Investment Advice Diploma (IAD)

About the Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment (CISI)

The Chartered Institute for Securities & Investment is the leading professional body for securities, investment, wealth and financial planning professionals. Formed in 1992 by London Stock Exchange practitioners, it has a global community of circa 45,000 members in over 100 countries and last year more than 40,000 CISI exams were sat in 81 countries, with 15,000 taken outside the UK.

CISI website

Investment Advice Diploma (IAD) (Financial Planning and Advice)

The CISI level 4 Diploma in Investment Advice (Financial Planning and Advice) was specifically developed to comply with the examination standards of the Retail Distribution Review (RDR). It provides a sound grounding in UK financial services and consumer relationships, macro-economic environment, settlement, safe custody and prime brokerage, exchange traded futures and options and financial protection.

Developed by the CISI, the Investment Advice Diploma (IAD) (Financial Planning and Advice) is recognised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as an appropriate qualification for the following RDR activities:

(4) Giving personal recommendations on retail investment products which are not broker funds; and

(6) Giving personal recommendations on friendly society tax-exempt policies (other than Holloway sickness policies where the Holloway policy special application conditions are met).

Source: Appropriate Qualifications in FCA Handbook

IAD (Financial Planning and Advice) Training at London School of Finance and Law

London School of Finance and Law offers a wide range of courses in finance and tax law that can be taken alongside your professional qualification studies elsewhere. A UK financial planning qualification, together with a national qualification you may be pursuing, will increase your chances to work in a UK-based financial planning advisory.

As a student of London School of Finance and Law, you can enrol in our IAD (Financial Planning and Advice) exam preparation programme which runs for 1 year (3 terms). 

3 Core Units

Term 1: Investment, Risk & Taxation

    1. Asset classes
    2. The macro-economic environment
    3. Principles of investment risk and return
    4. Taxation of investors and investments
    5. Investment products
    6. Portfolio construction and planning
    7. Investment advice
    8. Portfolio performance and review

Term 2: Financial Planning & Advice

    1. Financial protection
    2. Retirement planning
    3. Financial planning

Term 3: UK Regulation & Professional Integrity

    1. The UK financial services industry and its relationship with UK consumers
    2. Professional ethics and integrity
    3. UK regulatory infrastructure, including European Union directives
    4. The FCA’s and the PRA’s s supervisory objectives, principles and processes
    5. Authorisation of firms and individuals
    6. The regulatory framework relating to financial crime
    7. Complaints and redress
    8. FCA conduct of business fair treatment and client money protection

You can join the programme at any level, depending on the IAD (Financial Planning and Advice) exams you have already passed.

Please note that our tuition includes access to study materials, online practice tests, tutor-marked assignments and mock exams via a dedicated virtual learning environment (VLE), but it is up to you to pay additional fees to book your exams at the CISI.

Study method

Online learning with tutor guidance and support

How long it takes

The programme starts three times a year – in January, May and September.

You need to be able to spend approximately 8 hours per week on studying each programme module.

Teaching and assessment

A tutor will guide you throughout the study process and mark and comment on your written work. You and your tutor will primarily communicate with each other through email.

The course work includes online practice tests, tutor-marked assignments and end-of-module assessment. You must use the online VLE-system to submit your end-of-module assessment.

The Pass mark for each module is 50%. Upon successful completion, students are issued a certificate of completion from London School of Finance and Law.

Please note that it is your responsibility to take IAD (Financial Planning and Advice) exams after completing each module with us.

Study materials

All study materials (including Microsoft Office presentations and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of selected study materials) are provided on the module website. You can purchase study materials directly from the CISI to revise for your exams.

Technical requirements

A computer with a browser and broadband internet access is required for this module. Functionality may be limited on mobile or tablet devices.

If you have a disability or particular study requirements, please tell us as soon as possible.

English language requirements

The language of instruction is English. There is no formal requirement to prove your English language proficiency to study our courses, but you are expected to have English reading and writing skills equivalent to B2+ CEFR level to pass IAD exams.

Fees and funding

Course fees for the 2024/2025 academic year: £1,010 per term

Course fees cover registration, course materials, tuition and assessment. Please note that it is your responsibility to pay for student membership and exams at the CISI.

LSFL course fees depend on the level and duration of courses: check all tuition fee rates for the current academic year here.

You may be eligible for tuition funding.


Next term start date: 20 September 2024

The module website will be available to registered students three days in advance of the module start. Module sessions will be opened every week or every two weeks to enable tutor-led, gradual progression through the study materials and continuous assessment.

Course registration is open, but please be aware that due to the increased demand it may take us longer to respond than usual.

Registration closes 10 September 2024 (places subject to availability)

Registration for current students:


Registration for new students:

You have to register as an LSFL student to enrol in this programme.


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