Investment Advice Diploma

CISI level 4 Diploma in Investment Advice

ESMA/MiFID II compliant

Why study the Investment Advice Diploma (IAD)?

The IAD was specifically developed to comply with the examination standards of the RDR and it appears on the FCA’s Appropriate Qualification tables. 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.

Is the Investment Advice Diploma right for me?

The IAD is suitable for practitioners advising and/or dealing in Securities or Derivatives, or advising on Retail Investment Products and Friendly Society Tax-Exempt Policies and/or Managing Investments.

Key features:

Qualification factsheet

Qualification Structure

The IAD is achieved by successfully passing the units listed below.  Exemptions from certain units are available. View exemption list.

The Investment Advice Diploma is regulated by Ofqual (on its Regulated Qualifications Framework) as the CISI Level 4 Diploma in Investment Advice. On the European Qualifications Framework, this equates to a level 5 qualification.

When combined with the two core units (UK Regulation & Professional Integrity and Investment, Risk & Taxation) the technical units cover the following RDR FCA activities:

  • Securities: Advising on (and dealing in) Securities (FCA Activities 2 & 12)
  • Derivatives: Advising on (and dealing in) Derivatives (FCA Activities 3 & 13)
  • Financial Planning & Advice: Advising on Retail Investment Products and Friendly Society Tax-Exempt Policies (FCA Activities 4 & 6)

Holders of a fully RDR compliant qualification can add additional specialist areas by passing the appropriate technical unit without the need to complete the core areas again.

Total Qualification Time:
426 hours

The total qualification time (TQT) for this qualification is 426 hours. TQT is an estimate of the number of hours that a typical candidate might reasonably spend in achieving the qualification. This will vary depending on your previous experience, and includes any formal study as well as self-study and assessment time.


Exam Details

Exam Availability

Pass Mark / Pass Rate

The current pass rate for this exam is and the pass mark is . The exam grades are as follows:

Regulated Qualifications Framework

credits on the Regulated Qualifications Framework are awarded upon successfully passing this exam

Feedback and Appeals

For further details on how to give us your feedback and / or Appeal your result, please refer to our Exam Policies.

Study support


A CISI workbook is required to be purchased when booking each exam. This is to ensure there is one standard workbook from which all exam candidates can prepare. You can also choose to purchase CISI elearning to support your exam preparation.

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Accredited Training Partners

You can choose to complete formal training for our exams with a CISI Accredited Training Partner (ATP).

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Post Qualification Opportunities


Obtaining the Investment Advice Diploma entitles candidates to join the Institute at ACSI membership level. As a member of the Institute, you will enjoy the recognition of being a professional in a world of increasing competition. The extensive continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities available through the CISI’s suite of membership benefits ensures financial services practitioners can maintain competence and meet the requirements of firms and the regulator.

Higher Level Qualifications