Financial Adviser

Occupation overview

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


  • 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.



  • 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.



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



Entry Requirements

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.


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



Typically, within 24-30 months


Professional Qualifications / Recognition

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/ Institute of Financial Services: Diploma for Financial Advisers; designation DipFA
  • Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment: Investment Advice Diploma; designation ACSI


Originally published on, this information has been re-used under the terms of the Open Government Licence.


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