Higher Certificate in Financial Planning

Higher Certificate in Financial Planning

Regardless of the economic cycle, skilled financial advisors are always in demand to provide professional advisory services in financial planning. Boston’s Higher Certificate in Financial Planning offers the introductory key to success in this regulated field.

Recognized by the Financial Conduct Authority (FSCA) for Categories I and IV, excluding Crypto Assets (1.27), this programme is suitable for individuals seeking a qualification to meet FAIS Fit-and-Proper competency requirements or those entering the financial services sector. It equips candidates with core knowledge and skills essential for understanding and excelling in various aspects of financial planning. Elective modules such as Retirement Planning, Wills and Administration of Deceased Estates, Healthcare Planning, Investments and Investment Risks, and Introduction to Taxation for Financial Advisors, allow for specialisation.

HCert (Financial Planning)

Time to Complete:

1 year (minimum) - 3 years (maximum)

Study Options:

Full-time or Part-time



NQF Level:




Entry Requirements

A minimum requirement for admission into the higher certificate is a:

  • National Senior Certificate (NSC), with English as one of the subjects passed and with endorsement for admission to Higher Certificate studies; or
  • National Certificate (Vocational) (NC(V)), with English as one of the subjects passed and with endorsement for admission to Higher Certificate studies; or
  • Prior to 2009, Senior Certificate with English as one of the subjects passed.
  • Alternatively, a post school qualification may also be considered, for example, an FET/National Certificate, NQF (OQSF) Level 4, minimum credits 120.

This programme is offered by Boston City Campus in the distance mode of education with support provided at Learner Support Centres. Apply to register at any Boston City Campus Learner Support Centre nationwide.

Seven compulsory and two elective modules must be passed.

Possible employment opportunities include, but are not limited to:

  • Administrators in financial planning practices
  • Administrators in insurance/retirement companies/banks
  • Self-employed Financial Advisors or Brokers Tied Agents
  • Intermediaries working within various roles in the financial services environment

Did you know that Boston does not work on a points system

Although your subjects may be considered, Boston does not use a point system for entry.
Your endorsement says it all.
Semester ASemester B
  • Computer Literacy
  • Academic Literacy
  • Introduction to the Financial Services Environment
  • Introduction to Law for Financial Advisors
  • Economics for Financial Advisors
  • Ethics and Professional Standards for Financial Advisors
  • Principles of Insurance

Choose two of the following electives:

  • Retirement Planning
  • Wills and Administration of Deceased Estates
  • Healthcare Planning
  • Investments and Investment Risks
  • Introduction to Taxation for Financial Advisors

Various Assessment strategies (ASC, AS4 and AS2) are used throughout the modules in the programme. For example, AS2 is predominantly applied in this programme and consists of a Formative Assessments (FA1) also known as an assignment or test, which count fifty percent (50%) towards the overall mark. The Summative Assessment in the form of a final exam or capstone project (SA1), will count fifty percent (50%).

No supplementary assessment is provided for FA1. A maximum of one (1) additional supplementary assessment opportunity is provided for SA1, which will be charged for. An overall mark of fifty percent (50%) is required to pass a module. Please consult the Fact Sheet and the Student Rulebook for additional, detailed programme information.

On completion of the programme, graduates will have the necessary knowledge and practical skills required to:

  • Operate effectively in the workplace using a number of Windows-based end-user applications;
  • Compile and write a professional proposal for clients relating to financial decision-making recommendations that suit the needs of clients;
  • Identify and discuss the latest in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and digital transformation trends within the financial services environment;
  • Understand the financial services environment in an integrative and contextualised way including the impact that macro-and microeconomic systems have on the environment;
  • Apply knowledge of legislation and regulations governing the financial planning environment and the implications of these on the financial planning environment, services, and products;
  • Advise clients on potential financial solutions based on the collection of information, identification of client needs and analyses of information; and
  • Understand insurance and the financial planning environment and the ethical and professional standards that financial advisors are required to adhere to when operating as professionals within the environment.


Upon successful completion of the qualification, students will receive a Higher Certificate in Financial Planning (SAQA ID 120380), NQF (HEQSF) Level 5, minimum Credits 130, from Boston City Campus.