Assessment Organisation (EPAO). The apprentice will take their EPA at the end of their programme where they will demonstrate they are competent in the role that they have developed in.

This Apprenticeship Standard End Point Assessment will include:

Case Study Test

This will involve the apprentice being given a part completed client case file from a (fictional) Financial Adviser who has left the firm. The case study will test their ability to analyse the client situation, identify any omissions or errors in the file and determine the new steps required.

Viva (interview)

Supported by a Portfolio of Evidence this structured interview will:

  • Explore evidence for areas of the standard that are best done face to face e.g. the softer skills such as communication.
  • Clarify questions about the evidence submitted in the Portfolio of Evidence.
  • Discuss how the apprentice has progressed in their role, what they have done and the behaviours evidenced in the Portfolio.


Apprentices can progress onto Advanced Diploma and Degree level Apprenticeships in the Insurance and Financial Services sector, including Level 6 Financial Services Professional.


This Level 4 Apprenticeship has been placed in the £9,000 funding cap.

If you are a Levy payer this means that the maximum that can be withdrawn from your Levy fund for somebody on this Apprenticeship is £9,000.

For non or marginal Levy payers (where you have overspent your Levy fund), 95% of the cost of the Apprenticeship will be funded by the government meaning you will only have to pay 5% of the agreed price. Please contact us for more information on the Levy and funding.

Contact the team keyboard_arrow_up keyboard_arrow_down