Financial Planning Process (AF5)

The objective of Financial Planning Process (AF5) is to develop an understanding of the financial planning process when giving advice to clients.

A case study workbook is not offered for this unit as it draws together and tests your knowledge gained through study of the other AF units. You will, however, receive a 'fact-find' two weeks before the exam which you will use to draw up a financial plan in the exam. More information and the fact-find (when released) can be found on our supporting exam documents page.

To help you with your study, we recommend you use the free practice tests available under the Useful Links and Downloads section on this page.

Please note: Candidates are recommended to have taken three units at advanced level before progressing to this unit. Advanced technical knowledge across taxation, trusts, pensions and investments is usually required. Depending upon the client scenario, some business planning knowledge might also be required.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this unit, candidates will be able to research and construct a financial plan that demonstrates an understanding of:

  1. The relationship and responsibilities between adviser and client and the need to establish the scope of the planning brief
  2. Different remuneration strategies available and how they might suit the services required by clients
  3. How to evaluate the client’s personal circumstances and financial status
  4. Identifying client's financial objectives, including the importance of prioritising them
  5. The assumptions underlying the financial plan
  6. What is meant by risk (including capacity of loss), the various risks faced by the client and the importance of the client risk profile in formulating a financial plan
  7. Different options available to the client with relevant evidence
  8. How to put forward an appropriate financial plan based upon analysis of client objectives, circumstances and options
  9. The ability to explain the meaning of any technical terms, the features and benefits of proposed products and the consequences of the proposed course of action
  10. The importance of documenting any changes to the plan required by the client and how to document such changes
  11. The review process and its significance in the overall financial planning process


  • 3 hour exam
  • Fact-find based with eight compulsory questions
  • 55% nominal pass mark
  • The 2022 pass rate for this unit was 72%

Units treated as equivalent

Due to the extent of syllabus overlap, certain combinations of current and withdrawn units will result in only one award of credits.

If a withdrawn equivalent is held you may not need to complete a current unit in order to satisfy a qualification's completion rules. Clarification should always be sought from CII Customer Service.

Find out more about credit awards for equivalent units

Revision aids available

The revision aids available for this unit are listed below. Find out more about revision aids.

  • Video Revision (Post fact-find)

Note for purchasing revision aids: please make sure you do not already have the revision aid(s) as part of any Enrolment plus purchase.

AF5 Post fact-find video technical guide

If you would like further support in order to prepare for the AF5 exam, you will be able to purchase a video guide a few weeks before each exam sitting. Available on RevisionMate, this video course covers the main areas of knowledge that might be applicable, based on the fact-find released for each exam, and is only available for that particular exam session. Details, such as pricing, will be available on the video guide shop page when the product goes live.