What are the AF exams?

What are the AF exams?

The AF exams and Chartered Financial Planner status

The Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) AF exams form part of the RQF level 6 Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning. They can be taken as stand-alone units to develop specialist knowledge and understanding. They can also be studied with a view to achieving Chartered Financial Planner status.

Members of the CII with five years’ experience in the sector can apply for Chartered Financial Planner status after completion of the Advanced Diploma.

The AF exams and the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning

To complete the Advanced Diploma, candidates must already hold either the CII Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning or the Diploma in Financial Planning. BTS offer support for each R0 unit on the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning. To find out more about the R0 exams, head over to our What are the R0 exams? page.

The Advanced Diploma is made up of a selection of units totalling 290 credits. Candidates must sit one mandatory unit, the AF5 Financial planning process (30 credits). The remaining credits can be made up of a combination of units. A total of 120 credits must be at level 6, taken from the AF exams (including the AF5), a further 40 credits must be at level 4 or above (the J0 and R0 exams), and the remaining 130 credits can come from any unit except LF1. To find out more about the unit options and credit weighting, have a look at the Personal Finance Qualifications Framework.

What are the AF exam unit options?

There are six AF exam units, these are listed in the table below. The AF5 Financial planning process unit is a mandatory paper worth 30 credits. 

ExamRecommended study hoursCreditsPass markNational pass rate (2021)
AF1 Personal tax and trust planning 1503055%43%
AF4 Investment planning1503055%50%
AF5 Financial planning process (mandatory) 1503055%63%
AF6 Senior management and supervision1503050%97%
AF7 Pension transfers 1002060%56%
AF8 Retirement income planning 1503050%75.3%

BTS AF Exam Study Toolkits

The BTS AF Exam Study Toolkits have been specially designed to help you to achieve credits towards the RQF Level 6 Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.

At this time, BTS support the following AF exam units:

  • AF1 Personal tax and trust planning
  • AF5 Financial planning process,
  • AF7 Pension transfers,
  • AF8 Retirement income planning.



Find out more about the study support available here:


Financial Planning Process


Pension Transfers


Personal Tax and Trust Planning


Retirement Income Planning