AF1 Personal Tax and Trust Planning

AF1 Personal Tax and Trust Planning
AF1 personal tax and trust planning

AF1 Personal tax and trust planning

The AF1 Personal tax and trust planning unit is a level 6 optional unit on the CII’s Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.

It’s a unit that focuses on developing in-depth financial planning skills related to personal tax and trusts. AF1 assesses both your technical knowledge of tax and trusts, and your ability to apply this to client scenarios with clear rationale.

The AF1 is a written exam requiring clear and concise answers which demonstrate breadth and depth of analysis.

Exam format: 3-hour written exam

ExamRecommended study hoursCreditsPass markNational pass rate (2021)
AF1 Personal tax and trust planning1503055%43%

Examiner's reports from previous sittings:

BTS AF1 Study Toolkit

The CII recommendation is 150 hours of study time in relation to AF1, however this is only an indication of how long you will need. You may take more or less time than this.

The first step is to work through the BTS AF1 study guide. As you read through each chapter you will gradually work through the AF1 syllabus and practice the necessary exam question answering techniques, using:

    • questions based on exam style case studies
    • exercises to practice and embed learning
    • technical reviews around the key elements of tax and trust planning
    • diagrams and pictures to help ensure that the guide appeals to all learning styles
    • lots of practice on how to lay out your calculations to maximise marks.



The next step is to prepare for the exam experience by working through CII past papers, looking at how to analyse case study details, and how to link your answers to the case study information. It is essential that you have had practice with past exam guides well in advance of the exam date, as these will enable you to spot the trends, and understand the level of detail required in your answers.

As the exam date draws near, we recommend booking onto one of our 2-day revision workshops. These are held approximately two weeks before each AF1 exam sitting. 


The first step in your AF1 preparation is to work through our study guide.

This gradually walks you through the exam syllabus and the questions styles that have regularly appeared in past AF1 papers. It will teach you the foundations of the correct question answering techniques, which are so important to achieve a first-time exam pass.

AF1 Personal tax and trust planning – Printed Study Guide

AF1 Personal tax and trust planning – Digital Study Guide

BTS run a remote two-day workshop in advance of each AF1 sitting.

The workshop will involve a review of the key technical knowledge in the unit. You will also work through model questions and answers to practice key AF1 exam techniques. You will have the opportunity to ask and discuss questions in a group forum as well, to prepare for the AF1 exam sitting as much as possible.

To pass AF1, you’ll need to demonstrate critical evaluation skills, as you would expect for a level 6 exam. Your facilitator will spend time using slides and a whiteboard to explain key concepts. They will also discuss exam-style questions and exam techniques.

Click here to access the current schedule of AF1 support workshops

Insights, help and advice for AF1

Below, you will find a range of recent articles providing insights, help and advice for this exam, we hope you find these useful. Remember if you have any questions on your journey feel free to get in touch with the BTS support team.