The Award in Personal Finance (APF1) has been designed to equip students with the knowledge and skills to be able to manage their own money.
APF1 consists of two mandatory units:
Unit 1 – The Principles of Money
Unit 2 – Money Management
Students will gain knowledge of the influences on how we spend or save money, and of the tools available to become competent at managing their own money. This will be achieved by learning about:
- where money comes from, who makes it, and what its features are
- the features of a current account / how to access money
- different sources of money including earned income, benefits and exchanging items for money
- the key features of savings and borrowing products
- how to manage a personal financial budget
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the APF1 has been accredited by Ofqual at Level 1 into the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).
Read more about the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).
APF1 consists of two mandatory units:
Unit 1 – The Principles of Money (POM) H / 501 / 8705
When studying POM students will start to understand where money comes from and the features of money. By understanding the origins of money and its features, students will be able to understand where money can be stored and how it can be accessed. Students will also gain an understanding of how to open a bank / building society account and their associated features. Students will progress to explore how to manage money. The recommended guided learning hours for POM is 30 hours (40 learning hours)
POM has been accredited with 4 credits on the QCF.
View the POM unit syllabus.
Unit 2 - Money Management – (MOM) K / 501 / 8706
When studying MOM students will start to understand basic sources of income and will start to explore how income and money can be used in terms of savings, borrowing, spending and selling and the impact of these on a personal financial budget. The aim of this unit is to enable students to gain awareness of the opportunities available to them for managing their money. The recommended guided learning hours for MOM is 40 hours (50 Learning Hours)
MOM has been accredited with 5 credits on the QCF.
View the MOM unit syllabus.
Unit 1 – The Principles of Money (POM)
POM is assessed by a single 30-minute objective test that comprises 30 questions: 21 stand-alone multiple-choice questions (MCQs) and three sets of stimulus material, each with three associated MCQs.
Unit 2 - Money Management (MOM)
MOM is also assessed by a single 30-minute objective test that comprises 30 questions: 15 stand-alone MCQs and five sets of stimulus material, each with three associated questions.
Passes must be achieved in both units to gain the qualification.
Both units can be assessed either by a paper-based examination or via the ifs e-test™ electronic testing system.
View further information about ifs e-test™.
View a specimen paper for Unit 1 - The Principals of Money (POM).
View a justification and answer sheet for Unit 1 - The Principals of Money (POM)
It is recommended that students spend 90 learning hours of which 70 should be guided learning hours on APF1.
The ifs runs Qualification Development Days throughout the year, providing advice, guidance and an opportunity to share best practice and expertise for the delivery of APF1. Find out more.
The ifs provides a comprehensive learning support package for tutors and students including:
- up-to-date resources revised annually enabling flexibility of delivery
- access to extensive online student and tutor resources via the information gateway my ifslearning
- specimen examination papers and justifications
- teacher guide for each unit
View sample learning material for Unit 1 - Topic 1 (a): Know what money is.
APF1 costs £24 per student which includes registration, examination, student study materials and teaching aids and support.
If you are from a centre that is interested in delivering the ifs Award in Personal Finance (APF1), please register your interest and our Customer and Student Services team will contact you.
You can also contact us by calling +44 (0) 1227 818609 (option 3) or email us.
Although there are no specified entry requirements, the level of achievement required to obtain APF1 is at Level 1 on the QCF. Applicants need to be satisfied of their ability to study, in English, at this level.
When students have successfully completed the APF1 qualification they will be in a good position to study the ifs Level 2 Certificate in Personal Finance (CPF2).
CPF2 has been designed for people who are or who will shortly be reaching a life stage when they no longer depend on others for their financial provision.
ifs Student Investor Challenge
The ifs Student Investor Challenge is the UK’s premier investment competition for UK students aged between 14 and 19.
Running from November to April each year, the competition gives teams of four students the opportunity to experience trading on the stock market, with £100,000 of virtual money, and the chance to win an all-expenses-paid educational trip to New York.
The competition also enables students to develop their key skills in team work, communication, decision making, problem solving and time management.
Find out more.
ifs Young Business Writer of the Year
The ifs Young Business Writer of the Year competition is aimed at school and college students aged between 14 and 19 and challenges them to write a 1,000 word article debating an industry relevant topic.
Previous examples include rebalancing the UK economy and the financial impact of longevity on pensions and social care. A leading journalist picks the winning essay; one which they decide shows the greatest level of research & analysis of the subject matter, together with a reasoned and well argued conclusion.
The author of the winning entry receives £500 and the title “ifs School of Finance Young Business Writer of the Year”.
Registration is open to anyone who will be aged between 14 and 19 when the competition closes on 31 January each year.
Find out more.