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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 Diploma examinations.The Study Support Partners are:

  • Aon Hewitt
  • Nabarro LLP
  • First Actuarial
  • Mercer
  • Capita Employee Benefits
  • JLT Benefit Solutions
  • Trustee Solutions
  • Ferrier Pearce

Each company/firm has taken on the role of Study Support Partner for one unit of the qualification. Details of the organisation and authors are found at the start of each study manual.

Click here for more information about PMI Study Support Partners.

Study material

For core units 1A, 2, 3 and 4 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)

For both the DB and DC specialist units 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.

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 Diploma studies and of the work of the workplace pensions professional.   As the specialist DB and DC 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.

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


Further information

For further information about studying for the 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. 2018 Notes for Students: Study Material Packages

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

  3. Advanced Diploma Online Instructions 2018

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