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CII Level 4 Diploma course launched by Blackburn College University Centre

6 December 2018

Blackburn College University Centre is running the CII Level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, giving North West paraplanners and technical consultants and those aspiring to become financial planners the opportunity for face-to-face taught sessions from an independent Higher Education establishment.

The course will run from 8 January 2019 to 1 October 2019, taking place on Tuesdays 6-9pm. It will cover CII modules RO1- RO6 (see below for outline of module content). Each of the six modules can also be undertaken separately, aimed in at helping those who do not hold the additional CII credits they need towards completion of the Diploma.

Course director, Angelo Kornecki APFS, Chartered Financial Planner, P.G.C.E (pictured), is a practising financial adviser, founder and director of AKORN Financial Advice. He also lectures on the FdA Accounting with Financial Services and BA (Top up) Accounting with Financial Services degree courses at the college.

Kornecki says while some larger financial advice firms and financial services providers are now offering Level 4 training packages, “these are almost always directly related with either working for said advice firm or provider” and the college felt there was a need to offer an independent course from a recognised and reputable Higher Education institution – “the chance to receive face-to-face taught sessions… in an academic environment.

“Having spent many years studying on a ‘self-study’ basis to become Chartered I know first-hand how difficult it can be and would have relished the opportunity to attend classroom-based sessions with fellow industry peers to be taught the syllabus.”

The college wants to attract students who are either already working in the industry and are now looking to progress within their companies or students who are looking for a complete career change, Kornecki says.“Our programme is perfect for companies who want to put staff onto a career pathway and therefore require additional qualifications.”

He adds: “With the vast amount of changes we have seen over the years and no doubt will see going forward, there has never been a better time to embark on an exciting career within the financial services industry. There is very little in the North West to help nurture the talent we have and offer a face-to-face taught pathway to become level 4 qualified. We want to plug that gap.

“I believe that financial planning is a true profession, one that is a legitimate career prospect for aspiring university graduates and the younger generation.”

The cost of the full course is £2,800 per person and includes study text, access to the CII’s RevisionMate, exam guide and exam entry for each module (first sitting). Individual modules range from £460 to £500.

Further information on the course can be obtained by telephoning on 01254 292500 or visiting the Blackburn College website.


Blackburn College University Centre – CII approved Level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning – Course modules:

Financial Services, Regulation and Ethics Module – R01

  • Purpose and structure of the UK financial services industry;
  • How the retail customer is served by the financial services industry;
  • Regulatory framework, powers and responsibilities to protect the consumer;
  • Legal concepts and considerations relevant to financial advice;
  • Code of Ethics and its impact on the business behaviours of individuals

Investment Principles and Risk – R02

  • Characteristics, inherent risks, behaviour and correlation of asset classes, and investment products;
  • Macro-economic environment and its impact on asset classes;
  • Merits and limitations of the main investment theories;
  • Nature and impact of the main types of risk on investment performance;
  • Performance of investments.

Personal Taxation – R03

  • Basic structure of the UK tax system;
  • Main taxes on income and capital that may be charged on individuals and trusts, the self-assessment system and how tax liabilities are computed;
  • Taxation of investments as relevant to the needs and circumstances of individuals and trusts.

Pensions and Retirement Planning – R04

  • Main tax and legal frameworks that govern retirement benefits under registered pension schemes;
  • Features of defined contribution and defined benefit pensions;
  • State retirement benefits available, including the risks and suitability of contracting out of the State Second Pension.

Financial Protection – R05

  • The purpose and scope of financial protection products and how they interact with State benefits;
  • The main features and functions of the different types of contracts and how they are arranged in order to meet the individual client’s protection needs;
  • The main protection needs of businesses.

Financial Planning Practice – R06

This unit enables candidates to demonstrate their expertise in the application of the financial planning process through combining and applying learning content from all the other units in the CII QCF level 4 Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning:

  • Financial services, regulation and ethics;
  • Investment principles and risk;
  • Personal taxation;
  • Pensions and retirement planning;
  • Financial protection.


R01      –           2 hour, 100 question multiple choice exam

R02      –           2 hour, 100 question multiple choice exam

R03      –           1 hour, 50 question multiple choice exam

R04      –           1 hour, 50 question multiple choice exam

R05      –           1 hour, 50 question multiple choice exam

R06      –           3-hour exam comprising 2 written case studies on financial planning practice

(Candidates receive the case studies 2 weeks prior to exam sitting)


Professional Paraplanner