DipFA Factfind Exam Tips: How can I analyse protection needs of a family?

The DipFA factfind exam  is fast approaching. Our lead tutor Betul Cuninghame explores some concepts worth considering here:exam analyst

When recommending protection policies, always imagine the effects of the financial risks on the family and think in detail. It is not a good practice to see only one aspect of such risks and making recommendations on that basis. Recommending  life cover equal to the mortgage debt only without giving any extra money for other costs after death may not suffice!

EXAMPLE: the death of a parent may mean that:

  • no more income will come from that parent,
  • mortgage is no longer affordable;
  • it may result in repossession due to non-payment of mortgage
  • repossession may bring homelessness to the remaining members of the family
  • the other parent will lose his/her job to look after the children etc.
  • funeral costs and other costs to be paid from the other parent’s income or savings until s/he gets grant of probate – s/he can’t access any savings of the deceased until s/he gets grant of probate, resulting in costly bills to be paid by other means.

All these risks require careful analysis and proportionate amounts to overcome financial issues after the events. Having a life cover just equal to the mortgage debt will only pay off the mortgage but it will not leave any money for the other costs after death of that parent e.g. funeral costs, legal costs (probate), bills to be paid (one parent’s income may not be sufficient to pay the whole household bills) etc.

So, either

  • increase the lump sum amount to cover these extra costs and to provide income with the remaining amount OR
  • have another cover to supplement the life cover: e.g. Life cover to pay off the mortgage as well as a FIB to provide income to cover all these extra costs after the death of one parent.

You should be able to decide what amount of cover would be appropriate and justify it in your reports.

For more help and support with your upcoming factfind exam see how we can help you at our dedicated DipFA Training web site

CeMAP questions from our virtual learning zone (part 5)

Every month we go through our CeMAP forums at http://www.cemap123.co.uk   and  http://www.futuretrend.org.uk/vle/(which our students have access to as part of their CeMAP Training programme) to see what interesting queries have been dziners-org-discussionposted.

This months CeMAP query comes from Mansi currently studying CeMAP 2.

Mansi Question:


I need help with mock papers -Payments and products B.(no 11)

question is “Ian and Sandra are buying a new house and have been offered a £120,000, 25 year repayment mortgage at 6%,giving a monthly payment of £6.52 per £1000 borrowed.How much would the total payments compare with an interest only mortgage at the same rate,backed by an Nisa with monthly contribution of £200?

ans is “The interest only mortgage would be £18 month more expensive”.

But cannot work it out .

Kindly help.

David’s answer:

Good morning Mansi,

Easy peasy!!!!

The question is testing whether you know how to work out the costs of a repayment mortgage compared to interest only.

So, Repayment – the mortgage costs 6.52 per thousand, so 6.52 x 120 (thousands) = £782.40 per month

Interest only – 120,000 x 6% = 7,200 PER YEAR. Divide by 12 gives the monthly payment of £600. Then add the cost of the ISA = £200. So Interest mortgage will cost £600+£200 = £800

So, £800 – £782.40 = £17.60 which gives the closest to the answer of £18

I hope this answers your query. Should you need any further explanation please let us know


 David Airs (Futuretrend CeMAP Tutor)

New Work Experience and Mentoring Project for Business Analysts and Software Testers

We are currently rounding up our Project which started  in June. This project covered the building of an application for trading and auctioning of seafood and aquatic products in the international market. It was quite demanding for the Business Analysts and Software Testers who had to utilise their skills to the fullest as it was a complex application. The students  and their Project Manager (Chetan) have worked very hard on this and  a lot has been learnt. We’re now looking forward to a new project which will kick off on September 19th.

Project Charter


The new project is about developing a software application for a client who is a health/protein food (raw material) manufacturer. The raw material  is sold to companies where it undergoes processing and dilution. It is then used as an ingredient for manufacturing edible products like protein food, digestive medicines, health drinks etc. The software application would cater to the needs of the client’s employees who work in the areas of manufacturing, merchandising, logistics and others. There is huge scope for the BA/QAs to develop  a wide range of skills being involved in a project like this.

We are now taking registrations from aspiring Business Analysts and Quality Assurance Analysts for this programme. If you want to be part of this exciting team please sign up before September 19th 2016.

For more details of what our work experience and mentoring program involves please visit  our dedicated web page for this here:

Futuretrend’s new Talent & Skills Showcase Platform

Futuretrend invites you to become part of a new talent showcase platform which will allow
those looking for employment (especially as Business Analysts, Software Test Analysts, PMO’s) to be matched with suitable companies that are currently
recruiting. Most training companies stop the support system for their students upon completion
of training courses Futuretrend aims to continue to guide you on your career path, every step
of the way.

In line with this, we will be directly promoting peojob search strategyple on the talent showcase as part of
the service and the aim is to place people in appropriate organisations for internships or paid
This is an exclusive offer of free membership, valid until the end of October 2016 to students who
have recently completed training courses with us. After this, you will have to pay for the
If you would like to be featured in the platform and receive the free membership before the end
of October, please contact annika.oste@futuretrendtech.co.uk
Upon confirmation we will quickly get in touch with you to discuss the next steps.

IFS 2016/17 CeMAP Syllabus update delayed

The IFS University College have just informed us that the Certificate in Mortgage Advice and Practice (CeMAP®) examination will change on the 1 December 2016, with the new study material for the 2016/17 examination being released on 17 October 2016.


“It is usual for ifs­­ ­University College to change the examination on 1 September each year however this year due to our company change of name and other changes to the format of the study material, this date has moved to 1 December 2016.”

This gives students studying the current 2015/16 syllabus a lot longer to prepare themselves  and hopefully there won’t be the typical  lack of exam spaces in July/August.

IFS DipFA Fact Find exam 7th July 2016

The Fact Find for the next exam has just been released, and there is plenty to get your teeth into!rp_finance-role1-300x200.jpg

What is covered?

The fact find covers a wide variety of topics, such as;

  • Inheritance Tax Planning
  • Final Salary Pensions
  • Investment Planning
  • Ethical Investments

and more, all to be researched and then written up in a 3 hour exam.

As always, there may also be areas or information missing or incomplete, which you will be expected to spot and account for, followed by some amendments on the day.

What does the exam look like?

Remember, the exam is there to test your knowledge, understanding, and crucially the application of that knowledge to the client’s situation and needs.

You will have to write or type out a full Suitability Report from scratch in three hours.  Whilst the report may not fully resemble a ‘real life’ report, (it is after all an exam) that is a tall order.

A good thing to remember is that you need to explain your recommendations, and why they are suitable for the clients, even if it seems ‘obvious’.

How should you prepare?

Research and Practice!

Reading and studying the required areas covered in the Fact Find is essential. Web searching the basics and then following up with the IFS Study Topic Folders is useful for most candidates.

Then once you have formulated some solid recommendations practice delivering your report in the 3 hour limit.

Remember though that anything can come up as an amendment on the day if the subject is in the syllabus!

Where can I get help?

For those looking to gain extra support on top of the IFS help and guidance, Futuretrend are running online courses and a one day course in London on 11th June 2016

However you choose to study, Good Luck to all those engaging with this exam!

Paul Davis

IFS DipFA Coursework July 2016 A Five Point Guide to get you started…

Ok, so you’ve looked at your Coursework questions…what next?courses-image

First thing is to try and get your head around the main report question.  You need to consider how to draft a business report aimed at the MD of a company that has almost no employee benefits and wants to introduce an Auto-Enrolment pension, plus other potential benefits.  Think about what do you want to know about, and also what do they need to know about?  The question is very helpful here as it lists several points of required information for you.

Second, think about the structure of the report.  Based on my experience, a lot of candidates struggle here.  The Executive Summary has thrown some people.  You can search online for a simple “how to” on this.

Here’s a link I found to a really helpful detailed explanation of what a good executive summary should look like.  

Then think about having a report title, some chapters (with chapter headings!), and work out what each chapter will cover.  Tidy up at the end with a neat summary.

Third think about references.  The referencing has been massively simplified by the IFS, and the new approach is a welcome change of direction, as it will help candidates focus on the actual work rather then spend hours trying to format a full academic bibliography.  But you still need references!  Best to think about this as you go along…

Fourth, think about technical knowledge.  What do you know about stakeholder pensions?  Auto-enrolment?  Employee Benefits?  Costs?  Tax implications for the employer?  Tax implications for the employee?  Bound to be some areas you don’t know much about – best get studying!

Five, when going on to the short answer questions, remember they do not need referencing, or long introductions.  Most short questions in the Coursework can be covered using bullet points or short sentences.  They are called short questions for a reason!

Need more help?

If you are looking for more help, you can consider the Futuretrend online DipFA Coursework course, which I am running, and / or also the IFS tutors as well if you are signed up for them.

Good Luck!

Paul Davis, BA (Hons), Cert. Mgmt (Open), Dip. PFS,

Update on our BA & QA Work Experience Projects

The current project is an ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) software application for a company that deals with fashion & lifestyle products.
The application is needed for teams in the company that manage multiple consumer brand portfolios consisting of different products that are sold globally. The application includes bespoke requirements for the company itself and would be usable only by designated employees. These employees have been using a spreadsheet for a long time and want this target application to replace the spreadsheet and also do much more than what the spreadsheet does.

Business Analyst Training

Business analyst and software testers work experience

The application is divided into multiple modules – Administrator module, where the Admin creates User profiles, Brand profiles, assigns permissions and restrictions to users based on their roles.
Actionlist Module-  This is where the business activities related to marketing, advertising & promotion are handled by the users.
Reports module- This module deals with generation of reports of various types that display the information in the form of graphs/charts to the users.
In this project, the trainee Business Analysts have accomplished end to end tasks of a BA- from Analysis to Sign-off of the documents.

The tasks they have worked and completed are:

– Elicit & analyze project requirements

– Facilitate Client meetings & interactions

– Interview and clarify project expectations with the client

– Create Product backlog

– Define Business Requirements and create Business Requirements Documents

– Define Scope of the project

– Create Functional Requirements Document (FRD)

– Create Use Case Model based on users and functions identified

– Design Process flow for the project

– Create elaborate Use Cases & User stories

– Design Wire frames/mock-ups

– Get the documents/artifacts reviewed by Client

– Update documents based on Client’s inputs

– Understand the Testing process and create Test cases

– Get all project requirements frozen and BA documents signed  off by the Client.

QA’s Quality Assurance analysts
were involved in

Test Planning,
Test Scripting,
Test Execution,
Defect Reporting and Tracking
Test Result and Completion reporting etc.
There is a new project in the pipeline and is expected to kick-off in mid June. It deals with the trading and auctioning of seafood and aquatic products in the international market. This project would actually demand the Business Analysts and Software Testers involved to exhibit their skills to the fullest as it is a complex application. Those who are familiar with subjects like trading, e-commerce, auctions will find it quite interesting and those that aren’t will be gaining valuable experience in a new domain.

For more details of what our work experience and mentoring program involves please visit  our dedicated web page for this here:

A new Test Automation book from our Tutors Tanvi & Bis

Tanvi and Bis have been busy indeed!  Apart from holding down demanding IT Consultant  roles, teaching engagements all over the place… they’ve still found the time to write a book!

This book aims to help Software Test professionals to master Selenium WebDriver programming fundamentals in Java platform and also covers efficient Test Automation Framework creation using Page Objects and JUnit.

Authors Biswajit Nanda and Tanvi Nanda believe mastering Selenium Web Driver is possible by learning important methods provided by Selenium Web Driver and practicing those in examples. Once the methods are mastered, learning frameworks using tools like Junit and framework design methodologies like Page Object Model becomes important.

Based on these beliefs and principles, the book first has covered most of the common and important methods for achieving various automation goals and then has provided guidelines on how to establish a Page Object Model framework.


Click on the pic opposite to check the book out on amazon or click here

CeMAP questions from our virtual learning zone (part 4)

Every month we go through our CeMAP forums at http://www.cemap123.co.uk (which our students have access to as part of their CeMAP Training programme) to see what interesting queries have been dziners-org-discussionposted.

This months CeMAP query is very similar to other queries regarding Share Dividends. As it seems to be a subject that confuses many students we’ve decided to highlight it again.

Haiders Question:

i came across this following question, which i didn’t know how to do the working out for:

Will received a cheque for £300 in respect of share dividends. What was the gross amount upon which this payment was based?

Also if this question was written differently e.g. persons who are in a different tax band etc.. how would it be answered, the working out and how to work out how much tax needs to be paid and also if tax was already paid what was the original amount of dividends gross.

Does it make any difference if person is a tax payer or not? and what percentages and how is it worked out how much each person pays depending on if they are BRT, HRT or ART or even non-tax payer.

David’s answer:

Good morning Haidar,

Answer to your query is quite straight forward.

As you are probably aware, dividends are paid net of the 10% dividend tax.

Therefore as the client has received £300 dividend, this represents 90% of the dividend (because the tax has already been deducted)

Therefore divide by 90 x 100 = 333.33 – or even easier divide by 0.9. This calculation then gives the gross amount of the dividend.


If the client is a BRT, there is no further tax liability

If the client is a HRT, then they have to pay an additional amount of tax of 22.5% based on the GROSS dividend (this is why we need to know how to calculate the gross amount) – so they are paying 32.5% in total. 333.33 x 22.5% = £75.00. This makes the total tax due on a £300 dividend of 108.33 (75.00 + 33.33). The answer to how much extra tax is due (should you get the question) would be £75. The answer to how much tax is due in TOTAL would be 108.33

If the client is an ART then its 27.5% and 37.5%. So 333.33 x 27.5% = 91.66. Total tax due would be 91.66 + 33.33 = £125

I hope this answers your query. Should you need any further explanation please let us know


 David Airs (Futuretrend CeMAP Tutor)