CertPFA® Certificate in Paraplanning & Financial Administration

CertPFA has been developed for professionals working, or aspiring to work, in financial administration or paraplanning roles. The qualification acts as a stepping stone to the Diploma for Financial Advisers and qualifying to provide financial advice.

The Certificate in Paraplanning & Financial Administration provides comprehensive foundation knowledge of products, services, regulation and legislation in the financial advice industry. You will develop the skills required to support and maintain appropriate and ethical client relationships and meet clients’ priorities by considering a range of protection, investment and retirement funding products.

The Certificate in Paraplanning & Financial Administration is a Level 3 qualification registered with Ofqual in the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF).

Entry Requirements

Although there are no specific entry requirements, the level of achievement required to obtain the award is equivalent to that of GCSE level qualifications. Applicants need to be satisfied of their ability to study, in Maths and English, at this level.

Course Content

CertPFA consists of four mandatory units:

Unit 1: Understanding the Financial Services Industry

Unit 2: Understanding the Financial Services Environment

Unit 3: Understanding Financial Services Products

Unit 4: Working with Clients in a Financial Planning Environment



CertPFA is assessed through a single 2-hour objective test split into the four units:

Unit 1, 2 and 3

    25 multiple-choice questions each

Unit 4

    Three case studies with five linked multiple-choice questions


Course Progression

Completion of CertPFA is a useful stepping stone to a career in retail financial advice through the DipFA, an FCA-approved programme which can be completed in as little as nine months.

(CertPFA®) Certificate in Paraplanning & Financial Administration
LevelLevel 3
Duration4 Weeks
CampusColchester Campus
Start DatePlease contact us for dates.
AttendanceTuesday: 9am - 4pm


All Fees and prices shown on this page are for courses starting in the 2021-22 academic year unless stated otherwise, and are correct at the time of entering/printing information, however these may be subject to change. The College cannot accept legal or financial liability as a result of any such changes.

The course information describes programmes offered by Colchester Institute. The College takes all reasonable steps to provide courses as described, but cannot guarantee provision. The information is for guidance and does not form any part of a contract.

The College reserves the right to update and amend information as and when necessary. Colchester Institute will do its best to provide the courses shown, but may have to modify or withdraw a course depending on customer demand and other factors.