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What do I need for IFP exams?

The IFP currently run three types of qualification.

  • The Certificate in Paraplanning. This is assessed with a two hour examination, part multiple choice and part case study based. Both sections of the exam require candidates to have detailed knowledge of both tax calculations and the time value of money.
  • The Certified Financial Planner (CFP). This is not an examination as such but an assessment of your ability to put together a detailed financial plan. It isn’t as easy as it sounds because some of the assessment criteria demand 100% accuracy – if you get only 99% you will get feedback on which area(s) fell below the required standard and have to resubmit your financial plan.
  • The Fellowship. This really is an exam proper – in fact it is two full days of exams. The Personal Paper is compulsory and largely covers the similar ground to the CFP but under strict exam conditions.

For further details on this qualifications visit the IFP website on

For all of these qualifications you will need up to date knowledge of:

Personal tax

This is essential as you will have to include a detailed income tax computation and cash flow statement in your plan. If you tackle estate planning issues you will also have to show a thorough understanding of IHT and possible use of trusts. The case study will also probably address CGT implications of altering a portfolio. Our Taxation Suite and CGT Calculations Guide will help you to refresh your knowledge and make sure that you are up to speed with these critical topics. Alternatively you might want to select individual guides from the following range: Income Tax Calculations, IHT Calculations, CGT Calculations and the Taxation of Trusts.

Time Value of Money (TVM)

The principles of TVM truly distinguish financial planning from financial advice and are critical to both the CFP and Fellowship. Here our Financial Calculations Guide is designed to help you master this important area.


The IFP exams will test your knowledge on asset allocation, the taxation of different types of investment and chargeable events etc. You may find that our Investment Suite Guide is useful in refreshing your knowledge. Alternatively you might want to select individual guides from the our investments range of guides: Tax Update and Fixed Interest Securities, Collective Investment Schemes and Life Assurance Based Investments.

In the case of the Business Owner paper of the Fellowship examination you will also need to demonstrate a good understanding of ratio analysis of company accounts. The Financial Calculations Guide covers this important topic as well as TVM.

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