Expert Pensions map your journey to Chartered Financial Planner status

How do you get to Chartered Financial Planner status?
We know your diary is the first challenge; it’s finding time to do the study. And we are here to ensure the limited time you have to study is used in the best possible way: we map out the journey right to the finish line.

  • Structure
  • Blended learning
  • Results

10 Reasons to choose Expert Pensions

Video Tutorials40,000+

Video Tutorials played each month


Online access from any device.


Interactive Webinars

iconholder"Accurate MI Reports

Activity Tracked

iconholder"F2F Workshops

1,2,3 & 4 day


Weekly study plans


Structured, Certified and recorded

iconholder"Corporate Licenses

Built for you


Group forums and discussion


Quiz questions, assignments and mock exams

Another reason to choose Expert Pensions…

We’ve got a successful track record getting advisers to chartered. Just take a look at our latest exam results…

Most Popular Courses
AF1 Personal Tax and Trusts

AF1 Exam Support


AF7 Exam Support


AF4 Exam Support


Our courses are CPD Accredited!

  • Steve Quinn – AF7 Virtual Workshop

    Once all were on board, just simply seemed to work well - helped of course by your structure & approach, with a good mix of things being explained well... backed up with some excellent visual aids.

    Also felt it evident just how much 'focus' there was from the group... whilst physical classroom has the benefit of seeing others/better interaction (maybe?), there was some good interaction online & for me, at the right level to not detract from tasks in hand.

    Methinks the extra 'focus' resulting from being in own environment, no distractions, interacting via working through some tasks, has ensured I feel genuine value from the investment. Living on south coast, where travel always an issue (not major, but a defo factor) means this sort of approach just the ticket - just hope you'll consider more of the same for other AF papers.

  • Scott Craig – AF7 Virtual Workshop

    Very happy with cost and savings generated by not having to Bathgate and go through snow blizzard and traffic to get to you. All staff very helpful. Though there has been many minor IT issues, I am hopeful that Ben will continue to drive the IT side of things onto ever more efficient tools. Would find it hard to cope with AF7 exam without John’s enthusiasm and knowledge, and techniques.

  • David Flavell – AF7 Virtual Workshop

    Having been on AF3 course before at Bathgate as a comparison I would say this is much better. Not having to travel, or as I did stay over, means a lot more time is available to catch up elsewhere.

    Questions and answers are posted instantly so no issues around not being face to face.

    Just need to pass now!

  • Emma Crocker – AF7 Virtual Workshop

    I was apprehensive about the workshop after an Easter weekend of study had left me with a fried brain. The gentle first session certainly helped and the mist has cleared!!

    Personally I found the sessions were brilliantly delivered, the chat/questions pane allows me to see comments from others without you being interrupted or use the full screen option if I want to ignore any comments and focus on you.

    The emphasis you are putting on technique will (I hope) help me and others to pass.

    In terms if the tech, it was definitely a risk worth works!!

  • Neil Howchin

    Team, I would like to thank you for all your support & assistance in the study of AF3.

    I initially failed this exam by 2 marks in December but I appealed the exam result and today I found out that I had passed. Regardless of the result I would like to point something out where you guys are different compared to other workshops/course etc I have been on over the years.

    You teach, and make sure the candidate pending the amount of work they actually put in knows more than he/she knew originally. The other courses wing it, by getting you through the exam however your team teach/coach and give us the skill set and relevant education and confidence to put the tools in to practice.

    I really love the set up you have. I personally learn more by vision. so your webcasts paint 1000 words John. Going back to replay any misheard or not sure views helps tremendously.

    Many thanks again

  • Thomas Richter

    The workshop was really helpful - John is amazing.  I honestly can’t see how someone can pass AF3 without the workshop – or better, without the whole EP package!

  • Paul Diment

    I passed AF4 and having passed AF3 early in the year, must say how great the help and course is that you supply. Will definitely be signing up with you in January to carry on with exams.

  • Neil Winstanley

    Passed!!! 100 marks, highest so far on any written exam and first time studying with Expert Pensions. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    Thanks for all your help and I’ll be looking for AF4 and AF5 in April.

  • Adam ThompsonChartered Financial Planner

    Just thought I would drop you a note to thank you for your help and excellent course. Somehow, I passed with distinction with 121 marks.

    Thanks again!


  • Rob Connell

    A big thank you to all at EPL for the help. The videos were great, the notes easier to read than so many others and the phone call from John to answer my question- greatly appreciated.

    I will certainly recommend you, and will use you for my next AF exam …. Seeing as I passed this one (AF3)!!

  • Rob HoggarthChartered Financial Planner at Gibbons Independent Financial Advisers

    Went on AF3 course with John in the week prior to the exam and this was the best preparation imaginable. Focusing on major themes which form a big part of the exam and some other key areas around this. It increased my learning to a level which I would never have achieved from reading and past papers alone.

  • Bonamy MartelManaging Director at Chartered Global

    The degree to which John made himself available both on the phone and by email was truly remarkable. It is not just his unparalleled knowledge and understanding of how to approach these exams, rather it is his generosity of spirit and his personal investment in each and every student which makes him and expertpensions a unique and indispensable resource.

    One could spend years wading through the muddied waters of AF5, trying to fathom the unique convoluted world of this most artificial of exams... or you could simply call expertpensions. I chose the latter, and I passed first time
    Despite the extent to which John Reynolds progressed my professional development through the unparalleled excellence of his course materials, case studies and his own unique knowledge of these exams, despite the fact that he went far beyond the call of duty through his personal involvement in my studies and his generous availability throughout the whole process, I can still sum up the impact he has made on my career in one word... Chartered. Thanks, John!

  • Paul J FlynnManaging Director, PJF Lifestyle Financial Planning

    An Expert must be an Expert for all of the time, not just some of the time.
    An Expert in waiting …can only become an Expert, by engaging with an Expert.

    Over the years I have met and engaged with many ‘Self Cert’ Experts, only to later discover that behind the Screen sits the ‘Wizard of Oz’.
    Too Many ‘Experts’ use key words triggering an emotion within the physic of the impressionable ‘Apprentice’ implying the mentoring Expert knows his ‘Wizardry’
    John Reynolds is not the Wizard of Oz...John Reynolds is a true & passionate Expert…a patience and clear communicator …
    How do I know this ...Because rarely will you hear John say … “I need to look that one up and will get back ” ...or just send the relevant reference Link, as is the case with all too many Technical& Educational support subscription services.
    John is a born Person Developer, with a genuine true desire to transfuse intravenously his knowledge, skills into the ‘apprentices’ mind-set...and what’s more he cares...He really does…
    If you’re ‘half good’ and want to be better…you need to speak with this Gentleman…He’s a ‘good un’

  • Matthew Taylor DipPFSDirector at Taylor Financial Solutions Ltd, Associate Partner Practice of St. James's Place Wealth Management

    I did a couple of the tutorials yesterday and can honestly say I learnt more than I have done reading the books over a week!

  • George KoulloupasSenior Wealth Planner at Advance Wealth

    A couple of years ago i set myself the goal of achieving Diploma status as quickly as possible. Like many others, i struggled with studying in general (i don't have enough time, it's boring, i can't concentrate when i'm at home etc) and written exams were daunting, but i was fortunate enough to meet John Reynolds who showed me 'the future' of exam technique.

    John is a true expert and can communicate complicated points in just a few words, perfect for these kind of qualifications. The structure of the study sessions as you run up to the big day fits perfectly with my busy schedule and propelled me forward faster than i could have imagined.

    With John's help I have passed JO4, JO5, J10 & RO6 on my first attempt and i have since updated my goal to achieve Chartered Financial Planner status by the end of 2015. I no longer wonder whether it's possible, just how quickly i can get there!

  • Robert LittleChartered Financial Planner and Director at Bob Little & Co Ltd

    John and the team helped me through AF3, AF4 and AF5 in one exam sitting. I found the video tutorials particularly useful, as John always manages to explain very complex areas in a straightforward, practical manner. I simply couldn't have passed first time without the guidance and structure provided. I especially didn't think I would have passed af3 as it was particularly tough - your explanations of the key af3 concepts were key to helping me.

  • David Savage, Dip CII, Certs CII (MP & ER)Chartered Financial Planner at True Potential Wealth Management LLP

    You got me through this in just over 5 weeks. Your course was superbly structured, and added more detail to my RO4 knowledge. My only regret is that I didn’t apply to do JO5 as well.

  • Greystone Financial Services Limited

    We have all had brilliant results whenever we have come to you for exam packages so you have a very loyal customer in Greystone!!

  • Steve Ellis
    I have been most impressed with the high and most importantly consistent level of service provided by Expert Pensions.
    From my initial advice calls with Linda and yourself, the quality of the structured study program and study aids, admin service from Linda to the excellent workshop you delivered yesterday in Milton Keynes. I would not like to add up the number of training courses and workshops I have attended in my career to date and can state without hesitation that this has been the best by far. Really good news..... as I am sure its the only one I have paid for myself! It was good to meet some great people on the course too, it was helpful getting to know Richard in particular with him being in the process of setting up his own IFA business. A really nice guy.
    On a serious note whatever my personal outcome 15/10/14 I will be highly recommending your services moving forward now in my Pensions & Investments  journey wherever that should lead me.
    Thankyou for the positive experience to date and please pass on my thanks to Linda.
    Enjoy what you can of the Ryder Cup during your busy schedule this weekend.
    Coffee, banana, clean past paper, highlighter.....time for some slow thinking.
  • Alistair WilliamsonIndependent Financial Adviser at Beckford James Chartered Financial Planners

    I can only share my own perspective. Before contacting expert pensions I had a quick look at some past exams, and pretty quickly realised that passing AF3 was not going to be an easy challenge. I did a bit of surfing the net and there were a few bods offering support but mainly around the past papers and I wanted something a bit more detailed in the syllabus. Then I found expert pensions. I wanted to see what I would get for my money, and a 10 module package covering the relevant stuff, with videos, quizzes, assignments, and study notes, as well as the forums seemed like excellent value, so I thought I’d give it a go.

    I haven’t regretted that decision once during the time I’ve been studying, everything is super clear, and well explained, whether you learn best by doing, reading, listening, watching or asking you have all the resources you could need. Of course you do actually have to do the work, but that’s made clear from the start – if you can’t put aside 6 hours a week for a few months before the exam to study then don’t bother.

    Let me be clear this exam is not easy and I have no idea whether I have passed or failed, but what I do know is that there is no way I could have prepared myself for the exam in the way that expert pensions prepared me. Would recommend to anyone taking this exam.

  • Andrew Cunningham

    Still in doubt whether this is worth the money? Don't be! The Expert Pensions AF3 study support and John's help and guidance along the way, my score went from 76 marks in October 2013 to 113 in April 2014. I am not going to pretend that this is the Golden ticket to the chocolate factory as it isn't. You still need to work hard, but if you sign up for the online course and do EXACTLY as John tells you, you will pass the exam.

  • Lesley KeanAssociate Director at Campbell Thomson

    The interactive nature of John’s training, particularly the videos, made all the difference to me, for my style of learning.

  • Judith Cowley DipPFS Certs CII (MP & ER)Director/Independent Financial Adviser at Cowley & Miller Independent Financial Services Ltd

    First, let me start off by saying: your site is fabulous! After I failed the AF3 again, I decided to sign up for your help. I printed out the essential study notes, and workbook which meant that I didn’t need to read all the unnecessary information in the RO2 book as you concentrate on the core areas. I watched the videos again and again until the penny dropped, did the practice questions, and followed your process. I wish I had known about you over the last few years when I was trying to get my AF3 exam as I kept missing it by 1 or 2 marks. Your website is so user friendly, you even provide a forum where everybody can see what others are struggling with and I posted questions when I didn’t understand which were answered by you. All the different ways helped me to eventually understand in a way that I could use the knowledge to answer a question the CII way. I didn’t just pass either as I got 98 marks in an exam where the pass mark is 88.

    I have now signed up for the AF4 course and will sign up for the AF5 when I pass the AF4 and will hopefully have Chartered by the end of the year.

    Thank you so much!

  • Alex Kerslake

    Just thought I'd shoot you an e-mail to say thanks, without trying to trivalise the achievements of others on the forum. As you really deserve the thanks and to know how useful your material is.

    For background, I graduated in 2014, and took up a graduate role in an investment review role in November 2014, where I was fast tracked through the R0 exams, completing them in around 5 months. My goal was then to get Fellowship within 17/18 months of starting. I had no support from work in relation to these exams, and it was solely down to my own research outside of work. I stumbled across your material, and everyone online praised it. So I thought why not, and took the plunge.

    Today I passed AF1, AF3 and J05.

    My only knowledge of pensions, is the R04 book, R08 book, and your material. I've never worked in pensions.

    You should have absolute confidence that your pension material is enough to pass those exams. I've not done any real around the subject reading.

    I know I've worked really hard for this, but I would not have passed that AF3 exam without your help.

    I'm now in a position with 15 exam passes, after 13 months of study. Those big AF exams could not have been done without the help of the expert pension team. I'm just CF8, AF4 and AF5 short of Fellowship (or just AF5 if I cash in my law degree credits!!) - and probably one of the youngest in the country. Again, something that I would not have achieved without your support.

  • Paul Clifford FPFS FCIIChartered Financial Planner, Director and Principal, Clifford Osborne Limited

    Just to say a very big thank you to John and the expert pension team for all their help advice and guidance over the last few years. John really is an expert in his field and provides a common sense approach communicated in easy to understand terms to help simplify the learning across complex and challenging subject areas. I’m very pleased to say I am now chartered and could not have achieved this without the bitesize learning, using the online forums and the continual support of John and the team at expert pensions.

    I consider John a good friend who wants to help you succeed and I really could not recommend him and the team at Expert Pensions enough to anyone looking for a little help advice or guidance.

  • Aled PhillipsLifestyle Financial Planner at Financial Solutions Wales Ltd

    The course, teaching and support have all been fantastic, and far better than any other training providers that I have used previously. I’ll certainly be looking no further than expert pensions to get to chartered!!

  • Pavis Financial Management Limited – R08

    John did an excellent job. John's insight, knowledge and presentation style were a strength. Delivery especially examples were excellent. John explained in simple terms. Examples were discussed and explained. Very easy to follow. Engaging style, very informative. Excellent speaker invaluable information, no weaknesses at all. Excellent presentation and content. Punchy, well delivered, not stuffy at all. Thank you.

  • Craig FergusonCraig Ferguson, Director, Ardmore Financial Planning Ltd

    Everything from the layout of the notes, the videos (and the extra videos such as salary sacrifice) and webinars are excellent. Anyway, thanks for your enthusiasm - it feels like you've got a bit company throughout the study not just with your good self but with forum etc too.

  • Mark JacobsBSc, Dip PFS Certs CII (MP&ER) – Director and Adviser, Jacobs & Harris

    Had a look at your webinar last night......excellent. It really has been excellent studying with you.....I have thoroughly enjoyed it. Keen not to let you have been brilliant. All the very Best.

  • Rob SaundersonFinancial Planning Director at Robert Elliot Wealth Management Ltd

    I found the workshop very useful. Before I didn't stand a chance, now I do and that is thanks to John. Brilliant teacher and his knowledge is out of this world.

  • Eddie O’NeilSenior Financial Consultant at Wesleyan

    Re the AF1 course I attended, I think that it was well structured and at a good pace, and Kieran was excellent in presenting, kept it moving along well and was very knowledgeable in all the aspects of the learning. The web based study guides and videos were also very useful. I will also feedback to my head office and would recommend that we use your services in the future.

    All I need to do now is pass!

  • Douglas CookOwner, Douglas Cook Financial Services

    Thank you for the course earlier this week.

    I enjoyed it and know that I will now have a greater chance of passing the exam.

  • Victoria SeabrookeFinancial Adviser & Pensions Specialist, Lyndhurst Financial Management Ltd

    Overall I was very impressed. The course was extremely useful for a number of reasons:

    - focus upon the key areas of the syllabus

    - confirm understanding of them

    - ask questions

    - meet others also studying

    The questions, especially all the mock questions were invaluable, especially given some of the past paper questions were obsolete in parts.

    John was great. Made things simple and clear. I loved the fact he sits AF3 regularly so he really knows what we were facing.

    I will definitely be booking courses for my other AF papers.

    Thanks very much.

  • Dave Allan

    The course was absolutely fantastic, a real eye opener into what is to be expected in the exam.

    The modules themselves have been very well put together, I personally do not learn just by reading so with a combination of the workbook, videos, quiz and questions have really helped me get an understand of the core subjects that will be tested. The workshop was the icing on the cake, I came away with a better understanding of how I should approach the exam and answer the questions in the style that is expected.

    I have not read or watched a video since as instructed by John, I have concentrated my efforts on exam technique and getting used to answering in the CII way.

    It’s up to me now to deliver the answer’s to the question in two weeks time!

  • Vicki HardyAccredited Paraplanner, Myers Davison Ginger

    I really enjoyed the course as it really helped me to know what I now need to do in the lead up to the exam and focus my valuable study time in the best way.

    John is a great trainer and presenter. He kept the attention of the delegates for every minute of each day which is a very hard task.

    I would definitely recommend the course to others.

  • Neil DaveyDirector, ICF Group

    All in all a very valuable two days. If you are serious about passing exams then it is worth the cost and effort to go on the seminar. The cost of failing it and resitting is much more than this.

  • Richard NormanDirector, Pennymatters Ltd

    AF5 Training today was excellent. Can't fault it at all.

  • Peter Linnecar

    Expert Pensions get to the core of the exam – to what really matters.
    John secures your attention to give you the CII examiners’ mindset.
    You grab the CII baton in your own hand and set your sights on the finish.
    As Benjamin Franklin said –
    “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”
    You’ll learn with Expert Pensions.

  • Darron WhiteheadJoint Managing Director, Utopia Group Limited

    I have recently attended John Reynolds two day workshop for the IFS Pension Transfers (AwPETR) qualification. These two days were mainly focused on the 2000 word assignment part of the qualification. Before the workshop John did say we would have approximately 95% covered off at the time of leaving the workshop. I must admit I was a rather sceptical of this as It would normally take me weeks to accomplish something like this, however, I am very pleased to say I have managed to cover off around 95% of the coursework and I have even surprised myself. I feel confident now that this will be enough to get me through this part of the qualification. As a very busy adviser and also running my own practise, this type of very focused training, Johns excellent teaching style and patience seemed to work very well with my learning style and busy work load and I would recommend this workshop to anyone who is trying to pass this qualification……..Thanks again John.

  • Marie Meagher

    Agreeing with other comments this knowledge is not about passing an exam it is about understanding the advice we give and applying it in the real world. It is our profession and you have made me a better advisor.

    I think the way you present is brilliant, clear precise and in a none arrogant way. The notes are detailed but presented in an easy way to follow. The fact that you will engage in answering questions people have in an approachable way. All fantastic and I would recommend you to anyone, I think that all advisers should sit one of your courses if they want to give the correct professional advice.

  • Alan E Johnston FPFS Cert SMP Chartered Financial PlannerCity Gate Aberdeen Limited

    Having decided to embark on the journey to Chartered, I began by studying and passing AF1 by my own accord and on realising how difficult it had been I decided to do some research. Having looked at various options it was Expert Pensions that caught my attention. A perfect structure and plan that I could work around my already busy diary, John Reynolds always available to assist and guide and coupled with on line quizzes webinars and his excellent videos I knew this was my best chance of obtaining my goal. I also attended his 2/3 day training courses where relevant and again found they were fabulous value for money and every exam sat has been passed by a comfortable margin and at the first attempt.

    John and the team at EP kept me motivated and believing what was possible, culminating on a visit to the PFS/CII at Aldermanbury in the City of London recently to graduate, a memorable day and it made all the hard work worthwhile – most importantly though it has made me a better adviser through the knowledge obtained. So much so that I have continued my studies, again with guidance from John and have now obtained my Fellowship.

    I cannot stress highly enough to anyone else who is at either at the beginning, considering or part way along the journey to Chartered that their necessary companion is John and the team at Expert Pensions.