The Certificate in Personal Finance (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.
Students will gain knowledge about the practical and legal constraints on the sources and uses of money, the methods of organising their money through personal budgeting, the considered use of appropriate bank and building society accounts and the concepts and consequences of overspending or payment default.
CPF2 consists of 3 mandatory units:
Unit 1 – Personal Financial Encounters
Unit 2 – Money Management Solutions
Unit 3 – Personal Finance Management
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland the CPF2 has been accredited by Ofqual at Level 2 into the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).
Read more about the Qualifications and Credit Framework (QCF).
In Scotland the CPF5 is credit rated at Level 5 in the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF).
Read more about the SQA credit rating details.
CPF2 consists of three mandatory units:
Unit 1 – Personal Financial Encounters (PFE) D / 601 / 2900
The aim of PFE is to increase students’ understanding of the sources of money and the importance of budgetary control, enabling them to make informed decisions about their finances. The recommended guided learning hours for PFE is 50 hours (60 learning hours).
PFE has been accredited with 6 credits on the QCF.
View the PFE unit syllabus.
Unit 2 – Money Management Solutions (MMS) T / 601 / 2904
The aim of MMS is to develop students’ understanding of the banking systems available to them. This will enable them to make informed choices about their bank accounts and spending decisions. The recommended guided learning hours for MMS is 50 hours (60 learning hours).
MMS has been accredited with 6 credits on the QCF.
View the MMS unit syllabus.
Unit 3 – Personal Finance Management (PFMA) R / 601 / 2909
The aim of PFMA is to increase students’ understanding of personal finance, taking into account affordability, choice and protection. The recommended guided learning hours for PFMA is 15 hours (20 learning hours).
PFMA has been accredited with 2 credits on the QCF.
View the PFMA unit syllabus.
Unit 1 – Personal Financial Encounters (PFE)
PFE is assessed by a single 30-minute objective test that comprises 30 multiple choice questions (MCQs): 18 stand-alone multiple-choice questions and 12 questions associated with four pieces of stimulus material.
Unit 2 - Money Management Solutions (MMS)
MMS is assessed by a single 30-minute objective test that comprises 30 MCQs: 18 stand-alone questions and 12 questions associated with four pieces of stimulus material.
Unit 3 - Personal Finance Managements (PFM)
PFM is assessed by a single 30-minute objective test that comprises 30 MCQs: 20 one-mark questions. And 10 questions associated with two pieces of stimulus material.
Passes must be achieved in all three 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: Personal Financial Encounters.
View a justification and answer sheet for Unit 1: Personal Financial Encounters.
It is recommended that students spend 140 learning hours on CPF2 of which 115 should be guided learning hours.
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 CPF2. 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
- online activities to help consolidate learning
- on-demand assessment
- teacher guide for each unit
View sample learning material: Unit 2 - Topic 1: Understand the Tools Used in Managing Money.
CPF2 costs £36 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 level 2 Certificate in Personal Finance, 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 CPF2 is at Level 2 on the QCF. Applicants need to be satisfied of their ability to study, in English, at this level.
Upon completion of CPF2 students will be in a good position to study the ifs Level 3 Certificate in Financial Studies (CeFS) or the ifs Level 3 Diploma in Financial Studies (DipFS).
CeFS has been designed to encourage students to be inspired to meet their lifestyle aspirations and teaches students to become responsible borrowers, sensible savers and have an appreciation of the need for financial planning throughout their lives.
DipFS has been designed to inspire students to meet their lifestyle aspirations through applying appropriate solutions from the wide range available within the evolving financial services marketplace.
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.