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This page provides details of the aids to study and the forms of study available.  You are advised to begin studying in September for the April examinations the following year and in May for the October examinations.

Under the banner 'Shaping the Pensions Professionals of Tomorrow' we are very pleased to be working with leading companies operating in managing or advising UK pension schemes to offer an enhanced study support service for Students undertaking the Advanced Diploma examinations.The Study Support Partners are:

Each company or firm has taken on the role of Study Support Partner for one unit (or part thereof) of the qualification. Details of the organisation and authors are found at the front of each study manual.

Click here for more information about PMI Study Support Partners.

Study material

For each core unit we have produced a study material package which includes a study manual and access to an online learning programme.

In order to simplify the ordering process we have packaged the examination entry fee with the study material. There is a single fee for each package which includes:

  • A sitting of the examination
  •  Access to the study material package
  • Access to updates of the study material (where applicable)
  •  Access to sample examination questions
  • The election fee for student membership (where applicable)

There are also a number of specialist units. For each specialist unit we have produced a study material package which includes a study manual, a communication manual and access to an online learning programme.

As with the core units we have packaged the examination entry fee with the study material and make it available for a single fee.  The package for the specialist units is similar to that for the core units but also includes a separate communication manual.

The study materials are updated annually over the summer in advance of the start of the academic year. The study materials are based on the udpated syllabus and the legal cut off date of 6 April each year.  For example, 2018 edition material is based on the 2018 version syllabuses and the law and practice as at 6 April 2017. The 2018 edition materials become available from September 2017 and are appropriate for both April and October 2018 examinations.

To access the material you will need the details sent to you in the email acknowledging your order.

Click here for a step-by-step procedure to access the study material.

Details on how the study material packages work can be found here.

All study materials can be accessed at PMI learning website.

Study Timetable

The April 2019 Study Timetable is available here.

Communication Skills

Effective communications are an essential part of Advanced Diploma studies and of the work of the workplace pensions professional.   As the specialist units cover the application of technical knowledge the examinations include a test of communication skills as they apply to the various aspects of workplace pensions.   Therefore, some examination questions will specify a particular format for answers or require evidence of other communication skills.  These formats, as well as an appreciation of communication skill, for workplace pensions professionals, are covered in the Communication manual which accompanies each specialist unit.

Further reading

Whilst the online learning is designed to be comprehensive, further reading is recommended.  Appropriate weekly and monthly pensions publications and newspapers will all be of benefit to those preparing for the examination.

There is also information on related websites, eg the Pensions Regulator.

A comprehensive glossary of pensions terms can be found in the PMI/PRAG publication, Pensions Terminology, which can be purchased from the PMI.


The study material should be used in conjunction with the information provided concerning the Colourboxx scheme.

Colourboxx is a fictional scheme used to provide examples and is referred to in some parts of the distance learning material.

It is not used in the examinations.

These details are usually updated annually. To view Colourboxx please click here
Colourboxx Logo

Further information

For further information about studying for the Advanced Diploma in Retirement Provision examinations contact us at qualifications@pensions-pmi.org.uk


  1. Advanced Diploma Study Timetable 2018

    Advanced Diploma Study Timetable 2018. This timetable is also applicable for Diploma examinations within the Advanced Diploma suite.

  2. Advanced Diploma Online Instructions 2018

    Instructions for accessing the online learning system for Advanced Diploma units.

  3. 2018 Notes for Students: Study Material Packages

    Notes on the study material packages for Advanced Diploma and related Diplomas.