The Qualified Financial Adviser (QFA) designation is the industry recognised, premier designation qualification for financial advisors in retail financial services in the Republic of Ireland. We answer some of the most popular questions about the designation.
The Qualified Financial Adviser (QFA) designation is relevant for anyone who hopes to follow a career in financial advice, financial services or wealth management. The QFA designation ensures you are accredited in all five categories of retail financial products under the Central Bank’s Minimum Competency Code – this includes life assurance, savings and investments, home reversion agreements and associated insurances, housing loans, consumer credit agreements and associated insurances, and pensions.
Register for IOB’s Professional Diploma in Financial Advice to become a fully qualified QFA. On successfully completing the six module programme, you will attain a qualification from UCD and an invitation to the QFA designation. QFA designates with IOB are also eligible to receive the European Financial Advisor designation.
Of course! The QFA is the benchmark professional designation in financial advice. It is a must for all those interested in pursuing a career in retail and business banking. It is also the first step towards a career as a financial advisor or financial planner.
The minimum second level education requirements to enter the Professional Diploma in Financial Advice with IOB are:
Five passes in the Leaving Certificate, including English and Mathematics
Five O Level/GCSE passes, including English Language and Mathematics
You can also apply to take the programme as a mature candidate, aged 23 years of age before the date of their application for admission. Further information on entry requirements is available here.
QFA is a professional designation awarded to those who have completed the necessary education programme, e.g. the Professional Diploma in Financial Advice with IOB. The Professional Diploma in Financial Advice is an NFQ level 7 qualification.
The programme is part-time and delivered online, allowing students flexibility with the pace of their studies. Students typically take two modules per trimester. At this pace, it takes one year (three trimesters) to complete the Professional Diploma in Financial Advice. Shortly after the ratified results are released, students who successfully completed the programme are invited to apply for the QFA designation.
When you study with IOB you become more than a student, you become a member of the IOB community – a network of over 34,000 financial services professionals. IOB is a recognised college of UCD so when you become a fully qualified QFA with IOB, you are awarded the Professional Diploma in Financial Advice from UCD. You also gain access to IOB’s new personalised learning platform IOB Learn, with exclusive content, webinars and events. This year IOB also formalised an agreement with the European Financial Planning Association (EFPA) to allow QFAs who are active IOB members to avail of the European Financial Advisor (EFA) designation in addition to their QFA designation.
The European Financial Advisor (EFA) designation is offered by the European Financial Planning Association (EFPA). All QFA designates who are active IOB members are entitled to use the EFA designation in addition to their QFA designation, with no additional CPD requirements or cost.
Once you receive your QFA designation you will need to sign up to a continuing professional development (CPD) scheme, which IOB provides, to complete 15 CPD hours per year. IOB supports QFA designates with access to excellent CPD offerings including exclusive events, content and resources to help you achieve your CPD hours and advance your career. You can carry out and log CPD on-the-go with IOB Learn, IOB’s personalised learning platform for members.
The Professional Diploma in Financial Advice enrols three times a year for Autumn, Spring and Summer trimesters. Check out the full list of key dates for the 2021/2022 academic year.
As a QFA designate, there are lots of great pathways available for further education and professional development with IOB. Many QFAs boost their knowledge and skillset by completing a Graduate Diploma in Financial Planning, Professional Diploma in Wealth Management or the Professional Certificate in Retirement Planning. The Professional Diploma in Financial Services is also a popular choice for QFAs, along with many of IOB’s level 8 programmes.
For further information on the Professional Diploma in Financial Advice and the QFA designation visit the programme webpage. If you have any queries regarding the QFA designation or studying with IOB, please contact us via the website chat function, email [email protected] or call us at +353 (0) 1 6116500.