Life after DipPFS

Hi all,

I passed my final R0 to get my Diploma a short while back and have been paraplanning for a while in one capacity or another.

To be honest, I am looking forward to a break and do not wish to jump into the AF exams just yet, as I would like to regain some lost time through studying with my family.

Therefore, the idea of coursework based exam is appealing, as it will not be so demanding on my family time.

The two possible options are, and they both have merits:

  • Start my AFs with AF8
  • Do the J09 and gain the cert in Paraplanning - credits will be useful.

What is people's experience with either of these, please?

Thank you for your time


  • I am doing the AF8 but I would be hesitant to recommend it. I would confidently say in my day-to-day role we do 'proper' financial planning and I wouldn't say the module has taught me a great deal to what I already knew, frustratingly. You also don't get a great deal of feedback as part of the results notification.

    I suspect your learning might be better served with the other modules but this might be a more suitable route to get the points required, so ultimately up to you.

    For my circumstances and motivation having an exam date and working hard toward that for 8 weeks or so (and then forgetting about it) is preferable to coursework (which I've found has hung over me somewhat), but I appreciate your circumstances appear to be different to mine.

    Also (depending on whether you are paying), it isn't a particularly cheap option, £465 for CII members and then £130 for each assignment resubmission (which hopefully you wouldn't need!).

    As a further aside, I saw that the AF8 2018 pass rates were not published by CII, which I think was the only module where the results weren't disclosed, although I'm curious as to why.

  • Hi, I may be able to help as I have sat both those courseworks in the last 18 months.

    I too was looking for a coursework option having done two AFs in one go, felt exhausted and wanted to reclaim some family time!

    As far as the content for each goes, it did not build on any of my existing knowledge nor have they helped me be a better Paraplanner. Like Pedro, we also offer holistic financial planning and I found both courseworks frustrating from that point of view as each assignment had to disregard the actions/ comments of the previous assignment - not real life!

    I passed all first time, with the exception of one J09 assignment - feedback was poor and limited (also expensive). In short I would not recommend either from a learning perspective. If push came to shove I’d say AF8 over J09 as marginally more relevant to what I do day to day. I started and passed all within four months which was quite do’able within lunch hours/ a bit at home and pretty much taking a month off over Xmas.

    Happy to answer any other questions you have 😁 I too had noticed no AF8 pass rates published, wonder why that is.

  • Interesting viewpoints on an exam I am considering as part of my route to chartered

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