This apprenticeship standard is in the process of being revised. In the meantime, the version below remains approved for delivery. Further details of this and other occupational standards in revision are available in the revisions status report.

Overview of the role

Working within small businesses or large organisations such as banks, giving clients specialist advice on how to manage their money.

Financial adviser

Reference Number: ST0374

Details of standard


Financial Adviser

Duration: Typically, within 24-30 months

Level 4

The apprenticeship should be reviewed after a maximum of 3 years.

Entry point & progression:  Employers will set their own entry requirements. This standard is designed for apprentices with no previous experience, although it could also act as a progression opportunity for those in other roles such as Financial Services Administrator, Mortgage Adviser or Paraplanner. Progression beyond this apprenticeship could be to become a Chartered Financial Planner, Manager or business owner.

The Financial Adviser Role

Financial advisers provide their clients with specialist advice on how to manage their money. They may be employed in large companies such as banks or within small specialist advice businesses. The role involves building long term valued relationships with client, researching the marketplace and recommending the most appropriate products and services available. Financial advisers may specialise in particular products, depending on their clients, such as selling employee pension schemes to companies or offering mortgage, pension or investment advice to private clients. Financial advisers operate in a highly regulated environment and in order to give financial advice, they must have professional qualifications and demonstrate a high degree of integrity, adherence to a code of ethics and be committed to maintaining their professional development and knowledge.



What is required – the Financial Adviser understands…

Financial Services Market

The structure of the Financial Services market including: Product Providers’ Services, Support Services and Platforms. The role of the Financial Adviser and associated supporting roles (e.g. the role of the Paraplanner). Different customer propositions including independent, restricted and non-advice models.

Regulatory & Compliance

The Financial Services regulatory framework, and the ethics and key principles of the advice process. The requirements and practical implications of the Statements of Principles for approved persons (APER) and the Fit and Proper Test for Approved Persons (FIT).

Products & Cash Flow Modelling

Financial products & financial planning tools (e.g. Cash flow modelling). How to analyse which features and benefits of the relevant financial products are appropriate to the clients’ specific needs and objectives.

Systems and Controls

All systems and controls required to deliver the key objectives for the client, and firm. How these fit within the wider company and the financial advice profession and how they protect the client and the company.

Understanding Clients’ Needs & Objectives

The significance and importance of Knowing Your Client (KYC). How to prioritise a client’s needs and objectives. How to assess a client’s Attitude to Investment Risk and Capacity for Loss in relation to their needs and objectives.


What is required - the Financial Adviser has the ability to...

Know your customer

Make decisions confidently and autonomously in full awareness of the risk/potential external implications attached. Know when to seek further professional input, whilst maintaining high ethical standards and adhering to Treating Customers Fairly requirements.

Customer service

Proactively and regularly meet the company’s stated service/quality assurance standards, including complaints procedures.

Consistently support colleagues and collaborate to achieve a successful customer outcome.

Business development

Develop long term relationships with customers. Create new opportunities for business growth through referrals and networking. Build a new business or sustain and grow an existing business by prioritising workloads and deliver in accordance with the associated business plan.

Managing Risk

Apply regulatory requirements both in the role of a Financial Adviser and also as applied to the Company. Maintain, the Fit and Proper person standards as laid down by the relevant regulator(s).

Using systems and processes

Demonstrate technical proficiency in using the firm’s I.T. systems required to complete the advice process, maintain accurate records, and agree review meetings to sustain the client / adviser relationship. Ensure Data Protection Act is not contravened.

Communication skills

Build rapport and communicate with empathy. Present and explain complex information simply and clearly both orally and verbally.


What is required – the Financial Adviser demonstrates


Professionalism and an ethical attitude. That technical knowledge is maintained and recorded in line with requirements of the Regulator and Professional Bodies.


Behaviours to meet and exceed the requirements of client needs and objectives within the requirements of a continually changing regulatory environment.

Business orientated

Pro-activeness in considering the commercial demands in a financial advice business and in looking for ways to develop and improve the business model and its service to customers.

Positive Mental Attitude

A proactive “can-do” attitude in all aspects of work including overcoming challenges and responding to set backs. Self-motivation in achieving the objectives in the role.

Relationship management & collaboration

A proactive approach to building and maintaining relationships with both internal and external customers. Consistent support for colleagues and collaborates to achieve team and individual results.

Qualifications and link to Professional registration

It is a Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) requirement that in order to have a licence to practise, a financial adviser must pass an FCA-approved Level 4 qualification as described below. By achieving one of these qualifications during the apprenticeship, professional registration can be achieved by application to the relevant Professional Body, with the recognised status indicated:

  • Chartered Insurance Institute: Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning; designation DipPFS
  • The London Institute of Banking & Finance: Diploma for Financial Advisers; designation DipFA
  • Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment: Investment Advice Diploma; designation ACSI

English and Maths

Apprentices without level 2 English and maths will need to achieve this level prior to taking the end­ point assessment.

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Status: Approved for delivery
Level: 4
Reference: ST0374
Version: 1.0
Date updated: 09/03/2021
Approved for delivery: 28 November 2016
Route: Legal, finance and accounting
Typical duration to gateway : 24 months (this does not include EPA period)
Maximum funding: £9000
LARS Code: 153
EQA Provider: Ofqual

Find an apprenticeship

Contact us about this apprenticeship

Employers involved in creating the standard: Sense, Lighthouse, Succession, Openwork, Tenet, Sesame, Towry, The Beaufort Group, Santander, Ablestoke Financial Planning

Version log

Version Change detail Earliest start date Latest start date Latest end date
1.0 Approved for delivery 28/11/2016 Not set Not set

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