Professional Certificate in Financial Advice NEW


Who is this programme for?

The Professional Certificate in Financial Advice is a must for all those pursuing a career in retail and business banking. It is the benchmark qualification for product advisers in retail financial services products in the Republic of Ireland.

If you are a product adviser, or wish to become one in the future, then the Professional Certificate in Financial Advice will enhance the breadth and depth of your knowledge to provide consumers with sound professional advice.

How you will benefit

On successful completion of this programme and on attaining the recognised professional designation APA, you will be able to:

  • Provide competent financial product advice to consumers
  • Describe relevant regulation that is used in the provision of financial services and the impact it has in this environment
  • Use analytical skills to make recommendations to clients regarding a financial product

Candidates on this programme pay an annual study fee of €50

Minimum Competency Code

Holders of the Professional Certificate in Financial Advice are invited to apply for the Accredited Product Adviser (APA) designation (appropriate to the product module they have successfully completed) thereby meeting the Central Bank of Ireland’s Minimum Competency Code for those who wish to sell, advise on, or undertake specified functions for one or more of the following five categories of retail financial products:

  • Life assurance
  • Pensions
  • Savings and investments
  • Housing loans, home reversion agreements and associated insurances
  • Consumer credit agreements and associated insurances

Continued use of the APA designation is subject to meeting annual CPD requirements.


You study two modules, Regulation and one of four other optional modules.



  • Regulation (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)


  • Life Assurance (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)
  • Loans (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)
  • Investment (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)
  • Pensions (NFQ Level 7, 5 ECTS)


  • Two-hour exam for each module at the end of the semester
  • The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions
  • The pass mark is 40%
  • Exams take place in Athlone, Belfast, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Letterkenny, Limerick and Waterford (subject to student demand)

Entry Requirements

The minimum second level educational requirements for entry to the Professional Certificate in Financial Advice are as follows:
-    Five passes in the Leaving Certificate, including English and Mathematics
-    Five O Level/GCSE passes, including English Language and Mathematics.
The Institute will also consider applications on a mature candidate basis from applicants who are 23 years of age before the date of their application for admission to the programme.

You must be a member of the Institute or become a member to do this programme.

Professional Body Membership

You must be a current member of the Institute or become a member, to undertake this programme.

Membership is currently €40 per calendar year.



If you are a CPD member, LCOI or Chartered Banker, you may be awarded formal CPD hours when you successfully complete relevant modules within this qualification.

Further information is available here.


If you would like to Express an Interest in this programme please click here