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Diploma for Financial Advisers (DipFA)

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Happy new year to you all.

I wondered if anyone could give me any feedback on the DipFA qualification based on their own experiences or via colleagues/employees who have taken the qualification.

The qualification would be of little value to me in my current role as an FD so I would be studying for my own personal fulfilment.  It is something I have wanted to do for some time, but I have quite a demanding role and young children at home.  That said as an accountant it is not like I would be starting from scratch in terms of knowledge but I accept there will be big gaps I would need to fill.

I suppose what I am really getting at is how demanding did others find the qualification in terms of difficulty and volume of material to learn.   

Thanks

Replies (9)

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By Paul Crowley
04th Jan 2021 11:44

No idea
But simply the term Financial advisors, says to me people who arrange mortgages

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Red Leader
By Red Leader
04th Jan 2021 15:07

"The DipFA is the minimum level qualification you need to become a financial adviser, as laid down by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA)."

I completed a predecessor qualification, Financial Planning Certificate. I would say that the level of difficulty is perhaps above O level but less than A level, so not demanding if you have done ACCA/ICAEW etc.

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Replying to Red Leader:
Brainy Smurf
By R5P
05th Jan 2021 10:19

Thanks for the reply this is helpful.

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By turchyna582
07th Jan 2021 10:35

Interesting that two responses were so diverse. Yours provides some insight, whereas that of Paul Crowley's is direct and honest 'no idea' - but is way off the mark in the simplification of 'people who arrange mortgages'.

You have possibly underestimated the former FPC. I completed this qualification (Papers 1/2/3) between 1994 and 1997, and recall that whilst it was indeed 'easier' than the syllabus depth and breadth required of most of the Accountancy Professional Bodies (Chartered and non-Chartered); it was significantly more challenging than A level. I have successfully completed GCE (not GCSE) at both O & A level, HNC and MSc, and therefore have some knowledge of the academic range.

I recall, as the MD of a wholly independent IFA Consultancy (not tied agents): which carried out broking activities in Life Assurance, Pensions (personal, corporate and self-administered), Savings & Single Premium products, Unit Trusts and discretionary portfolio management, and Mortgage products - the qualification did not cover all of those activities.
A significant number of clients were referred to to the IFA Consultancy by Accountants in Practice and such referrals were reciprocated where the Accountancy Practices had specific experience and knowledge that fulfilled the requirements of certain IFA clients. This was based upon the honesty of each party, knowing and mutually respecting their professional knowledge, experience and status: rather than the 'regrettable' assumption by some 'Chartered' Accountants - invariably raised and practiced in an 'Audit' environment, believing that they were a 'higher breed' than other professionals and they could adequately fulfil their clients' IFA needs.

My response to R5P would be 'go for it' - I am sure you will find it not only personally fulfilling, but the overlap in the Financial Adviser and Accountant roles (in your role as a FD in commerce or industry); might prove more useful than the overlap in the Accountant role and Financial Reporting role shared with the Company's Auditors.

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Replying to turchyna582:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
07th Jan 2021 12:38

That's a coincidence, I too did the 3 papers of FPC around the same time as you. I do disagree that it was harder than A level. Are you perhaps mixing it up with AFPC? I recall that the AFPC G60 Pensions paper was notoriously hard for many IFAs.

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Replying to Red Leader:
By turchyna582
08th Jan 2021 10:08

Thank you; opinion totally respected.
You are absolutely 'spot on' regarding the G60 Pensions paper - it was indeed difficult for many.

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Replying to turchyna582:
Brainy Smurf
By R5P
08th Jan 2021 09:50

Thanks for taking the time to reply. You are right there will be some useful overlap in my current role and it gives me an option for a career change in the future should I want it. After speaking to the awarding body, I’ve decided to give the qualification a go and see what happens.

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Replying to R5P:
By turchyna582
08th Jan 2021 10:11

Thank you for the reply.
I send you best wishes, I am sure you will enjoy the learning experience, and ultimately obtain appropriate personal and career rewards.

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Replying to R5P:
Red Leader
By Red Leader
08th Jan 2021 11:30

I found the FP exams of personal interest, though at the time I took them for commercial objectives. There are large areas of the financial world left out of the ICAEW syllabus which these exams went some way to fill. I went on to take AFPC, IMC and CFP: turned out to be a commercial dead end and I reverted to tax returns and a/cs prep.

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